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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Back on Offense

It appears that the White House and Conservatives way be awakening from their slumber in regards to the War in Iraq. For weeks the press has just been having a field day running down the President and the Iraq War and it has been having a marked affect on public perception of both.

Now it seems as though the President and his supporters are fighting back. Earlier this week, President Bush and reporter Helen Thomas got into a bit of a scuffle over the War as the President strongly defended his decision. Then yesterday, a mother in West Virginia asked the President how we could challenge the media's negative portrayal of the War. Apparently ABC News, and no doubt other networks, have received hundreds of complaints about the lack of balance in their coverage of what is going on in Iraq.

Today, Tim Graham at the National Review examines the arguments against the media's coverage of the War and the networks' typically self-serving response to that criticism. For example he points out that after Laura Ingraham challenged NBC's Today show on their coverage, NBC responded with claims that the White House was just trying to "shoot the messenger" and use the media as a "scapegoat" for his failures.

These defenses, however, do nothing to answer the question about whether the media's coverage represents the true nature of what is going on in Iraq, which it doesn't. Unfortunately the media has fallen victim to conflating success in Iraq with President Bush's success. Achieving victory in Iraq should not be a Republican or Democratic issue. We can accept the fact that the media, by and large comprised of liberals who have never supported this President, do not want him to succeed. But by manipulating the coverage of the Iraq War by minimizing positive coverage, they are instead harming our military and emboldening our enemies.

I certainly do not believe that this is the result that the media desires, but it is the effect of their
actions nonetheless. I am glad to see that the President and his supporters are finally fighting back and trying to ensure that the American people hear the many positive stories that are coming out of Iraq. I hope that they continue to do so.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The war is pre-destined as a failure for the simple reason that given a choice in democracy, ALL of the middle eastern countries will choose governments opposed to the United States. Do you think Pakistan should get democracy? Your position regarding media coverage misses the point that the longer this war goes in Iraq, the worse it is for all of us, Americans or not.

10:43 PM

Blogger Jim Bacon said...

You make a shrewd observation: "The media has fallen victim to conflating success in Iraq with President Bush's success." It's not an issue of the MSM wanting the United States to fail in Iraq as wanting George Bush to fail. There has been a systematic trope in MSM coverage for the past three or four years to de-legitimize Bush and everything he does, first by trying to blame him for 9/11 (anyone remember Richard Clarke?), emphasizing the diplomatic "alienation" of our allies (i.e. France), predicting a bloodbath in the conventional war, and then hyping Abu Ghraib, the failure to find WMD, peddling the false conclusion that Saddam Hussein had no ties to jihadist terrorists, and predicting doom and destruction at every turn in Iraq.

All the while, the MSM has underplayed or outright ignored the Oil-for-Food scandal and Saddam Hussein's bribery of anti-American diplomacy, S.H.'s increasingly successful efforts to circumvent trade restrictions, S. H.'s destermination to maintain WMD-making cabilities, and Iraq's well documented ties to fundamentalist jihadists.

No intelligent person can deny that the Bush administration failed to anticipate and prepare for the insurgency. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms that can be leveled against the Bush administration for its handling of Iraq. But the MSM has gone way beyond the role of legitimate critic to purveyor of doom and gloom,. Through its bility to shape American public with a steady stream of negativity, the MSM could well make its predictions of failure a self-fulfilling prophecy.

9:16 AM


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