How did newspapers around the world react to the events in America this past year? Host Bob Garfield asks Alice Chasan, editor of World Press Review.
Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048, 2nd mvt.
World Press Since 9/11
September 6, 2002
BOB GARFIELD: In recent weeks we have read over and over about the outrage among America's Western European allies against what they see as Bush administration unilateralism in its war footing with Iraq and about the effect on an increasingly fragile anti-terror coalition. But Western Europe isn't the whole world, so we asked our friend Alice Chasan, editor of World Press Review, to survey her correspondents for an assessment, one year into the war on terrorism, about how American policy is playing in the media outside the developed world. She joins us now. Alice, a chorus of anguish, I gather.
ALICE CHASAN: What I saw in, in country after country was this kind of concern that the war against terrorism was going to have an effect on their own well being or in fact that they had been ignored by the United States because priorities had radically shifted in the post-September 11th environment.
BOB GARFIELD: So they say all politics is local. All reverberations to even watershed historical events turn out to be local as well.
ALICE CHASAN:Well that certainly does seem to be the case. What we saw this time was that there were surprising kinds of reactions. In Latin America there's been anger in recent months that the economic downturn in the Americas has taken a back seat to security concerns on the part of the Bush administration. In Africa, for instance, our Kenya correspondent told us that Kenyans, although they had, again, great sympathy of the United States, were worried that this war against terrorism was being brought to their own back yard because Somalia and Kenya itself were both named by various Bush administration officials as potentially harboring Al Qaeda.
BOB GARFIELD:You mentioned the resentment in Latin America. You specified Argentina and Brazil, saying that they feel abandoned by the administration. Are there any particularly trenchant editorials along those lines?
ALICE CHASAN: Just last week, IstoE, which is a weekly news magazine in Brazil showed George Bush as a vampire on its cover, and behind him was a map of the world with puncture wounds in it in various locations indicating that the Bush administration was sucking the lifeblood out of Latin America -- Brazil, to be specific --and then another set of puncture wounds in South/Central Asia, so IstoE is a perfect example of a magazine that last September and October and November was quite sympathetic toward the United States and now the Brazilian press is filled with angry editorials about the fact that the United States has abandoned them.
BOB GARFIELD: Are, are you saying that it's just a year after September 11th -- around the world a return to the status quo?
ALICE CHASAN:In many respects countries, as they are seen through the prism of their newspapers and magazines, have returned to the status quo ante but there's still tremendous conflict in the press, because whether you're talking about the Shining Path guerillas in Peru or the ETA in Spain or the Abu Sayef in the Philippines -- virtually I every re-- part of the world countries are no strangers to random violence from terroristic acts. But on the other hand there's tremendous frustration, consternation, bewilderment, anger at the Bush administration.
BOB GARFIELD: All right. Alice Chasan, as always, thank you very much.
ALICE CHASAN: Thank you, Bob.
BOB GARFIELD: Alice Chasan is editor of World Press Review.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Up next, what the victims' families took from the media; a debate over press freedom post 9/11; and the American Brand.