Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Mess O'Potamia, again

Another must-read article - this time from Doug Ireland in LA Weekly to remind us about the U.S. media's desultory role in explaining what's really going on in Iraq. He recommends (as have many, many others) that Americans:

    Spend a week watching the news broadcasts and TV magazines of the BBC, France2 and Deutsche Welle, all available on many U.S. cable systems. The footage of dead Iraqi babies and children — victims of U.S. attacks on "terrorists" — that you will regularly see on European public television is rarely aired on U.S. networks. The regular interviews in Iraqi hospitals with doctors recounting the slaughter of the innocents that show up on European news broadcasts aren’t often seen on the all-news cable networks here, let alone on the Big Three broadcast nets’ newscasts.

I'm sorry; I don't like giving the U.S. media such a hard time without a break, but given their horrible track record to date, it's really hard to find someting positive to say about the coverage. What's more, many on the right are also consistently critical about war coverage, though for different reasons. This contributes to a toxic ennvironment where some erstwhile neocon supporters of the war such as William F. Buckley have come out against the war, while the National Review's William Kristol, is increasingly critical of the way the war's being fought by its sponsors (e.g., Don Rumsfeld). It's interesting to note that the latest round of Rumsfeld-bashing only emerged after a planned and controlled "pseudo-event" (a Rumsfeld pep talk to the troops) took an unexpected turn when a soldier decided to ignore the script. Just for once we got to see something real in a war that is incessantly scripted for U.S. public consumption. You can bet that we won't be allowed to see that scene played out again on TV - not if Rove et al have anything to do with it. And the media will go along, as always.


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