Footnotes of an America United

There were these footnotes to the story of America's war on  terrorism.

Iran's news agency, IRNA, reports that the Taliban is  challenging President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to a duel  with Kalashnikov rifles.  

The news agency quotes Taliban foreign minister  Ahmed Mutawakll as saying,  "The Americans have launched  propaganda that Mullah Omar has gone into hiding, so I will propose that Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush to take Kalashnikovs and come to a specified place where  Mullah Omar will appear with the Kalashnikovs to determine as to who will  run."

The foreign minister acknowledged that Omar, "changes places  because of security."

Reuters, the British-based news agency which refuses to let its reporters and editors refer to the September 11th atrocities as "terrorism" does apparently permit opposition to the United States to be referred to as "holy war."

In a dispatch (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Washington and Kabul, two Reuters staffers  Monday wrote, "a hard-line Pakistani Islamic party said on Monday  that thousands of pro-Taliban fighters had crossed into Afghanistan, armed  with rocket launchers and swords, to wage holy war against the United  States."

Over at ABC News, where the wearing of American flag lapel pins is banned,  Peter Jennings and his team have devoted far more time to coverage of  civilian casualties in Afghanistan than of its broadcast network  competitors.

 A media research center says that from October 8th to the end  of the month, ABC's "World News Tonight" devoted 15 minutes and 44 seconds,  that's about 2/3 of the newscast, to Afghan civilian casualties, which was  nearly twice NBC's eight minutes, and 9 seconds and almost four times CBS'  four minutes and seven seconds.

An article in the Los Angeles Times notes that American journalism did  not have the free access to Allied missions during World War II that some  have claimed.  Indeed, according to Robert Lichter and Trevor Butterworth of the Center for Media and Public Affairs, World War II reporters had to join the armed forces and wear uniforms in order to be accredited, and many actually trained with the troops. Their reports were subject to censorship.

And during the Korean War, where there was no censorship at first,  reporters inadvertently revealed so much sensitive information that they actually pleaded with General Douglas Macarthur to impose censorship, and supported the decision when he did.