Friday, June 11, 2004

Frist also said he has the impression that Iraq is in better shape than is generally reported by the media.

Despite a shooting or bombing at an Iraqi location almost daily, Frist said, “The majority of people around the rest of the country are living well, living comfortably in an improving situation, and are very hopeful.

“The news (in the United States) makes it sound like everything is falling apart there, and that is simply not the case.” then it occurs to me, "Hey wait a can a 'majority of people' be living well, yet the news doesn't say so unless quoting a non-journalist who has been to Iraq."

So, I went looking, and found this:
The view from Iraq is getting narrower just as things are getting worse.

Growing violence is forcing western correspondents to change their approach to reporting, restrict their travel and pass up stories that are now deemed too risky...

More journalists have resumed traveling with military units through the Pentagon's embedding program, which proved so popular during war against Saddam Hussein. The number of embeds jumped from 26 in February to 71 last month during the fighting in Fallujah and Najaf, and is now back to 26, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman says.
And I'm finally beginning to get it. There are vast open swaths of this country where people are going to work, growing food, tending livestock, building houses...but the press doesn't go there. They don't go there because they only want to be where things are exploding.

I'm thinking that once one dubs one's self a "war correspondent" it must be a bitter pill to swallow if your beat includes the peaceful regions, and the overwhelming majority of folks in that country who are intent on living peacefully.

OK - so the reporters are re-embedding with the units. That's fine. But lets keep a sense of perspective...where are the Soldiers going to be? Uh...where things are exploding...right? Hence, it would follow that the only stories the press can report is about things blowing up. Even if that involves just the tiniest part of the Iraqi population, it comprises 100% of what that "war correspondent" is going to see and write about it.

So...from the outset the deck is stacked by those who label themselves "war correspondents".

Seems to me what we need are fewer war correspondents and more folks looking at the entire picture. But then, that would mean covering peaceful towns, hundreds of Soldiers not humiliating prisoners and meetings of the local city council. You know...the sorta stuff only covered by cub reporters in very small town newspapers. that'll happen.

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