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Currently, I am a Fellow for the Entrepreneurship for Good Program (Future of Audio Entertainment Challenge) at The DO School. I am a media professional, social entrepreneur and storyteller who experiments with media and art to document life, and I have worked with nonprofits, governments and campaigns internationally. I have an M.Sc. in Social & Cultural Anthropology from the London School of Economics & Political Science.
The recent demise of Bush Sr. has been covered in the U.S. media with grand tribute and the nation has even declared his funeral a national day of mourning (which hasn’t happened since the death of Gerald Ford), announcing a closure of many federal institutions and parts of the financial sector.
For one of the leaders of the U.S., words of appreciation are expected. But what Mehdi Hasan points out in this episode of Deconstructed is the over-laudatory speech in regard to a deceased leader's legacy which should be reassessed, especially from the media.
Glenn Greenwald, who joins Hasan, agrees, mentioning the responsibility journalists have in presenting a fair and complete view of a human as he or she truly was, without propping them as an infallible icon.
That’s why I’m going to continue to defend the right to have these discussions at exactly the time that they’re most needed, which is when the propaganda and hagiography are being constructed. What really is being demanded is that we all submit to historical revisionism — that a false narrative about history and politics be permitted to be erected without challenge or dissent. And the fact that journalists of all people are leading the way in making that demand is deeply corrupt and offensive.
Although Bush had a hand in notable causes such as ending the Cold War, supporting the Americans with Disabilities Act, and standing up to the gun and Pro-Israel lobbyists, he was also guilty of the killing of thousands of Iraqi civilians, covering up the Iran-Contra scandal, "funding death squads" in Central America, and condoning racism through the Willie Horton ad. In addition, he was the man who uttered this line: "I’ll never apologize for the United States of America, ever. I don’t care what the facts are" in response to the attack on an aircraft and the subsequent deaths of 290 Iranian civilians, including 66 children, during the Iran-Iraq War.
Therefore, as journalists, let's not forget our leaders are only human, too.