Ye Olde Swimming Hole

current, insightful, yet nostalgic

Friday, December 02, 2005

Overeaction to paying for press in Iraq

Nightline was up in arms last night because of news reports (mainly their own) that the U.S. military has been paying Iraqi reporters to write favorable news stories. While this is no doubt unethical, I think it was wrong for Nightline to describe this as another major setback and embarassment for the U.S. military.

The problem is that reporters are extra sensitive when writing about issues that relate to their own profession. Just look at the Judith Miller coverage. Do most of us really care that much about that story? I don't think so. If a reporter in the U.S. was paid to write a favorable story, it would destroy his or her credibility. But we're talking about a war zone in Iraq and were talking about a country that is an emerging democracy, not the U.S. Do you think the press during our revolution was as like it is today? I don't think so.

Reporters seem so anxious to make the U.S. look bad in this war that it is disgusting. That's why some of the best reporting coming out of Iraq is by journalists with no "training."


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