13 April 2011

CNN Title Gaffe: Côte d'Ivoire Edition


Playing into simple narratives and broad strokes with a headline.  To be fair, the article itself is pretty good except for the fact that it neglects to mention that Sen Inhofe has been a cheerleader for Gbagbo.
Though he emerged in the Western media as the good versus Gbagbo's evil, Ouattara, too, has been accused of having blood on his hands. 
Human Rights Watch published a scathing report Saturday about abuses perpetrated by pro-Ouattara forces on their offensive to Abidjan. People interviewed by the monitoring agency "described how, in village after village, pro-Ouattara forces summarily executed and raped perceived Gbagbo supporters in their homes, as they worked in the fields, as they fled or as they tried to hide in the bush. Ouattara should fulfill his public pledge to investigate and prosecute abuses by both sides if Côte d'Ivoire is to emerge from this horrific period," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. 
In the United States, Ouattara's critics questioned his right to rule. "It is now clear, based on U.N. reports coming from Cote d'Ivoire, that mass killings have occurred at the hands of Alassane Ouattara," Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, said earlier this month. "This calls into question his legitimacy to lead that country," said Inhofe, who has visited Ivory Coast nine times and made no secret of his support for Gbagbo. "Ouattara is on a rampage, killing innocent civilians, and he must be stopped before this becomes another Rwanda." 
Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson said Ouattara's moment in the spotlight could quickly dim without adequate investigations into the abuse allegations against forces loyal to him.
"Mr. Ouattara should also be investigated because of the evidence that his troops did commit rapes and abuse en route to Abidjan," said Robertson, a former president of the U.N. special court for Sierra Leone.
The writer recognizes the simplicity of the good vs. evil narrative, but it is seemingly ignored by her editors.  Are they aware that the title used undermines the point of the article?

HT Wronging Rights

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