Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Hotel Warriors

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hotel Warriors

"...the labyrinth where the press and the Pentagon are pinned down in a kind of static battle to see how the next war will be covered." - John Fialka

Scott Applewhite was one photographer caught in this struggle. He arrived Dhahran where an Iraqi scud missile produced the most costly damage to U.S. troops of the war, and 27 GI's were killed. Sott was pushed around by guards, had his film confiscated, and was escorted back to his hotel by a public affairs officer.
The favorite hotel of reporters was located within the airport seeing massive amounts of incoming U.S. troops everyday. Policy on how to cover the war was not coherent, and the gap driven between journalists and the military was still very apparent from the Vietnem War. Some people in the forces think the journalists lost the Vietnem War. There would be 159 journalists covering the war, more than twice that of any previous war.

"We were an indigestible lump being fed into a military press-handling system that was woefully short of resources and teetering on the verge of collapse. The Pentagon had insisted that in this war reporters must be accompanied by military escorts, but it had not provided enough seasoned public affairsescorts and vehicles to do the job." Fialka

In this particular war, it was not the military or Pentagon's censorship that brought back a gap filled report. It was the competition between journalists and the lack of Army cooperation. Several of the major battles of the war were not recorded at all, hardly any Iraqi fatalities were photographed, and tank battles were not captured either.

'' I hooked up with units, mostly the Marine Corps, because the press rules were established by the Army, and the Marines saw this as a great conspiracy against the Marine Corps, and were very welcoming." - Chris Hedges, The Gulf War Pool System


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

Fialka paints a bleak picture of the press during the Guf War. What lessons should the press have learned from their conrtainment during the first gulf war? What changed about the treatment of the press in Afghanistan? Could they be pooled?

4/11/2007 11:22 PM  

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