Monday, April 03, 2006

Zinni: Unfair To Blame Media For Iraqi Coverage

From yesterday's edition of NBC's Meet the Press:

TIM RUSSERT: Do you believe the American media is distorting the news from Iraq or presenting an accurate picture?

FORMER CENTCOM COMMANDER GEN. ANTHONY ZINNI: Well, I think the American media is being made a scapegoat for what’s going on out there. At last count, I think something like 80 journalists have been killed in Iraq. It’s hard to get outside the Green Zone and not risk your life or risk kidnapping at a minimum to get the story. And it’s hard to blame the media for no good stories when the security situation is such that they can’t even go out and get the good stories without risking their lives. And you have to remember that it’s hard to dwell on the good things when the bad things are so overwhelmingly traumatic and catastrophic. So I think that’s an unfair blame that’s put on the media.


Blogger arty kraft said...

General Zinni, a courageous soul - in the tradition of great American figures such as Thoreau - has put his ass on the line for the betterment of the country. Unfortunately, he isn't pretty, doesn't sing hip-hop, nor does he have a new action film coming out, so the media has relegated him to the position of, Articulate Crank, who routinely gets a spot facing off against a chicken hawk for about 60 seconds of air time.

Where are the documentaries on his story? Where are the substantive pieces that probe his contentions? Where are the brave producers and editors who should be giving him, and a few other brave individuals -most of them military - significant press exposure?

At last, a man such as this could get the American media, which, with few exceptions, has sat on its hands during the most crucial events during the Iraqi war, off the hook. Finally, here's the media's vindication for having pushed so much snake oil on the American public. But, no!

Zinni and others are getting short shrift, proving for all intents and purposes that the American media is still sitting on its hands. As time goes on, however, the consequences will become more apparent. First, the digital realm captured many ad dollars once going to traditional media. That made sense from the advertisers' point of view. But the nail in the coffin, as time goes on, is going to be the collective resignation demonstrated by the media concerning the Iraqi war. Once it's obvious the country's drowning in snake oil, that there's an actual civil war in Iraq, and even worse - a true religious revolution tantamount to the Protestant - Catholic wars now building throughout the Islamic world - and it's obvious the media neglected its duty to report on those events, the traditional media will no longer just serve as a scapegoat, but as the dinosaur it's become. And it won't happen soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

The Administration's asinine policies are tragic enough, but the lack of critical attention to them by traditonal media is even worse. After all, for better or worse, the President's doing his job as ill-informed as that might be. But the same can't be said for traditional media, especially the New York Times, which is a disgraceful outfit that should confess its sins and seek redemption from the public it's swindled in the past five years.

4:55 PM  

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