Monday, June 23, 2008

Charlie Foxtrot in the War Zone: Good News is No News in Iraq

Charlie Foxtrot:

It has always been readily apparent that the major news outlets were more than willing to broadcast/print any bad news that emerged from Iraq. And it has been equally apparent recently that there is a reticence to give equal treatment to the good news that turned from a trickle to a regular flow. The MSM have scoffed that there could be any bias influencing their reporting from this war zone, and equal scoffing from the conservative blogosphere at that claim.
Well apparently there was a copy editor asleep at the switch over at the Old Grey Lady, because they have published a very interesting article titled "Reporters Say Networks Put Wars on Back Burner". I guess no one sent them the memo on obscuring any evidence of bias....

Other mainstream blogs like Powerline and Danger Room are right to point out the amazing numbers:

"According to data compiled by Andrew Tyndall, a television consultant who monitors the three network evening newscasts, coverage of Iraq has been "massively scaled back this year." Almost halfway into 2008, the three newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007."

However no one I have seen yet (though my reading time is limited here in Afghanistan) has noted the real smoking gun, found in the quote from a CBS news bigwig:

"Paul Friedman, a senior vice president at CBS News, said the news division does not get reports from Iraq on television "with enough frequency to justify keeping a very, very large bureau in Baghdad." He said CBS correspondents can "get in there very quickly when a story merits it."

Oh I see. So we finally have an admission of guilt on the bias front.

CBS news has now admitted that good news from a war zone does not merit coverage. Death, carnage, mis-doings of individual soldiers, and lack of good planning all drown out positive stories when they happen at the same time. But when those negatives all dry up and disappear, and the positive stories are left standing alone, the "journalists" lose interest and can't "justify" sticking around to do their jobs. If you can't justify a bureau because not enough reports from Iraq get on television....then put more reports from Iraq on television! This magically wasn't a problem a year ago. There were plenty of stories then. Gee, if we could only figure out what has changed during that time.....

Sad. Shameful. Disappointing.

How the once mighty have fallen.

In deference to Glenn Reynolds, we don't need and "Army of Davids". We desperately need an "Army of Yons", and "Army of Roggios", and an "Army of Tottens"...

Go ye therefore hence and suckle at the teat of boots-on-the-ground wisdom.

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