Our Objective Media

I stumbled onto a truly sickening and disturbing Spectator article (registration required), written by Toby Harnden in Bahgdad, via a comment posted at Iraq The Model. Here’s an excerpt:

The other day, while taking a break by the Al-Hamra Hotel pool, fringed with the usual cast of tattooed defence contractors, I was accosted by an American magazine journalist of serious accomplishment and impeccable liberal credentials.

She had been disturbed by my argument that Iraqis were better off than they had been under Saddam and I was now — there was no choice about this — going to have to justify my bizarre and dangerous views. I’ll spare you most of the details because you know the script — no WMD, no ‘imminent threat’ (though the point was to deal with Saddam before such a threat could emerge), a diversion from the hunt for bin Laden, enraging the Arab world. Etcetera.

But then she came to the point. Not only had she ‘known’ the Iraq war would fail but she considered it essential tramadolmain that it did so because this would ensure that the ‘evil’ George W. Bush would no longer be running her country. Her editors back on the East Coast were giggling, she said, over what a disaster Iraq had turned out to be. ‘Lots of us talk about how awful it would be if this worked out.’ Startled by her candour, I asked whether thousands more dead Iraqis would be a good thing.

She nodded and mumbled something about Bush needing to go. By this logic, I ventured, another September 11 on, say, September 11 would be perfect for pushing up John Kerry’s poll numbers. ‘Well, that’s different — that would be Americans,’ she said, haltingly. ‘I guess I’m a bit of an isolationist.’ That’s one way of putting it.

Even more, anyone reading Mohammed’s post “Not in my city” cannot help but be struck by the contrast between the predominant media narrative of Iraq and the entirely different picture he constantly presents.

3 thoughts on “Our Objective Media”

  1. The most outrageous thing about this type of revelation is how little it raised my blood pressure. The leftist slant to the mainstream media in America is such a given that I can’t even bother to get upset about it anymore. I always check where any pice of information actually comes from, and usually dismiss accordingly.

    The real crime here is that American journalism still clings to the false assertion that it is objective, neutral, and non-partisan. I think the warped leftist perspective that most of the mainstream media share allows them to beleive this themselves. I honestly believe that they think they are objective. The problem is most of them live in the northeast, most likely NYC or DC, they all went to the same schools where they all learned the same things, and they all go to the same parties and are friends with each other, and probably don’t socialize with too many people in the “fly-over” states, where the real Americans live.

    Once upon a time every town had 2 newspapers: Each openly and unashamedly presented the views most favorable to the party they represented and most unfavorable to the opposition. Many people read both, and tried to decide which one made the better case. There was no pretense of objectivity. A truely objective media would of course be the best thing, but nobody is truely objective. So the next best thing is to always know from what perspective people are writing from.

    Basicallly in America we already have half of the the system covered, all that is needed is that 2nd source, of which the Washington Times, Fox news, Rush Limbaugh etc., are trying to fill.

  2. Oh that’s long been my biggest beef with American media. In Europe no one pretends to be ‘objective’, which is itself a crock.

    I want my media with it’s affiliation on the label, and then I can filter/integrate from multiple sources.

    The WSJ is the easiest of the major American papers to filter bias from IMHO, as their slant is pretty out in the open. “What does this mean for our making more money?”

    Which is also why I can’t stand Fox News, “fair and balanced” my ass. It’s that old ‘objectivity’ Chestnut in American media again. Arghhh.

  3. I’m disappointed to see that the ideological ideal of an objective reporting agency is all but thrown to the wayside. Just because Ayn Rand isn’t walking among us, doesn’t mean we’re further away from achieving objectivism of media.

    The problem is more the vantage point. If you’re looking for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Group or The New York Times to change into some sort of honestly “fair & balanced” reporting agency, don’t expect that to ever happen. Fortunately, we’ve found a comrade with technology. Our friends at Google, Yahoo, Alta-Vista, and the like have given us the power to search out & find reporting agencies that provide a more objective point of view & patronize them.

    Now, it’s true that for TV & radio, it’s all but impossible to get a streak of more than a story or two that isn’t tainted to the hilt with a news anchor’s bias. And, with media mogul lapdog Micheal Powell in office, that side of things will only get worse -which is all the more reason not to patronize those venues.

    Matt Drudge, for one, has shown that TV & radio aren’t the only way to get a message out to an audience base -and that it can be done profitably by website reporting alone. Though he does have a radio program, it’s purely an extention of his web-based popularity -and not the other way around.

    So, I think we’re headed in the right direction -it’d just be nice to have instant, anywhere-access broadband connections so that we could have access to those that do give a more objectionistic point of view any time we like.

    Chances are, even if there was a strong and actually objective news source, we’d probably end up watching something with a tinge of yellow to it anyways. And, that’s not always a bad thing…

    Nation Watch credo

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