More Questions About The Libyan Sex Atrocity Reporting
By Russ Baker on Jun 15, 2011
Rape is tragically common in wartime—but did Qaddafi really order it?
STORY SUMMARY: Media reporting of atrocities by the Libyan regime continues to heat up. The alleged crimes are horrific—Muammar Qaddafi ordering mass, Viagra-fueled rapes. But the claims are mitigated by some really poor journalism, raising suspicions that the public is falling victim to a disinformation campaign. Here’s the latest.
Stories with a sexual component have always been instant hits in the ratings, and things are only getting worse. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, last week, media coverage of Congressman Anthony Weiner and his pornographic tweets filled 17 percent of the “news hole” (space and time devoted by the media). The economy, by comparison, accounted for 11 percent. The Middle East also got 11 percent.
Actually, a greater percentage had something in common when you count stories on wieners of all kinds. Because a rapidly spiraling scandal involves the allegation that the embattled Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi ordered his troops to commit mass rape—and gave them Viagra to help fortify them in this atrocity.
As we noted previously, that story has been reported widely throughout the world. As we also noted, there’s scant evidence that it is true—at least at this point. Moreover, it shows signs of being part of a larger disinformation effort of the sort that has always been part and parcel of war. (A war whose true purposes, as you can see from an earlieranalysis we did, is consistently obscured.)