1
   

News Coverage of Iraq. How Fair Is Your Deal?

 
 
PDiddie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 11:16 am
Great column about the media here:

Lest there be any doubt that the administration expects such loyalty and devotion from the embeds, observe how Pentagon officials respond when anything off-agenda slips through the net. Last weekend, Donald Rumsfeld appeared on NBC's Meet the Press and was asked for his reaction to a photograph of the arrested GI who is suspected of having killed a fellow soldier and injured 15 others.

"You know, it's interesting," Rummy said, in his menacing way. "Here we have permitted press people to be embedded with the overwhelming majority of our elements - air, land, and sea. And so what happens is we see an image like that." The clear implication was that the airing of such a photograph constituted not just disloyalty, but ingratitude.

And more about the tearful anchors:

In America, we get Peter Jennings choking up while talking to a POW's mother on the phone. And Aaron Brown turning moist about almost everything. The other night, while examining pictures of the GI suspected of killing a fellow soldier, Mr Brown, my least favourite man on American television, pressed his lips together and pinched his nose in a manly grimace of repressed emotion.

"It's just an unsettling thing, General," he said. "I mean there's so - you know what - OK." He broke off here, to cough back tears. "There's just - there's just so much at stake for so many people. And then to have this sort of thing happen ... it's just so sad."

CNN's military consultant, General Wesley Clark, gazed at Brown's quivering nostrils with ill-concealed embarrassment. I was praying that he would tell Brown to pull himself together but alas, he took pity on the big girl's blouse. "It is unsettling," he agreed, in the manner of a kindly uncle comforting a hysterical child. "But you know, our leaders have to be able to deal with things like this. These things do happen."
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 11:21 am
Australia has only got 2000 troops there. Our media is desperate to know if they firing they're weapons and if they're killing anyone!!!
0 Replies
 
Vietnamnurse
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 12:09 pm
The lies about the "taking of Basra" by coalition forces...Robert Fisk tells us what he has seen:

http://truthout.org/docs_03/033003D.shtml
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2003 11:32 pm
vnn

Yes, thank you.
0 Replies
 
PDiddie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 05:20 pm
"To me, this is the real deal, this is a real live war, and we should be both awed and simultaneously scared," says Peter Fish, who composed CBS's war music.

Fox News creative director Richard O'Brien explains his network's battle melody: "The other networks, they always go for that John Williams, big, grand stuff, but our music is always pointedly more aggressive. I feel the sound of Fox News Channel has branded us more than the look has.

"It's rock-influenced, for sure."

Philadelphia Inquirer
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 05:35 pm
Took a look at the front pages of the international papers in the shop today:

Die Zeit, Germany:

Quote:
Krieg in den Trummern des Rechts [War among the ruins of law]
[picture of fearful-looking soldier]
Das Feuer, die Angst - Tagebuch aus Bagdad [The fire, the fear - Bagdad diary]


Le Monde, France:

Quote:
La guerre imprevue du Pentagon [The war the Pentagon didn't foresee]
[sarcastic cartoon]


Le Figaro, France:

Quote:
Bush sous le feu de la critique [Bush under the fire of criticisms]
[picture of coffin of US soldier]


The Observer, UK:

Quote:
Day the war came home
[picture of coffin of British soldier]


The Sunday Times, UK:

Quote:
Iraqi suicide bomber kills four as Saddam threatens war in UK
[picture of coffin British soldier]


The Independent, UK:

Quote:
Under fire: the architects of war. Growing resentment of British 'liberators'


The Guardian, UK:

Quote:
War tacticsa split is denied by US
[picture of US soldier - his helmet says: "Kill 'em all"]


De Telegraaf, Netherlands:

Quote:
Rumsfeld onder vuur [Rumsfeld under fire]


De Volkskrant, Netherlands:

Quote:
Opmars vertraagd, strijd gaat door [Advances slowed down, struggle continues]


Trouw, Netherlands:

Quote:
Harde kritiek op stretegie Rumsfeld [Harsh criticism of Rumsfeld strategies]
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 05:51 pm
nimh
All those papers reflect the attitudes of the Europeans and will speak and show the war and Americans in the worst possible light. These very same nations at the same time are clamoring for a piece of the pie of reconstruction. Especially the brave and valorous French.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 05:58 pm
The most recent national poll in Mexico about war and journalism:

Do you think war information transmited by Mexican television is impartial or favors one of the parties in conflict? Who does it favor?

Impartial 69%
Favors US-GB 19%
Favors Iraq 2%
dk/nr 8%

Do you think war information transmited by American television is impartial or favors one of the parties in conflict? Who does it favor?*

Impartial 38%
Favors US-GB 57%
Favors Iraq 0%
dk/nr 5%

*question asked to the 44% of the population with access, via border, cable or satellite, to American TV stations

Do you think TV should transmit all kinds of war images, or should it not transmit images that are too strong?

Transmit everything 40%
Not strong images 55%
dk/nr 5%


Do you think television should transmit images of prisoners of war or should it censor them, according to international treatises on human rights?

Transmit them 46%
Censor them 49%
dk/nr 5%


Do you think freedom of expression should be respected or should be limited in cases of war?

Should be respected 80%
Should be limited 15%
dk/nr 5%
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 06:22 pm
au1929 wrote:
nimh
All those papers reflect the attitudes of the Europeans


They reflect not so much the attitudes, but rather the perceptions of the Europeans, if that's not too finicky a nuance, but yes, indeed, that's exactly what I wanted to show. This is what we see.

Not because we necessarily want to see "the Americans in the worst possible light". The UK and the Netherlands, from which two countries most of the headlines I quoted hail, have strong pro-Atlantic traditions, and have no reason to be a priori anti-American. But this is what we see happening in the war, this is what we get from it. This is what our media show us; and the media in turn reflect what the popular perceptions are.

It's probably true that the way the US and the UK governments have pushed this war through against the will of "our" public opinion and that of some of the main European governments, has made both media and public opinion distrustful from the start, and thus they will quickly pick up on news that will bear out their suspicions.

On the other hand you can say that media here get more of a chance to report objectively, because, barring in the UK, they are not constrained by the expectation of having to behave 'patriotically', nor are they confronted with government pressure to report in a 'responsible' way, and leave out specific news items on request, refrain from asking certain critical questions (at the peril of never getting the chance to ask a question at one of the govt briefings again), etc.

One thing is clear: more than ever, we live in different worlds. If this is the news in the kiosks here today, you can imagine just how incredulously we eye these US headlines of tonight:

Quote:
BAGHDAD SHAKEN BY BOMBS (Fox)
Pentagon: Some Iraqi elite forces cut in half (CNN)
U.S. Hits Republican Guard (ABC News)
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 06:24 pm
fbaezer

Do you think freedom of expression should be respected or should be limited in cases of war?

I am curious what is this asking and or referring to?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 06:39 pm
The Independent wrote:

MoD tactics 'are putting unembedded journalists' lives at risk'

British journalists covering the war in Iraq said yesterday their lives were being put at risk because the Ministry of Defence has decided to hinder correspondents who are not attached to its units. [..]

"My job is to make your lives as difficult as possible. You will get no help whatsoever," a senior army spokesman allegedly told one group of journalists. [..] While individual officers in combat zones in southern Iraq have continued this tradition, they admit they are under orders to deny assistance to non-pool or "unilateral" journalists. [..]

It seems that Washington and London are not keen for their actions to be scrutinised by journalists outside their control and whose reports are not subject to censorship by "media minders". The behaviour of officers is, according to a number of senior correspondents, putting lives at risk. [..]


Full story at http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=392439
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 06:39 pm
Au, several of the questions refer to values, to what does a society give pre-eminence.

In the case of this poll, it's obvious that the opinion is quite divided about touchy human issues, such as strong images (the corpses of American soldiers or badly wounded civilian children crying) or the pre-eminence of International Law versus the right to be fully informed.
At the same time, there is clear-cut majority who puts forward a concept: "freedom of expression" over other aspects involved in a war, taking also into account that "freedom of expression" is something that surpasses the media.

For the Mexican public, the choice is not that hard, since we are not at war.
I understand there are other considerations in the minds of many Americans, such as national security and the safety of the troops. While I can see those reasons are valid -and therefore, agree that vital strategic information should be withheld- I don't agree in limiting other forms of expression (or in trying to give a "clean" "optimistic" view of the war).
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 10:14 pm
nimh

Thanks for the Independent piece...and it comes as little surprise indeed. Embedding allows a very high level of control of information flow, which is the goal.

And, to speak to Au's understanding of those European news items as anti-American or 'showing in worst light'...that isn't my perception of those items at all. They are critical, but mildly so.

To posit that these headlines, and the sentiments broadly shared outside the US (and with many inside), are merely some species of knee-jerk anti-Americanism is a shallow and foolhardy denial of something quite profound and important.

There is no precedent, to my knowledge, of this abrupt decline in worldwide sentiment towards the US. This is not the product of Sadaam's good PR. It's not the continuation of some vast anti-American sentiment which existed previously. It IS the consequence of THIS ADMINISTRATION'S drive to war and it's arrogant, sanctimonious, bullying route there. And it's the consequence of the justifiable fears that these guys want to do serial invasions. When before has so much of the world held the US to be a dangerous threat to world peace?
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 11:08 pm
Even though media in the middle east don't give a balanced view of the war anymore than the US press does, it is having a direct impact on the attitudes that are growing in the middle east. To me, this is the other side of gross imbalance in reporting on the war. The media influences miillions who believe what they read and see, inflaming readers on both sides.

The real tragedy is that the administration, if it had any diplomatic experience, would have known the US would be vilified and the attitudes in the middle east would harden against us, if we went in without the UN Security Council's unamimous vote. The irresponsibility of the media will continue to inflame passions, but the ultimate responsibility all comes down on this administration. IMO.

An excerpt from Truthout with a link to the article:

This is a media war, and America will realize sooner or later that we Arabs have a million alternatives now," Rana Khoury, 20, a political science student at the American University of Beirut. "What really hurts is when I turned to American stations, they were talking about the humanitarian aid that the allies are providing for the Iraqi people. They didn't even mention those who were massacred."
http://truthout.org/docs_03/040103B.shtml

I accented the last sentence to illustrate how important balanced reporting can be. Instead of only reporting on the US perspective, if our press expressed concern over the loss of life of Iraqi's citizens, we wouldn't appear so uncaring and arrogant to the people in that part of the world.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Apr, 2003 09:21 am
blatham

Quote:
And, to speak to Au's understanding of those European news items as anti-American or 'showing in worst light'...that isn't my perception of those items at all. They are critical, but mildly so
.

I trust you won't be offended if I disagree with you. They are without a doubt IMO meant to portray the US in the worst possible light.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Apr, 2003 10:01 am
au

Certainly never offended by disagreement. But goodness, I've read far more negative and damning interpretations of events and motives on Slate or from many other American sources.

How do you account for this sea-change in world attitude?
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Apr, 2003 10:19 am
blatham
I never suggested that our press is immune to portraying negativity. They do it all the time. However, was just commenting on the nimh's articles.
As to why that's easy. BUSH
0 Replies
 
PDiddie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Apr, 2003 12:19 pm
Quote:
There's little news on CNN... unless of course, you want to know how the Dow Index is doing or what the latest developments are in cases involving missing white children. As for war coverage, CNN merely gives us the bells and whistles; nifty graphics, Hollywood editing techniques and a blockbuster score to pre-empt the real groundbreaking news: the commercials. CNN anchors spend much of their airtime congratulating themselves for being able to deliver such a polished product in the time that it takes to slap together a quarter-pounder. Unfettered by the nutritional requirements of content, CNN brings it to you shiny-wrapped and steaming off the wire.

Like its fast food counterparts, American news relies on the statistical improbability of the consumer ever actually opening the bun to reveal the reconstituted offal inside. News Inc. has become the forum for generals, commanders and CEOs to deliver a nonstop monologue of praise for themselves and the institutions that bask in the reflected glory of the shining tin on their chests. News viewers are seldom expected to digest the glut of information beamed at them with the intensity of a pixellated shock and awe campaign. We remember the headlines but more often than not, forget what's beneath the bold print. The sonorously indifferent lull of General-speak sets the mood for a collective amnesia; not much different from the starch-induced slumber that comes with consuming too many empty calories. How many of us even remember what took place a few days ago yet somehow have it etched in distant memory as "breaking news?"

Just days ago, it was reported (falsely, as it turns out) that allied forces had unearthed what Hans Blix and his UN team were unable to find: weapons of mass destruction.... Again, breaking news became just more breaking wind from the Pentagon when CNN (along with several other American news agencies) failed to verify reports of a Scud missile cruising into Kuwait from Baghdad. Under the guidelines the UN laid out to disarm Iraq after the first Gulf War, Soviet-made Scud missiles with their long-range capabilities were strictly verboten. If such reports were true then Washington had what it needed to say, "see, told you so" to former allies in Europe.... intelligence sources later discredited these reports, so yet another smoking gun became just one more steaming pile of manure on the information super-grapevine reported as fact and unchecked before leading the news.

If CNN represents the Golden Arches of television broadcasting, then the FOX News channel is its dirtier Burger Barn rival, throwing guns and girls into its primetime mix of hard-broiled infotainment. As self-appointed custodians of fear, Fox anchors use their newsroom as a bully pulpit to browbeat their viewers into believing that fair and balanced reporting means twelve hours of liberal-bashing followed by twelve hours of bashing liberals. CNN plays the more cautious role of guardian to their corporate masters' interests; the chickenhawk politics of the Saab-driving country club set; a declining demographic of Canadian grandmothers who call into Larry King's show and are careful not to offend the visiting generals on the set.

CNN brings the war to us with anchors recycled from the kaffee-klatch programs that are the mainstay of their ratings. The silkily glib Paula Zahn does her battlefront lounge act from her Manhattan studio alongside her embedded colleagues who wave at her by satellite link from Kuwait. For Zahn's viewers, war coverage is a blonde-led prayer breakfast with assorted colonels and the relatives of enlisted men and women who looked shocked and awed to be in the presence of someone almost as famous as Jerry Springer.

Like the McFood that CNN emulates in its McNews format, the finished product resembles no more than trace evidence of the slaughterhouse's mechanized momentum of bloodletting. "All The War Without The Gore," seems to be CNN's dubious moral stance to the $75 billion and counting X-rated version of the Iraqi Horror Picture Show they've packaged to look a National Geographic special. If you want to see the true face of this invasion the only option is the foreign press, whose news teams unsparingly transmit images of the real war - the ravaged and grimacing corpses who even in death, know something that CNN viewers never will.



Leilla Matsui is a freelance writer living in Tokyo. Link here to her essay "Fast Food Media".
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Apr, 2003 02:30 pm
Private Qatar network Al-Jazzera has suspended it's reporters coverage from Iraq, in protest with Saddam Hussein's regime intentions of censoring it and the expulsion of two of the journalists.

This shows two things:
1. Unlike what Western war supporters have stated over this weeks, Al-Jazeera was not part of Saddam's propaganda plan. Another case in which a "different" view of things is seen as an "enemy" view of things.
2. The Iraqi regime is absolutely unable to handle the truth, or anything different than mere propaganda.

(BTW, Diane, excellent link)
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Apr, 2003 02:44 pm
from Dianes link:
this makes you feel real good

Quote:
"Bush is an occupier and terrorist. He thought he was playing a video game," said George Elnaber, 36, a Arab Christian and the owner of a supermarket in Amman. "We hate Americans more than we hate Saddam now," he said, referring to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Quote:
"Mr. Bush has lost us. We are gone. Enough. That's the end," said Diaa Rashwan, head of the comparative politics unit at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. "If America starts winning tomorrow, there will be suicide bombing that will start in America the next day. It is a whole new level now."
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 06/25/2022 at 08:28:34