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October 17, 2003
MEDIA BIAS IN IRAQ: Josh Marshall isn't happy that people are starting to complain about media reporting over Iraq:
CNN was in full grovel mode.
It's revealing, isn't it, that by the professional standards of American journalism, groveling to Saddam was widespread and seen as barely worth reporting, while even the possibility that someone might write something favorable about the United States is seen as an appalling breach of accepted practices.
But the reporting has been bad, and it has been biased. Independent reports from all sorts of people -- touring musicians, federal judges (two of them!), various military bloggers, returning troops, Democratic members of Congress (here, too), and even journalists, have indicated that we've been getting an unbalanced picture. But it's "groveling" to admit that?
Only to a press that believes that it has a monopoly on truth, and a position in society that places it above criticism.
It's true, of course, that better reporting from Iraq might bring up negative news (in fact, it surely would) -- but it might actually be, you know, news, not the same old stuff that even those Democrats are calling "police blotter" reporting.
The press has been very critical of the Administration's postwar performance -- and hey, maybe if there were some decent reporting, I'd know enough to agree, though it seems to me that things are going pretty well -- but it's obvious that the press didn't plan properly for the postwar era, and hasn't done a good job of dealing with the realities on the ground. And even as they accuse the Administration of ducking criticism, members of the press are doing the same thing.
UPDATE: Read this bit from NPR, too and say: "Oh, that liberal media!"
ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's more, from a New York police commissioner just back from Iraq:
The media reports, he said, have given some Iraqis, especially those hostile to the United States, a misperception of America's resolve.
"They are watching the criticisms, they are watching the frustrations. They believe that the more they attack and the more they pound, the more they hurt the coalition, there's a better chance they will pull out."
Read the whole thing.