Tuesday, November 08, 2005

War on Terror--Discuss!

Does the unelected Fourth Estate have too much power*? Stephen Green thinks if we lose the War on Terror, we'll lose it because of the mainstream media.

Today, too many reporters report from the relative safety of Baghdad hotels. Their reports – and the public's understanding of the war – have suffered as a result. And too few of the original embeds remain reporting for duty. When reporters who don't see what going on write stories without context, they fail to steel the public for bad news and to put the good news in perspective.

It's fair to ask if the Iraq Campaign was a necessary component to the Terror War. It isn't fair to compare Iraq to Vietnam, when the two wars have nothing, zero, nada in common. It's fair to ask if our soldiers are dying in vain, or because of stupid policy, or because of inferior equipment. It's not fair to run headlines like "Battle Deaths Continue to Mount." No shit, Sherlock? A real story would be, "Battle Deaths Decline as Fallen Soldiers Miraculously Resurrected." It's fair to question Bush's policies. It's not fair to act as a conduit for enemy propaganda. It's fair to ask if Iraq is draining resources from our efforts in Afghanistan. It's not fair to complain that Afghanistan isn't perfect yet. It's fair to complain about indecencies at Abu Ghraib. It's not fair to virtually ignore atrocities committed by the other side everywhere else in Iraq.

But our media, aware of their power but ignorant as to its uses, would rather play "gotcha" than provide critical perspective.


Criticism isn't just necessary, it's a necessary good. But the MSM needs to relearn constructive criticism, and they need to remember which country defends their rights, and which group of people would gleefully slit their throats4.
Actually, Stephen, journalists are from the country Journalia (accent on the first a); should something happen to a journalist overseas, the National Association of Broadcasters dispatches an ambassador to plead for their citizen's safe return. What leverage the NAB has, I don't know, but then, I'm not from that country.

*Is it fair of me to make the MSM analogous to a branch of government and point out that they are unelected? After all, we can always elect to turn off the television, cancel our subscription and try to find news another way.

(Note: updated for better headline.)


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