Saturday, May 14, 2005

The unbearable lightness of thinking

Josh Manchester hits the nail on the head: it is the weakness and selectivity of the mainstream media's reporting from Iraq that constructs such bias, not having an opinion itself. This is the giant tree that cowardly social climbers in the media use to avoid the appearance of having a view. Liveblogging in his media centerfuge:

«Understandably, she [the Washington Post's correspondenant] wants to focus on the deaths of those whom she has spent some length of time with. But such "human interest" memoirs are best told by the Marines themselves, and are best at the end of the battle -- when they might be contrasted against its outcome. As it is, the battle is still underway and she focuses solely on friendly casualties. Since she's only with one small unit, we can't expect her to give a bird's eye view of everything, which is fine, but friendly casualties are certainly not all that is happening to Lima Company.»
Not much to actually BASE those EMOTIONS ON, other than the vision of battle, not the events, is there? No context given by the Post, other than that of the Marines' loss. The "news" are minutiae of who goes where and gets hit, how they got there and got hit. It's a report of some visible events, not the larger event, even though things like troop retreats, firefights, advancements toward known towns, features, and so forth is almost entirely missing. It's show and tell of things that make the loss of life meaningless - for both the Marines and their enemy. Chester shows us more of this - in fact he shows just what it is and the tenor of all that the MSM ever reports:

«10:26pm The Word Unheard: Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq Calls Rout by Marines "Good News" calls attention to a "Baghdad Bob"-like press release by some element of the insurgents in Iraq. Interesting . . .

9:59pm On All Things Considered today, NPR covered the car-bombings in Baghdad during their top of the hour news, but said nothing at all about Matador. This is sad. The terrorists are hoping that enough car-bombs and the resulting coverage will give them their Tet moment. NPR is only abetting them when its coverage is not balanced . . . where do those car-bombers and bombs come from? Al Q'aim, where we're raking the sand with their bodies.

This raises an interesting question: the MSM in the US has agenda-setting power and still largely influences public debates . . . but what about the populace of Iraq itself? Several articles in the past year have mentioned the explosion of news outlets over there . . . Chrenk's roundups have sometimes mentioned such growth. Is Al-Jazeera dominant, or have some of them made it to the top of the heap in the resulting news competition? In other words, how can the terrorist insurgency adopt their message to the reigning media outlets in Iraq itself?»

Now this is a good time to remind everyone what a VERY desperate-for-humiliation media does to its' ideological opponents. Australia's ABC Media Watch actually tried to undercut Chrenkoff's round-ups on advancement in Iraq by splitting hairs over whether or not the Wall Street Journal and come from the SAME organization, or are just "related". Pretty silly. Anger is making the deuxième bureau types in the press irrational.

«Aljazeera.Net currently has a large story about the car-bombings, but only a blurb about Matador, and it leaves out key details.»

Reporting a battle is more likely to look like this were it actually REPORTING. In other words, a edscription of events augmented with impressions that say more than the phrases themselves.

«1. Sunday, early morning: The bridge crossing(s) that began the operation were supposedly slower in progress than planned. Did this give a tip-off to the enemy? Mortar fire hit the bridging sites from Ubaydi and on the south side of the Euphrates at another site.

2. Sunday morning: Insurgents were spotted driving to rural houses in the north of the area of operations in Ribat, retrieving weapons stockpiles, then driving back to the cities.

3. One squad of Lima Co, 3/25, spent the better part of Sunday clearing a particular house in Ubaydi. The enemy had hidden in the basement and fired armor-piercing bullets through the floor at the Marines. Most of the day was spent destroying them, by this one squad, reinforced with heavy machine guns, a tank, and F-18 airstrikes.

4. Sunday - Marines began clearing house to house in Karabilah and New Ubaydi after the southern crossing site was shelled.»

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