Today, when I logged to check my e-mail on AOL, I was met with a welcome screen bearing the “Top News” headline: British Lawmaker Blasts ‘Republican Lynch Mob.’” (Here’s a link to a similar article on Yahoo as not all readers can access AOL’s news page.) Yes, the headline was accurate. But, it accented the charges the “lawmaker” made against Republicans without addressing why he had been called to testify. Kind of like headlining a trial of a little-known murderer by identifying the criminal by his profession coupled with his worst insult of the prosecutor.
Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigation subcommittee, George Galloway, a Member of the British Parliament lashed out at Senators looking into the United Nations’ oil-for-food scandal where former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein paid off various international figures, including himself, “to reward them for their opposition to sanctions.” Galloway denied the accusations.
Both subcommittee chair Norm Coleman (R-MN) and ranking Democrat Carl Levin (D-MI) “questioned Galloway’s credibility.” The very Senator Levin who has often criticized the Bush Administration. No GOP partisan he. The headline only mentioned Galloway lambasting Republicans. It ignores the charges against him to focus on his attack on Republicans.
Democrats as well as Republicans question this guy’s credibility, yet AOL’s headline accents this guy’s criticism of Republicans. Without any reference to his own radical activists. Britain’s ruling Labour Party expelled him. The guy has been filmed saying to Saddam: “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength and your indefatigability.” AOL’s editors might have more accurately described this man had they modified “lawmaker” with an adjective like “extremist” or “radical” or an expression like “Saddam-supporting.”
The headline should have indicated why the Senate had invited this radical lawmaker to testify. Because that’s what the real story was–his involvement in a scandal in which Saddam paid off international figures (including him) with money that was supposed to be paying for food for the Iraqi people.
Yet, AOL delighted in his characterization of Republicans as a Lynch Mob. More eager to attack Republicans than to offer a headline which reflected the real story.
I mean, how often have AOL editors used such modifiers as “extreme,” “ultra” and “far right” to describe Republican and conservative politicians far more moderate than Mr. Galloway. AOL is increasingly beginning to resemble the MSM. If this trend continues, AOL subscribers to the right of this radical British lawmaker will increasingly be going elsewhere for our news.