Saturday, June 18, 2005

Reuters says "Yes, but..."

I know it's tiresome to keep pointing this stuff out, but this was what met my eyes when I looked at my computer today, "US launches 2nd Iraq operation; 50 rebels dead." Oh, that Reuters; oh, those "rebels"!

Despite the "rebel" tag, the first half of the article is a fairly straightforward description of the operation, including this telling detail: troops had also seized a school where lessons on one chalkboard taught insurgents how to make car bombs. But Reuters displays the parsimony that seems to be official press policy these days--that is, don't ever, ever allow an article to be written about Iraq that limits itself to describing a US offensive, and especially a successful one. Always be sure to put all that other stuff in there about the bad things that are happening--balance, you know. Don't bother to write a separate story about those things, because doing so would allow the more positive article to stand alone, and we can't have that, can we?

So, which photo did Reuters choose to go with this article today? It's captioned, "Iraqi children stand around a crater left by a roadside bomb that targeted a U.S. patrol in Baghdad 18 June 2005. There was no immediate information on casualties from the blast. (Ali Jasim/Reuters)."

Very appropriate photo for this particular article, no? Actually, yes--because the article goes on to mention a few of the latest attacks on US troops and Iraqi civilians, and ends with this highly relevant and on-topic item:

The rising toll of U.S. troops, now at least 1,718 since the start of the war, may be one of the reasons behind increasing concern in the United States over the war and the role President Bush has played. A New York Times/CBS News poll showed 42 percent of respondents approved of the way Bush was handling his job, down from 51 percent support after the November election.

By the way, this was my take back in February on the MSM's use of expressions such "rising toll" and "escalating violence." It includes a link to an excellent article by Belmont Club on the subject.


At 1:17 PM, June 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," the memo says.

At 3:34 PM, June 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post on the Reuters article gave me the last piece of a puzzle I have been working on since 9/11. So many have written about the difference between those who changed their view of the world on that day and those who didn’t. While reading your post….Click! It became clear to me. The schism in America today is not left/right, liberal/conservative, it’s …(business as usual)/(we have to finally do something about the Middle East except talk; even if it’s wrong). Out of the welter of theories about what is going on in America today I have finally seen the light (please don’t ask what took me so long).
Imagine that you are taken back in time and you are in the MSM and in charge of editing stories on the Vietnam war. You don’t remember anything about the future except that you KNOW how the war will end. So, on a great day for American forces, when all the news is good, can you possibly get giddy and write optimisticly in a way that could entertain even the possibility of victory? NO. You dutifully cover the good news (without enthusiasm, but it is the news) then you spin it a little (correctly, you believe). You take note of the rising casualties, the lack of support for the war at home, etc. You are only keeping things in proper perspective. Yes, those fools who don’t see the inevitable outcome complain that you are biased against America. If they knew what you know they would applaud your prescient view of things. Sadly, they don’t. You will be proven right in the end. The Tet victory? The beginning of the end for America. You know it and write the story the way it really is, ignoring the apparent facts that confirm an American victory.
Return to reality and now. No one knows the future, but the MSM believes that it does and is behaving accordingly. They very possibly don’t know or care or feel any responsibility that they might be influencing the outcome, they are merely reporting the truth as they believe they know it. I still wonder why their view of the world did not change, but now I have a good handle on why they are behaving the way they are. Thanks, neocon.

At 3:39 PM, June 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thts what it says but it contains second and third hand accounts of peoples opinion. Just read it yesterday and also all those other countrys as well as far as the WMD goes. There intelligence I mean. Need to look at all the facts and not just one memo. what do they say about leaks????

At 5:09 PM, June 18, 2005, Blogger THIRDWAVEDAVE said...

"Al Reuters"

At 10:40 PM, June 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The powers that be knew all along that Iraq would be a proving ground for jihadists the world over. It would be the real thing, not some camp, not some training scenario. It is a proving ground for not only jihadist soliders, but commanders as well, and they are being killed at a very steady rate. Allah is on their side, they think they can win and they are prepared to die and they are dying, many of them. The flip side to the point of your post is that these numbers are not being reported. But that's OK, because it is sort of like one of those bug lights that draws them in, then zaps them. The problem with blowing up civilians via car bomb is that it slowly turns the population away from the terrorist agenda and dramatically increases the chance of them being reported and confronted. Each civilian death resonates through a large, extended family, and it begins to add up. I rather doubt the jihadists are writing home, or calling. They certainly are not sending money home and who is providing for the family of the jihadist solider? They leave home on their mission and are never heard from again, and all the while the Americans remain and Iraq is being slowly rebuilt. Our media is not showing the progress made, but the folks on the other side certainly are aware of it.

At 11:09 PM, June 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Each civilian death resonates through a large, extended family, and it begins to add up."

Yup. Makes you wonder why you raced to war in the first place, doesn't it?

At 7:12 PM, June 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still don't buy this MSM conspiracy theory. Check out Today's (6/19/2005) front page story "Iragis Found in Torture House Tell of Brutality of Insurgents" in NY Times. No doubt to me that this story makes US look like the good guys and insurgents like the bad guys. This from the NY Times, that liberal mouthpiece!

At 8:59 PM, June 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right Anonymous (8:12). Every now and then the Times and other liberal papers have stories that surprise me, like the one you mentioned. But they are definitely the exceptions. Ordinarily every story that might be positive for the US is spun, or is balanced with the "Yes, but..."s.

At 1:19 PM, June 20, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

The very term "conspiracy" connotes a perjorative sense and a comically simplistic one at that, thus is something of a strawman since it fails to convey qualitative and substantial distinctions. No one, or virtually no one, believes Dr. No ruthlessly heads a board of nefarious editors whose aim is global domination and the annihilation of everyone to the right of Karl Marx - and who keeps his board members in line by feeding any miscreant editors to a pool of hungry sharks. (Well, ok, I once believed this, but have recently been disabused of this notion by virtue of the high standards of debate and discourse more generally employed by the MSM.)

On the other hand, variously splashing AG on the front page for six to eight weeks or percolating Guantanamo to the surface with notable frequency - while giving genuinely macabre instances like Beslan, Daniel Pearl, etc. comparatively short durations and much more brief memories on front pages and similar venues is more than a little suspect. This doesn't even broach the manner in which the subject is being displayed in many German, French and other EU medias. All this affect potentially produces a real world effect, the surreal potentially becomes the real; merely dismissing these essentially media driven realities does not reflect sober minded assessments. There was no Dr. No, post-Tet '68, either, but it was the Western Left/MSM nexus which awarded the victory - and the defeat.

(Also, nice post by Anon, 11:40.)


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