Instapundit has a good link round-up covering the New Republic/Scott Beauchamp story.
(UPDATE: Paul at Wizbang: Be on the lookout for the “Fake But True” defense from the left. – Always a crowd pleaser.)
It’s amazing how the media is so quick to fall for these fake stories. Everyone, of course, is predisposed to believe things that agree with their existing beliefs, and while some will say “the media should do better” I simply use it as another example of why I think the media is what it is.
Large parts of the media and probably even larger parts of the media leadership believe that the campaign in Iraq is lost, that we’re doing more harm than good, and that US troops are the mindless victims of a runaway George Bush. When someone has a story that disagrees with that, they’re skeptical. But when the story reinforces what they already beleive to be the truth, they don’t feel the same amount of skepticsm. Or act on it if they do.
Sure, there are all sorts of biases out there, and all sorts of people work for the media. So why does this kind of thing only seem to go one direction? From Back Talk:
By way of comparison, who are the conservative reporters who are torpedoing their own careers by fabricating stories about Clinton or Reid or Pelosi? I can’t really think of any. The only conservative reporter who comes to mind is an extremely minor one by the name of Jeff Gannon whose “offense” was to ask a softball question of Bush during a press conference. If liberal reporters were similarly slimed for asking questions of an opposite nature (i.e., questions designed to make Bush look bad), we would not have a White House Press corps.
Career-ending journalistic insanity — mostly attributable to the war in Iraq — appears to be almost exclusively a phenomenon of the left.
The American press that flooded in for the kinetic fighting in Baqubah left when the shooting stopped. Their interest waned for covering these aspects of counterinsurgency. They were gone and missing the real story.
Back in April, I noted that Legacy Media seems to have suddenly discovered Baqubah. That was late in the “prepping the battlespace” phase of things, and as long as US troops were getting killed it was newsworthy. But once the shooting died down and the mission began to reach its payoff of improved security the cameras disappeared. You can bet that if insurgents or terrorists pop up in the area again, though, that those cameras will be back.
What if news organiztions only covered school openings, new army battalions entering service, and happy Iraqi residents that were glad to have US troops in town? What if they ignored enemy propoganda, glossed over the shaky situation in the Iraqi government, and hushed reports of civilian deaths or military casualties? Would they be considered biased? You bet they would. So why do so many insist insist insist that current coverage is fair and unbiased?
Despite all their efforts though, the media isn’t able to stop all the good stories all the time: Latest poll shows growing support for aspect of Iraq war policy:
In the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, taken Friday through Sunday, the proportion of those who said the additional troops are “making the situation better” rose to 31% from 22% a month ago. Those who said it was “not making much difference” dropped to 41% from 51%.
About the same number said it was making things worse: 24% now, 25% a month ago.
The numbers are sill not great, but someone seems to understand that something’s working.