Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 4, 2010

Collapse of news industry obvious in reports on Wounded Knee helicopters

Collapse of news industry obvious in reports on Wounded Knee helicopters
By Brenda Norrell, Narcosphere

There is no better place to document the collapse of the news industry than with the coverage of what happened when military helicopters attempted to land on sacred burial ground at Wounded Knee on Pine Ridge in South Dakota on Saturday.

The worst coverage was by the Denver Post. The reporter took a small amount of information and twisted it into his own personal crusade to write a pro-military article. It is not a news article, it is twisted pro-military hype: "Apology issued after CO guard turned away from Wounded Knee." The reporter didn't bother to contact Lakotas to see why they halted the military helicopters from landing. Does the Denver Post even have Lakota contacts on Pine Ridge other than politicians? If not, why cover the news there. The resolution passed on Monday by the Oglala Sioux Nation makes it clear that the US Military is not welcome at the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre Mass Grave.

The article by Indian Country Today is not much better. Once again, the reporter relied on only part of the information on the web and failed to contact Lakotas and report the important story of why they chased the helicopters off at Wounded Knee.

This dismal reporting was carried out by reporters who were not there. It is a symptom of the disease of the decaying industry: Newspapers rarely send reporters out to cover a story and instead rely on inaccurate, biased reporting from selective information on the web.

But even the laziest armchair journalist could have found the statements by Alex White Plume and Debra White Plume, Lakotas, beginning Saturday on the Lakotah Republic website. It takes only a minute to put the key words into an Internet search (Wounded Knee helicopters 2010.) There was also a video posted of what actually happened on Saturday.

Debra White Plume published a detailed report on the incident on Monday, with photos, and included the resolution to the Oglala Sioux Nation, which was passed on Monday.

The resolution includes these passages:

"Whereas, the United States Government has never apologized to the descendants of Chief Big Foot and his band for this atrocity committed against unarmed Prisoners of War, nor has the US ever taken responsible for their act of massacre as a violation of the 1868 Ft Laramie Treaty nor its continued violations of the 1868 Ft Laramie Treaty, nor were the Oglala Lakota people consulted to determine if bringing in the US Military would be received as conducive to heal the trauma caused by the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.
Whereas, all Lakota People have great respect Chief Big Foot and his people and for the tragedy that was enacted upon them in one of the world's most shameful acts ever committed and believe that their Memory must be honored and treated with the utmost respect, including the place where they lie buried in the Wounded Knee Mass Grave.
Whereas, the United States Military arrived at the Wounded Knee Mass Grave on May 1, 2010 in three Military Transport Helicopters that held 40 and more members of the Armed Services of the US without the free, prior, informed consent of the Oglala Lakota people and thus were prevented from landing.
Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Oglala Sioux Tribe will take every action to see that the United States Reclaims the Twenty Medals of Honor from the 7th Calvary for their role in the Massacre at Wounded Knee, to remove any recognition the US Military bestows to its entities for the Massacre at Wounded Knee, and to obtain the return of personal items taken from Lakota people at the 1890 Massacre.
Therefore Be It Further Resolved, that the Oglala Sioux Tribe, its members, any entity, organization, or resident on the Pine Ridge Reservation will not allow the United States Military from this time forward to come anywhere near the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre Mass Grave in order to demonstrate Honor and Respect for the Lakota people buried there, and to ensure a peaceful, nonviolent, weapon-free zone for the Mass Gravesite area."
Resolution at:
Meanwhile, there was one exception to the horrible news coverage, and it is a good one. Reporter Steve Young at the Argus Leader in South Dakota actually contacted Lakotas halting the helicopters and told their stories, in the article "Wounded Knee landing called insult to memories."

The statements by the White Plumes, photos and video of what happened at Wounded Knee on Saturday are posted at Censored News: The video of the press conference by Oglala President Theresa Two Bulls, explaining who invited the military, is also posted.

Also see: Lakotah Republic, 'Counting Coup: Lakota Citizens Stop Helicopters from Landing at Wounded Knee'

1 comment:

Lisa Ritchie said...

After reading "Joey's" article, I called his editor "Chuck"...Chuck couldn't grasp my complaints. His excuse was that Theresa Twobulls never returned Joey's phone calls requesting that she further explain herself....AS THOUGH SHE DIDN'T FULLY EXPLAIN HERSELF in the LENGTHY press conference that is posted on youtube to review and re-review, or her written press statement. Joey and Chuck, what a team, sigh.