A Message
From the
Station Manager
Chicago - Mar. 19, 2022
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
Beachwood TV
Our monthly TV archive.
TV Towns
A Beachwood Guide.
And Then There's Maude
Our tribute to the debut season.
Favorite Channels
God TV
Gay TV
As Seen On TV
Television Without Pity
Museum Of Classic Chicago TV
TV Tropes

If You Blinked You Missed The Coverage Of The Bradley Manning Verdict

Cable news spent about five minutes on average covering the historic verdict - which was just about what they spent covering the trial itself.

"Whereas trials like George Zimmerman's or even Jodi Arias's were treated to hours of analysis, dissection and attention, the news that the man responsible for the biggest leak of classified material in American history had been hit with charges that could keep him in prison for over 100 years was deemed worthy of one, or at most two, segments during the hour following the verdict," Jack Mirkinson writes for Huffington Post.

"Corporate media coverage of the Manning trial has been utterly shameful," says Jeremy Scahill.

"He's a man who's done things that the mainstream media should have done a long time ago," says Phil Donahue.

"Every single newspaper in this country ought to be screaming - screaming - about Bradley Manning," says Michael Ratner.

That's because Manning's values embody the values that are supposed to be inherent in journalists - outrage at atrocities, a call to accountability, a demand for transparency, a crusade against deceit, and a love for democracy.


And it's not just television coverage that's been lacking, as Ratner alludes to.

"New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan noted on Monday that the paper has once again devoted less coverage to the Bradley Manning trial than other outlets," Mirkinson noted at the outset of the trial.

"Manning, who has admitted he leaked classified information to WikiLeaks, is set to start trial on Monday. He faces life in prison for his actions.

"Though the Manning story is unquestionably huge - from the details of his controversial detention to the implications of his prosecution - the Times has been criticized in the past for seemingly skimping on coverage.

"In October, Sullivan called the choice 'simply weird,' noting that Manning, through WikiLeaks, had been a huge source of news for the Times."


As for the local papers, it's even worse. The Sun-Times ran a brief - five paragraphs - about the Manning verdict on page 26.

In all, I found just one - one - article about the Manning saga in the Sun-Times ever, and that was an AP story on page 20 in 2011 titled "Sexual Orientation Of Soldier In WikiLeaks Case Raised At Hearing," according to the NewsBank database.

Online, I found only this AP story from Tuesday.

Over at the Tribune, the coverage was predictably better but also predictably rote, with far more emphasis on leaks in general and Wikileaks in particular than on the implications of the Obama administration's prosecution of the case and the treatment of Manning while in custody. (At least their story on the verdict appeared on the front page in the print edition.)

I didn't find a single editorial in either paper - though I still don't quite believe the Trib didn't ever write one.

(Meanwhile, the real reporting on Manning was being done by the likes of Kevin Gosztola, Alexa O'Brien, Xeni Jardin and even the Bradley Manning Support Network's own Nathan Fuller.)

In this case, even the advocacy reporting was more sophisticated, fair and balanced than the mainstream media's reflexive obedience to authority.

(Even the Poynter Institute is asking today: "Did The Media Drop The Ball On The Bradley Manning Trial?" Of course they did. That's what they do. Over and over and over.)

Here's what serious journalistic reports of the sort you won't get on the cable networks - or the traditional networks - look like:

I Am Bradley Manning.


Democracy Now.




And finally, here's Glenn Greenwald vs. Jeffrey Toobin on the verdict. You decide.


Comments welcome.


Posted on July 31, 2013

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter

Beachwood Radio!