When I checked my e-mail this afternoon, I saw this:
Kayvan Sabehgi, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is in intensive care with a lacerated spleen after being beaten by police close to the Occupy Oakland camp.
Sabehgi, 32, is the second Iraq war veteran to be hospitalised following involvement in Oakland protests. Another protester, Scott Olsen, suffered a fractured skull on 25 October.
From his hospital bed, Sabehgi told the UK’s Guardian newspaper he had been walking alone along 14th Street in central Oakland, and not in the area where most clashes were happening, when he was attacked by a group of cops in front of him. They told him to move, even though there was no place to where he could move; then, as he asked one of them “Why are you doing this?” another one came up and hit him in his arm and legs and back with his baton, after which he was gang-tackled, arrested, and thrown into a jail where he spent the night curled up on the floor of his cell in horrific vomit-inducing pain, without any medical treatment until after bail was made for him late Thursday afternoon and he still couldn’t stand up, much less walk out of his filthy cell.
I then turned on CBS News to see if they’d have anything on this poor gentleman. No, they did not. Instead, they had a story on how the “black bloc” crowd was trying to “hijack” the protests.
I then checked the front pages of Google and Yahoo. Nothing on Google, and a link to this story from the British news agency Reuters with the link header making it sound like Sabeghi was somehow at fault. (See the screen shots above for proof.) I checked Google News and found (as the third accompanying screen shot shows) that the cites were composed of the Guardian article, the Reuters article, an Al Jazeera story and a Russia Today story, and local Bay Area TV news source KGO:
Not a single major American media source with a nationwide focus and a large viewership or listenership could be bothered to stop their preoccupation with broken windows to care about a man’s broken body — much less to notice that he was the second Iraq war vet to be injured nearly to death by the Oakland cops, and but one of dozens of innocents who got shot with rubber bullets, beaten, gassed, and flash-banged, often apparently as they were trying to stop the black-bloc types.
Hey, US mainstream media! If you wonder why we don’t trust you, now you know.
(UPDATE: Oh, this really takes the cake. According to Greg Mitchell at The Nation, it was The Guardian, a UK paper, that broke the Sabeghi story. I understand this to mean that they even beat out the local Bay Area media, and from what I’ve seen of the timestamps, I think he’s right. If he is, that shows that the US “mainstream” media is even more pathetically bad and compromised than I thought.)
(UPDATE 2: Turns out that one Bay Area TV station had the story before anyone else, beating the Guardian by three hours. Still, the Guardian beat every American nationally-oriented newspaper, as well as every American national-reach radio or TV news network. That says something about American media, and it’s not a good message.)