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I usually enjoy reading Gedmin's stuff, not because I agree with him, but because he usually provides a well reasoned alternative view to my own. This time, though, I'm having trouble with his reasoning. If the issue is does the media tend to play up the bad things going on in Iraq, then I agree. But tell me, how often does one see feel good stories on the news? Isn't over sensationalizing awful things now a hallmark of most media outlets, be it in the United States or Germany? Don't get me wrong, I find this to be a bad thing, but I (sadly) don't find the media's emphasis on the killing in Iraq abnormal. However, I don't think that is what Gedmin is saying here. If one takes his position to its logical conclusion, then the only way not to aid terrorists is not to report on any bad things in Iraq. If the killers are trying to create pessmism, as Gedmin suggests, then any bad news would aid them. Right? If he is calling for more balanced reporting, then I'm all for that. But I don't think that's what he is saying. It sounds more to me like he is saying the media is either with us or against us.

"Ten of Iraq's 18 provinces were nearly terror free when measured over a six month
period earlier this year."

Maybe

40 out of 50 US states weren't touched by Hurricane Katrina
4 out of 5 inhabitants of New Orleans got out before the storm hit.
And only 2 out of 100 US cities were affected by 9/11
Only 2 countries out of 200 were invaded.

The bias is just incredible.

Note from David: Querdenker, not one of your smartest comments, if I may say so.

David

It's not the smartest comment of Gedmin, if I may say so. (Note from David: You said so before, in other words.)

Excuse me, that Iraqi constitution is a nightmare. They may mention human rights but if it's basically sharia light.

Balanced reporting is great, but it helps when you can do it without fearing for your life. Stephen Vincent in Basra comes to mind. Right now most journalist aren't really able to report because they can hardly move around the country. (Note from David: Which doesn't keep them from reporting "chaos" in "Iraq".)

And next time Gedmin may write that all that negative reporting of New Orleans is hurting the economy of the South. Which side are you on? (Note from David: Another not so smart comment...)

We can always need more balanced reporting but the accident on the Autobahn that kills 10 people will always get more coverage than those millions who made it home safely. (Note from David: It's not about reporting "good news", it's about objectivity. Watching German tv and reading German media provides you with a "everywhere chaos" picture of Iraq. And this picture is clearly false.)

Re "Marsh Arabs:

Eine Chance für die irakischen Sümpfe
http://www.nzz.ch/2005/03/09/ft/articleCMBVF.html (Note from David: Thanks for the link to a Swiss paper.)

A little Gedmin is always welcome, even -- no, especially -- now.

querdenker posts:

"It's not the smartest comment of Gedmin, if I may say so.
Excuse me, that Iraqi constitution is a nightmare. They may mention human rights but if it's basically sharia light."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You ever wonder why those who say the west has "no right impose itself!" . . . never hesitate to impose themselves. . .
Note to Allawi & Talabani, Run that final draft of the Iraqi Constitution past querdenker for his approval . . . so he can ensure it meets up to his Jeffersonian standards of Constitution writing excellence.

Tyranno

PS: Next it will be the undotted "i," then uncrossed "T," then the shape of the paper, then the color of the ink . . . blahblahblahblah . . .

Tyranno

PS: Amusingly, they are the last to understand why Michael Moore just keeps gaining weight, why Kerry lost, or why Rather got fired, and why no one listens to them anymore. Ignorance and emotional hatred just aren't selling as well these days.

@ Querdenker:

NO, the new Iraqi constitution is not a nightmare. Saddam Hussein's terror regime was the real nightmare. Your inability to put that fact into perspective is the fundamental problem here. One that you share with millions of others.

RayD, if "but it's better than Saddam" is the going standard then indeed standards have gone quite low.

David, Gedmin talked about the European media. I think the NZZ is part of it. I also remember print articles in the FAZ and the ZEIT about that topic.

It's a bit hard to blame a journalist for using the chaos word when he fears to get killed while reporting the "good" news.

Also I don't buy the "bad news are helping the terrorists" meme. If only "good news" came out of Iraq the US public would wonder why so many troops are needed in Iraq. If terrorist were really strategic planners they would just lay low for a few years and when the Americans are gone take over the country.

Querdenker: If only "good news" came out of Iraq ....

From the comments I've read, I don't think that's what's being asked for here. How about a little perspective and objectivity--a truer picture if you will? The mainstream media today is playing politics by influencing public opinion, which in turn influences political policy. If you cannot imagine that terrorists are not intelligent enough to exploit this fact, then I think you're living in a fantasy world.

@ Querdenker:

RayD, if "but it's better than Saddam" is the going standard then indeed standards have gone quite low.

Your words Querdenker, not mine. I was simply pointing out that it is absurd for you to call the Iraqi constitution a nightmare (have you even read it all?), especially when one considers what Iraqis had before. That is by no means a comparison and that "standard" is your strawman my friend.

As for the chaos word, that is virtually the only thing we've heard the past two years. I don't have a problem with a lot of the news or even the majority of the news coming out of Iraq being negative since clearly many things remain to be resolved there. But I would like to see the occassional report on the positive, because obviously there are many positive developments going on there as well. The media is creating a profoundly warped image of reality in Iraq the way that it is reporting now, and that warped image, where everything is death, suffering and terrorism, is in fact helping the terrorists by robbing people of their will to fight. They have no sense of the very real progress that is occurring in Iraq and they have a right to know about it.

Didn't 8 million Iraqi's vote in January?

Think about it - turnout at 65% - for ALL of Iraq - in an actual free ballot

Surely this is the news in the ME

"Insurgents" blowing people up - why is this even noteworthy compared to the stirrings of democracy in the region?

I may be showing my age - but I remember a time when Democrats, liberals and europeans supported democracy in the third world

The name Mandela seems to ring a bell

It would seem that there is only one thing worse that a third world mass murdering dictator though - having the USA lead the effort to depose him and work toward representative gov't for his former subjects

It seems now this is the "nightmare"

My God - how do you function with this complete loss of perspective?

I think the media has done a pretty good job covering elections and the formation of the constitution there. Those are truly important and newsworthy events. The trouble is, they don't happen every day. Yes, the stirring of democracy there is happening everyday, but when given the choice between showing the aftermath of explosions or people working to plant the seeds of democracy, I'm afraid that the sensation-driven media (both on the right and left) will opt for the former. In short, I think Gedmin is barking up the wrong tree and in the process sending a bad message to the media. The media isn't covering terrorist attacks because they are anti-Bush. They are doing so because that's the kind of news they like to cover. It's sensational. Furthermore, telling the media that they are aiding terrorists, to me, is a thinly vieled attempt to censor the meida.

Doubters and hand wringers about Iraq should read Mark Steyn's latest.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1474766/posts

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