Saturday, January 15, 2005

Why are the Media So Wrong, So Often?

Because they are stupid? No.

Because they are biased? Partly.

Because they want the US to fail in Iraq so we will never again fight?

From the winner of the 2004 Best Military Blog, Blackfive, some common sense observations and questions:

Much of the problem is about perspective, putting things in scale and balance.  From where I sit in my command post at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, things are not all bad right now. In fact, they are going quite well.  We are not under attack by the enemy; on the contrary, we are taking the fight to him daily and have him on the ropes. . . . Right now, as elements from all four services complete the absolute annihilation of the insurgent forces remaining in Fallujah, the area around the former stronghold is more peaceful than it has been for more than a year. . . . The enemy in this area is completely defeated, but not completely gone. Final eradication of the pockets of insurgents will take some time, as it always does, but the fact remains that the central geographic stronghold of the insurgents is now under friendly control. That sounds a lot like success to me.  Given all of this, why don't the papers lead with "Coalition Crushes Remaining Pockets of Insurgents" or "Enemy Forces Resort to Suicide Bombings of Civilians"? . . .

What about the media's portrayal of the enemy?  Why do these ruthless murderers, kidnappers and thieves get a pass when it comes to their actions?  What did the media not show or tell us about Margaret Hassoon, the director of C.A.R.E. in Iraq and an Iraqi citizen, who was kidnapped, brutally tortured and left disemboweled in streets of Fallujah?  Did anyone in the press show these images over and over to emphasize the moral failings of the enemy as they did with the soldiers at Abu Ghuraib?  Did anyone show the world how this enemy had huge stockpiles of weapons in schools and mosques, or how he used these protected places as sanctuaries for planning and fighting in Fallujah and the rest of Iraq?  Are people of the world getting the complete story? . . .

And, as Hindrocket at PowerLine notes:
On the whole, I think Col. Ryan is too kind to the American press. I think that the press's undermining of our war effort is, in many instances, deliberate. It appears to me that many, if not most, American reporters, editors and news executives want to make it impossible for America ever to fight a war. To further this goal, I think they use their reporting to undermine our effort in Iraq. The idea is that if we are defeated in Iraq, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for us to fight another war anywhere for a generation. Is this assessment too harsh? I don't think so.

I don't either.

How else can one explain such one-dimensional and, in the end, dangerously misleading reporting? How can working to undermine a people's will to fight against real threats be anything but dangerously misleading?

Again, this is why I call them Old Legacy Media.

Fortunately, we have many (and better) alternatives today.

Unfortunately, many still believe Dan Rather, the AP, Reuters, et al.