Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: What's wrong with this picture?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

In his article "War in the Persian Gulf: A Report from the Couch" Stuart Ewen writes:

"One of the most disturbing elements of the television coverage was the battalion of retired military brass, war college instructors, intelligence personnel, and state department aparachiks (sic) who were there in the newsrooms, participating in the reportage as honorary members of the news teams...Now, with all references to the Independence of the fourth estate tossed aside, it was the military coming to the service of the media professionals, helping them do their job. assertations of journalistic sovereignty had become a joke."

I don't know who to be more angry at; the federal government, for twisting the truth and outright lying about the situation in the middle east to bend public opinion toward war, or the news media, for being the government's lap dog, and for being too lazy to do their own legwork. Having military personnel on the reporting teams for war coverage is like having mafia dons help you with a story on organized crime. The next time the news networks want to do a story on political corruption, maybe they'll hire Eliot Spitzer. OK, I understand the news people were over a barrel. The feds and the military were simply not going to let the real story of the Gulf War be told, at least, until it didn't matter anymore. But that does not excuse prostituting themselves for the sake of having something to show on the nightly news. They could have run stories on how they (and us) were being bamboozled by the administration and the Pentagon. Not as easy, but at least it would have integrity. I'll never take anything I see or read at face value again, unless it's from the Bible!


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

There is nothing wrong with having military experts on as analysts and commentators. They do provide an important perspective on war, but they are over-represented. We need other view points as well.

The problem is that there are not enough other voices on the air challenging the military experts.

4/14/2008 1:18 PM  

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