Sanitized for American Consumption

Rachel Sklar writes for the “Eat the Press” feature at Huffington Post.  She’s caught an example of the mainstream media — TIME magazine — running for their international editions one provocative and timely cover story about the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan while running for their American edition an American Taliban suck-up piece advocating Bible teaching in public schools.

Interesting. This week, Time’s cover story is an essay arguing in favor of teaching the Bible in schools, which can be boiled down to this: “Of course the Bible should be taught in schools. Duh. It’s religion that shouldn’t be.” On the cover of its international edition is a story that is less easily boiled down: “The Truth About Talibanistan,” about the resurgence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (and also, Pakistan), and how it’s “the next battleground of the war on terrorism.”

This isn’t the first time.  Go check the link to see these covers and the covers from Newsweek when the world read “Losing Afghanistan: The Rise of Jihadistan” and America read “Annie Leibowitz: My Life in Pictures” (while not being bothered by the troublesome lesbian parts of her life).To be fair, the international cover stories are included in the US editions… just not highlighted on the cover.  This is presumably to sell more editions in the US, which apparently means that a photographer’s biography and a fundie’s wet dream sells more NEWSweeks and TIMEs than the NEWS about TIMEly developments in one of our wars.  Who to blame, the corporations that are only trying to make a buck selling infotainment in place of news, or the American people who find Afghanistan just too boring for a supermarket aisle once-thru.

The Taliban is back in Afghanistan.  The opium production is back up and heroin profits are funding terrorist training camps.  We’re about to have the most American troops yet, 173,000, playing Whack-a-Mole™ in the middle of a civil war.

Somewhere, probably in the Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan (our nuclear warhead equipped Muslim ally… today), Osama bin Laden is laughing his ass off at how relatively easy it was to bog down the US dinosaur in the Iraqi tar pits and make them surrender so easily those freedoms he allegedly hates us for.  (That sentence was not approved by my 9th grade English teacher.  Neither is “and in this ever-changing world in which we live in”, but it made Paul McCartney a ton o’ dough.)

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