October 08, 2003

Poor Journalism Watch Big bloggers

Poor Journalism Watch

Big bloggers like Sullivan and Reynolds are approvingly linking to this Ralph Peters story--seemingly endorsing it in toto.

The theme? What Glenn Reynolds has been hitting on for weeks--ie, that the media is downplaying any success in Iraq and solely focusing on the negatives. Sure, but not as much as Reynolds makes out.

Listen, you're a reporter. You're in Iraq. In one area the power has come back on, a new school has opened, a symphony orchestra is back on tap.

And in another, say, three GIs have been killed. Or the United Nations headquarters has been blown up. Or a major cleric has been killed in a bombing. What story are you going to cover?

The answer is: mostly the latter category. Sure, one should be duty bound to give a full picture and cover the former category as well. Yes, there's a valid complaint being made by Reynolds. Indeed, it's one I often make myself--regular readers of this blog no I spend a lot of energy catching media bias against the Bush Adminstration.

But let's not get carried away with Panglossian visions of how it all goes in Iraq--if it weren't for those damn journalists.

But put all that aside. This Peters line sure is rich, isn't it?

"Of course, things still could go badly. Even if we do everything right, we may find, in the end, that the Iraqis aren't ready for prime-time. Iraq ultimately may fail because the Iraqis fail themselves."

Where to start with this absurd quote?

For one, let's show a little humility. No one is infallible. Even the most ardent (and serious) supporters of our postwar performance wouldn't argue we are doing "everything right" in post war Iraq today. That's risible.

And what is "prime-time" in this context? Stepping up dutifully to the responsibilities bestowed by the American liberator--all ethnic and religious complexities to be tossed aside before the kleig-lights--the better so that the American public can more easily enjoy the show around the living room with Fox News being beamed in?

Who has responsibility for security given that the coalition disbanded the Iraqi army? Or getting the oil back on tap? Or the power?

Does Peters even think of these questions?

UPDATE: QandO has more on this.

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