November 24, 2004

QUESTIONS

Election blogging has now been replaced by Marine-shooting-in-Fallujah blogging. Rightwingsparkle asks some interesting questions concerning omniscient reporters.

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November 23, 2004

CALLING B.S.

Many people have pointed to Kevin Sites' explanation to the Marines (he's the one who taped the Marine shooting the wounded terrorist). I don't doubt that Sites felt a sinking feeling in his stomach as he witness the scene. I also tend to believe him that he wasn't out looking for Woodward/Bernstein-type fame. But here's what I don't like.

In war, as in life, there are plenty of opportunities to see the full spectrum of good and evil that people are capable of. As journalists, it is our job is to report both -- though neither may be fully representative of those people on whom we're reporting. For example, acts of selfless heroism are likely to be as unique to a group as the darker deeds. But our coverage of these unique events, combined with the larger perspective - will allow the truth of that situation, in all of its complexities, to begin to emerge.

When we look back on Operation Iraqi Freedom, what are we going to remember? What are the memories that the Mainstream Media has drilled into our heads? Abu Ghraib. This Marine shooting a wounded terrorist. Jessica Lynch. The lack of WMDs.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't watch news on the TV, so maybe the airwaves are bombarded with hero stories I just haven't heard yet. But I sincerely reject the idea that the Media is balancing "the full spectrum of good and evil that people are capable of" in the daily news. They instead take something like Abu Ghraib and give it flashy banners and expert guests, run the story on a loop every 15 minutes, and drill the "atrocity" into our heads. Did they present the full atrocity of Nick Berg's beheading? Of the children's jails and rape rooms and mass graves uncovered after the war? Did they make a nice flashy banner for the torture chambers and half-dead prisoners that were just found in Fallujah this week?

Where's the flashy banner for CPL Yeager? Where's Pat Tillman's story on a loop over and over? A few clips at the end of your segment pointing out some Hometown Heroes does not a balanced scale make. The Media defends itself by saying, "we have to show the good and the bad." Please, show me when you've given half the airtime to good as you have to bad.

Over the past two years, I have developed a sense of utter revulsion for reporters and journalists. I don't want to feel like that, but they've made their own bed. I don't blame Kevin Sites for shooting the footage, but I blame the Media Monster for the way it's presented and distributed.

John Kerry killed a wounded enemy in Vietnam and got the Silver Star. This Marine killed a wounded enemy in Iraq and will face the death penalty. It's all in how you package and sell it.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:22 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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November 22, 2004

EMBEDS

Charles Johnson writes a lengthier post on the liabilities of having embedded reporters. I can't stress enough how everyone should watch Ethics in America: Under Orders, Under Fire. It's two hours long, so the next time you think about popping in a movie, consider watching this instead.

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