Manipulating the News Out of Iraq

Neo-Neocon offers some cogent commentary on the muted good news coming out of Iraq these days. In response to the stunning turnaround in the war against al Qaeda, our major news organs have simply dropped Iraq as a news item.

Why is it that our own media is so reluctant to spread the word? In some ways, of course, that’s a rhetorical question. We know the answer, at least in part: hatred of George Bush, reluctance to print anything that would reflect poorly on the Democratic Party and its candidates, and even a sort of general press reluctance to print good news (”if it bleeds, it ledes”).

An even greater factor is that the MSM itself took a stand, and a strong one at that: this war is bad and by definition unwinnable. Whether this press position originated in its liberal politics and disdain for anything George Bush might do, a generalized pacifism, an adherence to a Europe-centric worldview, and/or use of the favored “narrative” (see, I can be postmodern, too) about Vietnam as the template for all conflicts involving the US and insurgencies, the fact is that once that position was taken and hammered home over many months and years, to turn back would require a massive course correction.

As I’ve said before, I’m not all that concerned that reporters and editors have a strong liberal Democratic bias. My beef is that they try to project a posture of “journalistic objectivity.” It’s a joke, and everyone can see it except themselves. If news bureaus really want to provide a valuable service to the public, let them hire reporters and editors from a wide spectrum of ideological convictions, and turn ’em loose to report however they want. The result would be chaotic, yes; but it would be a lot more informative than the spin we are currently served.

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