April 10, 2005

100% Guaranteed Unbiased Media 

Or maybe not. Wretchard is examining in depth the affair of the pictures from Iraq that recently were awarded the Pulitzer prize, and he found some rot:

"It is common practice ... several brave Iraqi photographers ... covering
the communities they live in ... give them access" are weasel phrases which
cannot disguise the essentially immoral relationship where news agencies bestow protected person status on enemy combatants in exchange for bloody images which can then be sold for money. Personally, I would rather be the man who takes the photos, at some risk to myself, than the man who commissions them. It's cleaner.

But of course some on the Left reply that it's all, as usual, a right-wing scheme to smear the brave reporters:

The AP's crime? In so many words, they are guilty of showing the conflict
in Iraq the way that it is, and not the way that the conservative blogosphere
wishes that it were. The right wants those pictures of rose pedals and
liberation parades that Dick Cheney promised them three years ago, and now
they're mad they didn't get them.

No, it's not - at least in Wretchard's (and my) case. My problem with many reportages from Iraq is not that they show falsity, but they carefully select what to report - and often in order to fit a political agenda. Whenever BBC airs news from Iraq, it's an endless list of negativity, of things going bad, body count, dissatisfaction etc. No space for the good news from Iraq - for that, you've got to resort to the blogs: Chrenkoff has a whole series called Good News from Iraq; while Iraqi Bloggers Central rounds up opinions straight from Iraq - some very favourable to the US, others less.

But when journalists happen to have ties, even remote, with the enemy, that's a different matter altogether: for American citizens (or even Italian ones, given that Italy has troops in Iraq too), that would be treason. For Iraqis or others, siding with the enemy means well, being enemies too. And enemies cannot expect a kids' gloves treatment.

There is also the aspect of secrecy of military operations, but that is only marginal in these cases - although the effect on the morale must be taken into account.


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