News from the occupiers

Sister Toldjah links to this column from the Nashville Tennessean that tells, as Paul Harvey might say, the rest of the story.

The sad thing is this shouldn’t be NEWS, but if all I read was the Washington Post I might be inclined to think nothing good was happening in Iraq these days. (From Arthur Chernkoff via Roger L. Simon)

We are about to turn the corner folks, and the next milestone will come on January 30.

UPDATE: Nice post on this topic over at Dean’s World. Go and see.

ANOTHER UPDATE: If you are REALLY interested in what’s happening in Iraq you won’t find anything more definitive than this.

42 thoughts on “News from the occupiers

  1. It is good that we are restoring order to Iraq, as measured by schools reopening in that city referenced in the story. I have no doubt that our soldiers take heart in their mission when confronted with such evidence. However, children going to school is a rather ordinary normal fact of life. It is no more viewed as a “hot” story than say children in America going to school. Children went to school when Hussein was in power. Schooling for some children was, and still is, disrupted for some children because of the war. I can only assume that our government considered that the disruption of school was an acceptable side effect for our prescription of war to cure the greater ills of that country.

    There have been references in various stories in the Post about schools reopening but no story has focused simply on that fact. Furthermore, the Post has not made it a point to publish letters from officers written home to the families of the troops in their command. I venture to say that this is not done for the sake of depriving us Washingtonians of these officer’s unique perspective but rather because space would not allow all to be published and any attempt to publish a select few would meet with charges of bias. The Tennesean.com apparently has access to this particular officer’s letters and can operate without the strictures of balanced reporting. (I do not mean that in terms of good news vs. bad news but rather in one officer’s opinion versus another’s.)

    Folks in the blogging world are real quick to throw around allegations of the liberal media, primarily I am guessing because main stream media, MSM, is not reporting enough good news about Iraq. However, everytime I see this charge it is accompanied by a “good news” story, as if everything in Iraq is rosy as hell. If this were so then what in the world are we still there for?Why do you suppose MSM carries stories aoubt suicide bombers blowing up cars, mess tents, police stations, etc., insurgents fighting in this city and that one, election workers quitting for fear of their lives? Could it be that everything is not rosy? Could it be that our soldiers aren’t picnicking but actually are fighting for their lives and, even when not engaged in actual combat, still in harm’s way because the country is a dangerous place? Could it be that reporting on the battles our troops fight, the hardships they endure, the obstacles they face is a means of letting our country know how much we owe our soldiers? What they need to persevere? To bring to light mistakes that have been made so that they can be corrected and not repeated? Could it be that in doing so we actually help our troops by ensuring that they have sufficient numbers, equipment and even decent food? Can you fail to appreciate their sacrifice when you read about how dangerous Iraq continues to be? Knowing our troops are doing everything within their power to stabilize the country so the Iraqi people can have a say so in their government can you deny them recognition for what they are attemtping to accomplish? Can you deny the obstacles they face?

    You cannot have it both ways. You can’t claim the war in Iraq is going just great without also implying that a tour of duty there is a cakewalk. Maybe it is easier for some people to believe that it is a cakewalk. Maybe that is why some Americans can justify our failure as a nation to make appropriate sacrifices for our troops in the form of higher taxes to pay for more troops on the ground, and better equipment.

    Just as a matter of course newspapers rarely write stories about the kinds of things you take for granted, the kinds of things that are “good” news. For instances, papers do not report on days when the weather is balmy an perfect but they do report when the weather is so bad that it causes damage. Papers do not report about company saftey records but let an industrial accident occur such as a fire in a chicken rendering plant in a backwater town in NC and that’s a story that will make national news. It is not that papers have an aversion to good news. Ther are several reasons for bad news to predominate the papers. One there is generally enough bad news to fill up a good size paper. Sometimes the paper has judged the public to be interested in reading. People like bad news- it sells papers. If papers do not print what their readers wnat to read then their ciruclaiton goes down and the for profit business venture goes out of business. It isn’t all about our natural predilection for “bad news” either. Some bad news really needs to be reported. It brings to light injustice, mistakes or simply shines the light on the plight of others for which we should be aware because they need our help, or our understanding or maybe just our righteous anger.

    To read nothing but “good news” , whether or not its about Iraq or some other topic, might well give a person the impression that everything is proceeding as it should. And before some one says that the bad news should be balanced with the good news from Iraq, the reality is that the two aren’t balanced. The MSM does report good news but generally this news is contained within a story that also protrays the bad. That is balanced reporting. Maybe some people don’t have the stomach for the truth. No that is not fair. Maybe some people don’t have the stomach for sacrifice so they have to trivialize the dangers, the hardships, the death and the fear.

    Jounalism is defined as “A style of writing used in newspapers and magazines characterized by the direct presentation of facts or occurences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation. The story in the Tennesean certainly does not fit this definition. I have not read one blog that fits this definition. If newspapers are about facts then blogs are about emotion. Sure, some emotion/personal opinion does occasionally color a newstory and occasionally some facts are presented in a blog. However, make no mistake the two outlets serve different purposes. Blogs give us room to vent The MSM reports the news.

  2. Well Carol, obviously there is bad news in Iraq too. But that is not the whole story. Things are not as bad as the MSM portrays, and progress is being made daily. In fact, the bombings and intimidation of election workers are really indicators of just how much the enemy fears the progress we are making. Indeed, the survey I linked to in an earlier post indicates that Iraqis will not be dissuaded from voting, regardless of the violence. We are winning. That is what is NOT being reported by the MSM.

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