"Democracy Now" Again Misreports Nuclear Ban Treaty

Last October, I wrote the piece "'Democracy Now' Gets Nuclear Ban Vote Totally Wrong". 

This morning, again, "Democracy Now" got crucial information about the treaty wrong. The lead headline on this morning's show was: 

At the United Nations headquarters in New York, 122 countries have approved a global treaty to ban the use of nuclear weapons, despite the United States leading the opposition to the treaty.

Actually, unacknowledged in the transcript (and spliced on the current online version) is that during broadcast, Amy Goodman initially read the headline as "despite the United Nations leading the opposition to the treaty" -- and then corrected it at the end of headlines, which is somewhat darkly amusing.

But the core statement is not true [perhaps I should have written the core statement is an drastic understatement that distorts what's happening]. The treaty doesn't "ban the use of nuclear weapons" -- it bans possession. The name of the agreement is "Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons".


Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to: (a) Develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;...

"Democracy Now" should correct this and be be far more serious about reporting on the role of the U.S. government in forcing the continued possession and threatening use of nuclear weapons. 
4 responses
Well, you can't use 'em if you don't have 'em -so she's basically right. This seems like nit-picking at its finest. Certainly less egregious than the poster's comment about the U.S. "forcing the continued possession ...of nuclear weapons." Who's being forced????
It's nit-picking if you're on this side of the US's nuclear weapons arsenal and totally lacking in empathy. The US gov is violating this treaty now. We don't have to wait for it to dust someone. ... The US (with some help from other nuclear weapons hold outs and NATO members) is forcing humanity to continue under threat of nuclear destruction. US possession means Russian possession, means Chinese possession means Indian possession means Pakistani possession.
I wonder how you can violate a treaty you're not a party to. You can stop hyperventilating - no one's being forced to do anything. Pakistan could eliminate its arsenal any time they want to, but they fear the threat from India. The U.S. has nothing to do with it. Likewise the other nuclear states. The only one you can legitimately make this case about is Russia. The U.S. is involved in plenty of nefarious dealings, as everybody knows. There are plenty of REAL reasons to be outraged. You don't have to make stuff up.
If you want to be hyper technical, no one is violating this treaty since no one has become a party to it yet. US policy is abrogating the terms of this treaty now, we don't have to wait until after the US gov has nuked someplace. And of course the US is violating the crux of the NPT since that calls for good faith efforts by the nuclear powers to get rid of their nuclear weapons arsenal. The US gov is infact doing the opposite -- finding ways to modernize them and make them even more dangerous, with first strike capacities. Russia fears US, as does China -- and India fears China and possibly others and Pakistan fears India. "The U.S. has nothing to do with it" is a ridiculous statement. US first strike posture has been adopted by Russia and may be adopted by China. You might want to look at some news releases on these issues over the last few years at www.accuracy.org In terms of the appropriateness of the term "use" -- It's like gun control. If congress passed legislation saying that no one could have a hand gun and no one could use one or threaten to use one, etc -- and it was called the "Law on the Prohibition of Hand Guns" -- then don't you think it would be rather dubious journalism to just say this law was about not allowing people to "use" hand guns? People wouldn't be able to **possess hand guns. Actually, the parallel rather sells my argument short since the US has long possessed nuclear weapons without detonating them in war while hand guns are used all the time.