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Thank CNN for the Slave Auctions in Libya

Danny Haiphong

On November 14th, CNN produced an "exclusive" report about the slave trafficking of migrants in Libya. The report detailed the devastating conditions of migrants fleeing from crisis in nations across North and East Africa. Smugglers, as CNN calls them, capture and terrorize migrants before selling them into day labor. Libyan authorities then detain the migrant laborers and repatriate them back to their nation of origin. CNN emphasizes the horror of the slave auctions with the caption "I was sold" underneath a picture of one of the migrants, Victory, whose story is told in the report.

CNN's coverage of the matter is typical of the corporate media. Zero context is given as to why the slave auctions exist in the first place. It is as if the horrors in Libya had just been discovered because of CNN’s investigative journalism. The underlying assumption of the report is that slave markets are a fetter of the past completely foreign to the enlightened audiences in the US and Western countries. Yet we have CNN to thank for the emergence of slave relations in Libya.


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