Thursday, August 18, 2005

De re media

We are told that the constant drip-drip-drip reportage of US casualties in Iraq is simply a consequence of market reality. Blood sells. Violence sells. There's no blood or violence in a new school opening (unless you are in Beslan ...)

I have to confess, I'm not that excited about the grand opening of new sewage treatment plants. That part they (unfortunately) have right. I just have one question.

Why is it only American blood that sells?

Why isn't it front page news when the Iraqi police successfully defend one of their stations against a terrorist attack, with no casualties on their side and all but one attacker killed? (the survivor captured). That's blood, that's violence. Americans also love stories of the plucky underdog fighting back and winning. I'd say the IP, where they get blown up applying for work, blown up going to work, and generally blown up, is pretty damn plucky.

You'd think all the pullout whiners would be all over this stuff, since it is making clear the Iraqis *can* defend themselves, bringing closer the day when we hand over the whole thing and go home. You'd think all the "big picture" reporters would want you to know the context of 14 Marines dying. If they were just on a beer run (gee thanks, "Over There" bozos) that's one thing. If they were in the process of eliminating 300 bad guys, capturing a head honcho of the quote insurgency unquote and his personal collection of SAM missiles -- well, call me gullible but I think that changes the context a tad.

It's only death the media sees. Jason van Steenwyk, he of biting wit, did a little research on the reporter who had the nerve to blame the White House for the dearth of news articles. Seems out of 18 articles on the military, every blessed one was about death or recruiting difficulties. Gee. No bias there ...

Every life is precious. They know why they are there, know they have been placed in harm's way, and they think it is worth it.

Free as in Freedom. Not Free as in Beer.

3 Comments:

Blogger John of Argghhh! said...

And one more piece of the Borg breaks free!

8:11 PM, August 20, 2005  
Blogger Skippy-san said...

American blood sells American papers. British papers, from what I have seen have the same slant, except that they get the ability to blame both Bush and Blair. Americans can only blame Bush.

Actually the stories of the Iraqis succeeding are making the papers, just not in the same place as the carnage against Americans. I've seen plenty of stories both good and bad about the Iraqi forces. Somewhere, a little voice inside me says that is OK, because its what happens to Americans that is the only thing that really matters to me. I could care less about Iraqi's , except in how it affects the ability of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines to get this fracas over with and get home.

Living overseas I am able to see a slightly different slant, in that folks here feel that the expectations about the occupation were not clearly framed or communicated. In that regard, I think the administration has some more explaining to do and even now they are still having to overcome the "we will be welcomed as liberators nonsense" that Wolfwitz spouted 2 years ago.

The President needs to be more communicative as to why this fight matters and in that regard he is not doing himself any favors sometimes with the attitude he takes towards the media.

10:28 PM, August 21, 2005  
Blogger Snarkatron said...

I'm an American, and I don't restrict myself to caring only about American deaths. Skippy-san, you might want to count up the number of stories about Iraqis succeeding vs. Americans dying, and which pages of the paper they show up on. I've yet to see any good news from Iraq on the front page above the fold. Your little voice needs a talking-to. How can you say it is OK if Iraqis die?

And as for Wolfowitz' "nonsense", as you are pleased to call it, I refer you to the Fadil brothers http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/2004/04/first-candle.html who say it much better than I can. Bear in mind your overseas perspective may only be different -- not better or even as complete as ours in the US.

8:40 AM, August 22, 2005  

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