« Drones, the Media and Malala’s Message »
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai’s visit to the United States was widely covered in the media, including interviews with ABC’s Diane Sawyer (10/11/13), CNN’s Christiane Amanpour (10/14/13) and Jon Stewart of the Daily Show (10/8/13). She was selected as ABC’s “Person of the Week” on October 11, and was considered a serious contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.
And for good reason; just one year ago, Malala was attacked by the Taliban for her outspoken advocacy on behalf of educational equality, surviving a an attack where she was shot in the head.
But one part of her message didn’t seem to penetrate the corporate media.
During her October 11 visit to the White House, Yousafzai told Barack Obama that his administration’s drone strikes were fueling terrorism. As McClatchy’s Lesley Clark (10/11/13) reported:
In a statement released after the meeting, Malala said she was honored to meet with Obama, but that she told him she’s worried about the effect of US drone strikes. (The White House statement didn’t mention that part.)
"I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees," she said in the statement. "I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education, it will make a big impact."
This exchange, for some reason, didn’t register in a corporate media that followed Malala’s visit, and her story, very closely.