Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai Attacks Censored on CNN, Deepok Chopra's Comments Cut Off

Photo of Taj Mahal Hotel taken by Rubaljain (Flickr)

I watched excitedly as I heard Deepok Chopra explain the attacks on Mumbai on CNN International. Then CNN abruptly cut Chopra off. It was an overt display of censorship. Chopra was merely speaking the truth.

Last I heard, we live in a democracy. I thought that freedom of the press and speech were cornerstones of our democracy. It is what differentiates us from living under a totalitarian regime.

Mumbai Street, Pan-African News Wire (Flickr)

Our press is controlled more and more by the dictates of the advertisers. The Chopra interview aired on Wednesday night, November 26th was proof enough for me. I can just picture the CNN executives wringing their hands as calls from advertisers began pouring into the studio during the interview. I imagine executives ordered some producer to yell in the journalist's ear piece, "Cut Chopra off now!"

Mumbai Carnage, Pan-African News Wire (Flickr)

It is up to us, the viewers, to demand the truth. Until we do, the advertisers will keep controlling what the press are brave enough to report. I seriously wonder if these executives ever took a journalism class. A class that perhaps discussed the evils of censorship. I bet they all have degrees in marketing. This is wrong on so many different levels.

I encourage all of you to send an email to CNN comments and ask why they cut this interview off.

Photo of Deepok Chopra taken by Yodel Anecdotal (Flickr)

Here is a transcript of the CNN interview with Deepok Chopra.

Chopra: What we have seen in Mumbai has been brewing for a long time, and the war on terrorism and the attack on Iraq compounded the situation. What we call "collateral damage" and going after the wrong people actually turns moderates into extremists, and that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in Bombay. Now the worst thing that could happen is there's a backlash on the Muslims from the fundamental Hindus in India, which then will perpetuate the problem. Inflammation will create more inflammation.

CNN: Let me jump in on that because you're presuming something very important, which is that it's Muslims who have carried out these attacks and, in some cases, with Washington in their sights.

Chopra: Ultimately the message is always toward Washington because it's also the perception that Washington, in their way, directly or indirectly funds both sides of the war on terror. They fund our side, then our petrol dollars going to Saudi Arabia through Pakistan and ultimately these terrorist groups, which are very organized. You know Jonathan, it takes a lot of money to do this. It takes a lot of organization to do this. Where's the money coming from, you know? The money is coming from the vested interests. I'm not talking about conspiracy theories, but what happens is, our policies, our foreign policies, actually perpetuate this problem. Because, you know, 25% of the world's population is Muslim and they're the fastest growing segment of the population of the world. The more we alienate the Muslim population, the more the moderates are likely to become extremists.

CNN: I hope you're - you've -

This is where the interview is cut off. No segue like, "we have to stop for a commercial break." Nothing. The journalist does say, "Indian physician and philosopher, Deepok Chopra."


Anonymous said...

here is a video of the interview in its entirety:

And it does make quite clear...Chopra remains a moron

US foreign policy sucks...but it can't be blamed for every last evil in the world...The people who did these things in Mumbai were coldblooded killers and there can be no justification for their actions!

Also, Chopra is a moron.

Mary Cuevas said...

Hi Anonymous,
I do not condone any act of terrorism. I do agree with Chopra that we must look at our foreign policy in the region. We must look at the history.

Thank you for your comments.