Looking for ‘truth’ in American news media

Looking for truth in American news media

by Lindsey Masters

When you read the local newspaper or tune in for international news, it is natural to assume that the information you receive is precisely reported, filled with the least amount of bias possible. You believe the media tells the “truth”.

However, your ideas regarding the “truth” quickly change when you become a guest in another country. You soon realize how distorted viewpoints evolve after years of digesting the U.S. media.

In countries like Mexico, there is no need to alter the “truth” about a situation. There is no pressure to suppress certain elements of a story originating from the United States to make it more appealing to the audience.

For instance, many U.S. citizens are unaware of the history of U.S. involvement in Latin American countries. These events are rarely reported in the states.

In 1992, our government was responsible for orchestrating the murder of Everardo Bámaca Velásquez, a part of the guerrillas in Guatemala. This group opposed repressive military power, which was caused by the U.S. overthrow of their previously democratic government in 1954. This was necessary to, supposedly, fight against “communism”.

Velásquez was secretly detained, tortured and killed by a Guatemalan military officer (Colonel Julio Alpïrez), who also happened to be on CIA payroll.

Unjust? There is more.

His American wife, Jennifer Harbury, tried to discover the “truth” about her husband’s disappearance. However, the United States knew nothing about the situation. Harbury remained persistent and filed a request for the CIA files related to Everardo’s case.

What she discovered three years later in 1995 should shock and disgust all of you. The United States and the CIA lied about their knowledge of Velsáquez’s death. In fact, their hidden reports told of his fate immediately after his death; yet, they told Harbury they knew nothing.

This is just one example of the U.S. unsettling intervention in other countries.

You can also research the United States many blotched attempts to kill Fidel Castro in Cuba, or the training of Latin American armies at Fort Benning, Georgia. Or perhaps you’re unaware of U.S. funding of the contras in Nicaragua in the 80’s, which was a bit before the college student’s time of awareness, as we were young children.

Did you ever hear about these events in the media?

They told us very little, if anything. Typically, what you will find from these examples is that the U.S. gives aid to other countries in attempts to squash supposed “communism” and “guerrillas”.

Our media has painted a certain pictures of how we define these terms. We have associated these words with crazed maniacs living in the jungle, who construct evil plans to rule the universe. However, this is rarely the case. Investigate our government’s definition of “communism”…discover what the “guerrillas” are really fighting for.

Do not simply take our media’s view as the truth. Go online and search for articles from international newspapers and newswires. Soon, another word could accompany communism and guerrillas on the U.S. list; “terrorism” seems to be a rather timely, trendy media term.