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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Media Watch Group: New York Times Acts as Propagandist for Pentagon on Danger Posed by Guantanamo Detainees
29 Jun 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Media Watch Group: New York Times Acts as Propagandist for Pentagon on Danger Posed by Guantanamo Detainees

Interview with Peter Hart, activism director, with Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting FAIR, conducted by Scott Harris

On May 20, the U.S. Senate voted 90 to 6 to deny President Obama the $80 million he requested to close America's Naval detention Center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to bar the transfer of detainees held there to the United States and its territories. Upon taking office, Obama pledged to close the Guantanamo facility by January 2010. Both Democrats and Republicans were critical of the White House for not presenting a detailed plan for what will be done with the 240 Guantanamo prisoners.

In the debate that followed, legislators and commentators expressed concern over the threat posed by these detainees - virtually all of whom are accused by the U.S. government of engaging in terrorist activities. The day after the Senate vote, the New York Times published a front-page article titled, "1 in 7 Freed Detainees Rejoins Fight, Report Finds," confirming the fears of many in Congress and around the nation that closing Guantanamo would have grave consequences. However, as the media watch group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, FAIR, pointed out, the story was based on an unsubstantiated Pentagon report leaked to the paper, which failed to present evidence for its findings.

The Times reporter for this story, Elisabeth Bumiller, did not provide readers background on the many challenges made to the findings of similar Pentagon studies, which were widely disputed. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Peter Hart, Activism Director with FAIR, who explains why he believes the New York Times was acting as a propaganda arm of the Pentagon for its failure to substantiate the Pentagon's dubious assertions.

FAIR's report, "New York Times' Pentagon Propaganda: Misleading Report on Guantanamo and Terrorism" can be read online at For more information, call their office at (212) 633-6700.

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
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Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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