Condi’s Hypocrisy in Sudan

I heard about this on the NPR this morning, and I honestly couldn’t believe my ears, but apparently it’s true:
US officials and press accompanying US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on a trip to Sudan said they were "manhandled" by security staff at President Omar al-Beshir's residence.

US officials said the security men tried to prevent them and the press from entering the meeting, and tried to confiscate tapes from a National Public Radio reporter, before Rice's spokesman Sean McKormack and others intervened.

Jim Wilkinson, senior adviser to Rice, said he was grabbed and thrown against the wall at the entrance to the residence before he bulled his way through with Rice's personal assistant in tow behind him.


When the second press group finally entered for a photo op with Rice and Beshir, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell tried to ask a question about why Khartoum should be believed in its promises to crack down on militias in its western Darfur region, but she was cut off and pushed away by the Sudanese.

Wilkinson again angrily intervened, and said "don't ever touch our journalists again".

An enraged Rice came to talk to the press on the plane before taking off for the restive region of Darfur and apologised to Mitchell, saying she was demanding an immediate apology from the Sudanese.

"They had no right to manhandle my staff and the press," Rice said. "It makes me very angry to be sitting there with their president and have this happen."
The way that the press was treated is an unbelievable outrage—and I’m glad that Rice got pissed about it in no uncertain terms.

But the thing that bothers me is why she is outraged about the way the Sudanese government tries to block the press from doing its job in Sudan and not outraged about the stonewalling and manipulation of the press going on in America. Is it really so much worse to have reporters physically intimidated and stopped from doing their jobs than to covertly threaten them with lack of access, refuse to answer questions based on a ludicrous premise (see: “ongoing investigation”) that wasn’t applicable when the administration wanted to defend its members but is now of prime concern since its members have been implicated in a criminal act, and misdirect the press with diversionary leaks of bad information? What about paying the press to write favorable stories about the administration’s policies? What about letting gay male prostitutes with dubious journalistic credentials into the press corps to lob softball questions when things get hot? Don’t any of these things bother Rice?

Or would those things only be a problem if it weren’t her husband a member of her party in office?

Pam’s on it, too.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus