Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Another Case of Good News from Iraq Ignored?

Tully over at Centerfield has an interesting post about the coverage (or lack thereof) given to the recent rescue of an Australian held captive in Iraq.

As much as I tend to reject the idea that the media has a blatant political bias, I do have to admit that good news from Iraq is hard to find. Most often, the story is another rehash of another attack, body counts splashed in the headline. It's not that I think the media shouldn't report on the violence, it's that I think the violence is too often given prominence over the triumphs.

The old line "if it bleeds it leads" still seems to be in effect. That's unfortunate because I feel we aren't really getting the full story of what's happening in over there.


At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You "tend to reject" the notion the media has a political bias? When do you return to Pluto?

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Adm. Happy Horatio Hornhonker said...

Just sailing through from a another site that had you linked.

Interesting concept here. Middle of the road Sorta? Kinda? A bit?

On this subject?

Maybe...just maybe -- If that Aussie contractor fellah wasn't there during this unfortunate uprising -- or if this unfortunate uprising wasn't happening in the first place due to the extenuating circumstances that began back in March 2003 there wouldn't be no need for the press to not report the good things or the negative things . . . EH?

Come on by the site and drop a line -- it gets quite lonely when out to sea.

Well it's to time weigh anchor and off to Bermuda . . .


At 7:33 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Anonymous...hmm, now I don't know if you're saying the media DOES have a political bias or does not. But I gather you find me spacey.

Let me clarify...I think, the media (plural) averages out on most issues. Not always. But I don't think Americans are being hoodwinked.

The media's bigger biases tend to be focused on shock value and confrontation.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger EG said...

"But I don't think Americans are being hoodwinked."

Maybe not hoodwinked but given part of the story, yes. It's not just Iraq (although reporting of it tends to be shallow). Anything that cannot be codified into yes-no, black-white, left-right levels is brushed aside. Google Bush's Social Security reform and see how many different 'facts' from newspapers you get. Most reporters cannot seem to do basic math and rely on others for 'facts'. Then they misuse the terminology and misconstrue the numbers so that the public believes Social Security is a retirement program when it was intended to be an insurance program with a small pension.

Articles involving religion where all christians are equated to conservatives are rampant (this misunderstanding is beginning to break). Most Americans and reporters don't know the basic differences between Sunni and Shiite Islam so they think all Muslims are evil and all Arabs are Muslim.

Here's a classic hoodwink from the 1980s. States gave standard, national tests to high school students. Throughout the 1980s, more and more states reported test scores had risen above the national average. In 1987, the NYT reported all 50 states achieved test scores above the national average. They even catch the illogic of that for days! (Since that time, school systems have used sneakier ways of achieving test score gains ...)

We won't even start on technology and science coverage except to note the misunderstanding on stem cell research.

Hoodwinked? Sometimes. Misinformed? Most definitely.

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Jami said...

they've rescued two people and killed tens of thousands. mathematically, we shouldn't hear about the rescues at all.

i thought about covering the australian, but it just doesn't matter. it's wonderful that he's safe, but are iraqis?

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

EG--yeah, I'd go with misinformed. I never said the media were good.

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting back to political bias, a poll showed something like 90 per cent of the Washington press corps voted for Kerry. Evan Thomas, a topsider at Newsweek, said the media bias in favor of JFKII was worth 15 points. The election wouldn't have even been close with a press that played it down the middle.

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

The problem I have with saying a media bias can influence elections is the same problem I have with leftists who say Republicans "trick" voters into voting Republican.

Both theories rely on you to believe that your opponents vote the way they do because they're just too stupid to know better. That they are easily tricked. I don't buy it. The vast majority of people a smart enough to wade through any propaganda and vote for good reasons.

At 12:02 AM, Blogger Aunty Abby said...

going back to the issue of nice things in the news...
perhaps its the fact that the media shows suicidal fundamentalists blowing up other people every day that leads to some of our problems. isnt it disturbing that we dont even bat an eyelid at these scenes, yet as a result begin to view the entire region as evil, or worse, irreparable?


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