Like an individual, it is important for a society to accurately perceive how others see it. Without a realistic perception, a society might make decisions not warranted by the facts.
It is the news media’s responsibility to help a society see itself accurately. Or at least realistically.
On December 9, 1982, the United Nations General Assembly voted three times on resolutions concerning nuclear testing.
Two of the resolutions, both opposed by the United States, would ban testing nuclear weapons but not nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes; the votes were 124 to 2 with 19 abstentions and 114 to 4 with 26 abstentions.
The third resolution called for a treaty outlawing all nuclear blasts.
It was overwhelmingly adopted by a vote of 111 to 1 with 35 abstentions.
The United States alone voted against the rest of the world.
(Kenneth L. Adelman defended the U.S. vote saying the resolution would not reduce the nuclear threat. Adelman, of course, is the gentleman currently accused of lying to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when it was considering his nomination by President Reagan to head the nation’s Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.)
Our country’s lonely and unpopular stand in the United Nations should have been widely publicized by the media; such attention might have become the basis for reconsideration of our position on the nuclear testing question. Further, it might have helped us see ourselves as others see us.
New York Times, 12/10/82, “U.N., in 3 Votes, Asks Ban on Nuclear ear Arms Tests,” by Eric Pace.