I saw this yesterday, and it’s been popping up all over the blogosphere. Jim Marshall (D-GA) went to Iraq to see with his own eyes.
I’m afraid the news media are hurting our chances. They are dwelling upon the mistakes, the ambushes, the soldiers killed, the wounded, the Blumbergs. Fair enough. But it is not balancing this bad news with “the rest of the story,” the progress made daily, the good news. The falsely bleak picture weakens our national resolve, discourages Iraqi cooperation and emboldens our enemy.
And this guy’s a DEMOCRAT, for Pete’s sake.
It’s often said, when someone notes that disasters and tragedies are always the lead item on the news, that good news usually isn’t NEWS. I think it was Andy Rooney (long ago) that said we wouldn’t watch a news report about no planes crashing at O’Hare. We wouldn’t be interested in a story about orange farmers in Florida if the oranges just hung there on the trees and grew without a spot of frost in sight.
Well, we’d be interested in that if it happened in Iraq.
Kids going to school? News. No suicide bombers? News. No US service men killed by guerillas today? News. A local council cleans up the town? News. Someone flips a light switch and the light comes on? News. Today’s “Raped By Uday Count at ZERO“? News. Newspapers are publishing? News.
Except for the Scrappleface peice, why aren’t we seeing this? I mean, even the Iraqis know when some in the media are making as much (or more) trouble than they’re helping.
During the conventional part of this conflict, embedded journalists reported the good, the bad and the ugly. Where are the embeds now that we are in the difficult part of the war, now that fair and balanced reporting is critically important to our chances of success? At the height of the conventional conflict, Fox News alone had 27 journalists embedded with U.S. troops (out of a total of 774 from all Western media). Today there are only 27 embedded journalists from all media combined.
I think we should have more media on the ground over there covering the day-by-day events. I think, as media consumers, we should demand it from our vendors. It seems to me that someone could make themselves a break by committing resources to daily on-the-spot coverage in Iraq. They could get something that others didn’t have. The others would have to make similar commitments or fall behind by a couple of points.
I’m amazed that, almost to a person, everyone coming back to America from Iraq points out all the good that’s going on over there and how the media is distorting a lot of it. But no one is calling the big media out on this.
We get the government we deserve? Maybe. But we CERTAINLY get the media we deserve. For all the talk about the “higher calling” of news reporting, the companies that own the reporters are in it to make money. We vote for our news with our dollars.
I’m not saying “more coverage.” I’m not saying “conservative coverage.” I’m just saying “better coverage.”