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'If it bleeds, it leads' - media coverage

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posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 07:04 AM
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This is a long article. I'll post a few paragraphs but to get
a good flavor of it, go to the World Tribune site and read
the whole thing. Basically, this soldier (officer) who is
fighting in Iraq is sick and tired of the media's portrayal
of what is going on over there. He is frustrated.
The job is getting done, with some ups and downs,
but the media continues to paint the wrong picture.

I thought ya'll might like to read something coming from
the soldiers for a change, rather than the media which
may have an agenda all it's own. I agree with the
author of this article - the media loves blood and so
'if it bleeds, it leads'. It's like the media thinks that
good news is dull and won't get viewers.

www.worldtribune.com...

Excerpt

Media's coverage has distorted world's view of Iraqi reality



By LTC Tim Ryan
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Editors' Note: LTC Tim Ryan is Commander, Task Force 2-12 Cavalry, First Cavalry Division in Iraq. He led troops into battle in Fallujah late last year and is now involved in security operations for the upcoming elections. He wrote the following during "down time" after the Fallujah operation. His views are his own.

---------------------------------------------------------------

All right, I've had enough. I am tired of reading distorted and grossly exaggerated stories from major news organizations about the "failures" in the war in Iraq. "The most trusted name in news" and a long list of others continue to misrepresent the scale of events in Iraq. Print and video journalists are covering only a fraction of the events in Iraq and, more often than not, the events they cover are only negative.

The inaccurate picture they paint has distorted the world view of the daily realities in Iraq...

The fact is the Coalition is making steady progress in Iraq, but not without ups and downs. So why is it that no matter what events unfold, good or bad, the media highlights mostly the negative aspects of the event? The journalistic adage, "If it bleeds, it leads," still applies in Iraq, but why only when it's American blood?

....
What about the media's portrayal of the enemy? Why do these ruthless murderers, kidnappers and thieves get a pass when it comes to their actions? What did the the media show or tell us about Margaret Hassoon, the director of C.A.R.E. in Iraq and an Iraqi citizen, who was kidnapped, brutally tortured and left disemboweled on a street in Fallujah? Did anyone in the press show these images over and over to emphasize the moral failings of the enemy as they did with the soldiers at Abu Ghuraib? Did anyone show the world how this enemy had huge stockpiles of weapons in schools and mosques, or how he used these protected places as sanctuaries for planning and fighting in Fallujah and the rest of Iraq? Are people of the world getting the complete story? The answer again is no! What the world got instead were repeated images of a battle-weary Marine who made a quick decision to use lethal force and who immediately was tried in the world press. Was this one act really illustrative of the overall action in Fallujah? No, but the Marine video clip was shown an average of four times each hour on just about every major TV news channel for a week. This is how the world views our efforts over here and stories like this without a counter continually serve as propaganda victories for the enemy. Al Jazeera isn't showing the film of the C.A.R.E. worker, but is showing the clip of the Marine. Earlier this year, the Iraqi government banned Al Jazeera from the country for its inaccurate reporting. Wonder where they get their information now? Well, if you go to the Internet, you'll find a web link from the Al Jazeera home page to CNN's home page. Very interesting.

The operation in Fallujah is only one of the recent examples of incomplete coverage of the events in Iraq. The battle in Najaf last August provides another. Television and newspapers spilled a continuous stream of images and stories about the destruction done to the sacred city, and of all the human suffering allegedly brought about by the hands of the big, bad Americans. These stories and the lack of anything to counter them gave more fuel to the fire of anti-Americanism that burns in this part of the world. Those on the outside saw the Coalition portrayed as invaders or oppressors, killing hapless Iraqis who, one was given to believe, simply were trying to defend their homes and their Muslim way of life.

Such perceptions couldn't be farther from the truth. What noticeably was missing were accounts of the atrocities committed by the Mehdi Militia — Muqtada Al Sadr's band of henchmen. While the media was busy bashing the Coalition, Muqtada's boys were kidnapping policemen, city council members and anyone else accused of supporting the Coalition or the new government, trying them in a kangaroo court based on Islamic Shari'a law, then brutally torturing and executing them for their "crimes." What the media didn't show or write about were the two hundred-plus headless bodies found in the main mosque there, or the body that was put into a bread oven and baked. Nor did they show the world the hundreds of thousands of mortar, artillery and small arms rounds found within the "sacred" walls of the mosque. Also missing from the coverage was the huge cache of weapons found in Muqtada's "political" headquarters nearby. No, none of this made it to the screen or to print. All anyone showed were the few chipped tiles on the dome of the mosque and discussion centered on how we, the Coalition, had somehow done wrong. Score another one for the enemy's propaganda machine.

.... I obviously think it's a disgrace when many on whom the world relies for news paint such an incomplete picture of what actually has happened. Much too much is ignored or omitted. I am confident that history will prove our cause right in this war, but by the time that happens, the world might be so steeped in the gloom of ignorance we won't recognize victory when we achieve it.


GO TO THE SITE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.
IT'S LONG, BUT INTERESTING (AT LEAST TO ME)


www.worldtribune.com...



[edit on 1/22/2005 by FlyersFan]




posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 07:17 AM
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I won't be the one to defend imperialism done with "good intentions". Others can.



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 07:50 AM
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I think this line says enough.


There is a saying about media and the military that goes: "The only way the media is going to tell a good story is if you give them one to tell."


Good try soldier, go polish a grenade! When did they put this guy on propaganda duty?
It used to be cowboys and indians, now its "good guys" and "terrorist". Notice G.I joe dosent mention too much about Americans shooting innocent civilian iraqis dead in their cars in front of their children, when their not shooting children too that is!



AS far as propaganda is concerned, i got an old saying for you soldier

"six of one, half dozen of the other"

and another...

"the road to hell is paved with good intentions"

[edit on 073131p://53017 by instar]



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 08:07 AM
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Considering instars 'wisdom' .... perhaps the author of
the article missed one important point.

'If it bleeds, it leads' is the way the media reports could
be reporting because they are telling the people what they
want to hear. Considering that euro-centric anti-americanism
is such a convenient way for people to stick their heads in the
sand and feel better about themselves, perhaps the news is
doing 'if it bleeds it leads' - knowing that it feeds the ignorance
of the massess and makes them feel better - thus they will turn
in to the 'news' more.



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 08:25 AM
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Yeah well there are just as many if not more stories comming from the front lines in Iraq that paint quite an unpleasant picture of the war. Soldiers refusing to return to Iraq, soldiers being tried for crimes they were ordered to commit. I mean come one man, a few pictures of soldiers giving out chewing gum to smiling children with smoking rubble behind them is enought o convince you that we are doing the right thing. Every war, every single war in modern history, Uncle Sam comes out with pictures and stories from soldiers saying what a wonderful thing we are doing, and how the folks 'over there' appreciate us. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is a carbon copy of the same tactic. The simple fact of the matter is that we are killing them, bombing them, shooting them, and you think they are happy about it? For the greater good? Who's good?



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 08:32 AM
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Anyone who does not think that the majority of national and international media is biased, is not anti-war, and definitiely pretty much only focus's on the negatives, the bad, and definitatly not the good is well, ummm, simply not paying attention to the media and how they report and present anything dealing with Iraq or simply in denial.

My thoughts on the media and its coverage is pretty well known. As such, perhaps this (below linked) topic thread will shed further light on the media and its choices of how and what they report:
Media Equals "Propaganda," according to soldier.

The virtual fact is that many, upon many, members here simply dismiss such or ignore these exposed facts. There is no denying this, simple as that. The media did the same thing in Vietnam and virtually any action or conflict after. Just look around within ATS. The threads that get the attention are those that deal with anti-war or deal with what is exactly being presented within this topic thread, among others. If it does not "bleed", it definately doesn't recieve any type attention. If it doesn't deal with bashing Bush, it doesn't merit attention. If it does not deal with the US, and mainly only the US, in Iraq, it doesn't get attention. If it doesn't deal with those alledged rights of freedom being supposedly restricted, it doesn't merit attention. The list can go on and on... Sometimes I wonder whether ATS has become just another political discussion board and/or does it maintain what it once was intended for and to be?

The media dictates and the populance adheres and soaks it up like a spoonge. The majority can deny so, but as mentioned, countless threads alone within ATS show otherwise. Ironic or strange, but there is no simple denal of this.



seekerof



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 09:01 AM
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Given all the "unfortunate mistakes" of the so called "good guys" I wonder why iraqis want them gone?
"better the devil you know" is another saying that comes to mind. Alot more folk were having their heads cut off SINCE America interfered!
Most of the world cant be wrong ! Anti americanism didnt come from nowhere. I say overblown American patriots are the ones with their heads in the proverbial sand.
You think it's a big unfortunate coincidence that most of worlds media reports are alledgedly "biased"?



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 09:26 AM
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This mentality is on garish display all over ATS, and in this thread as well.

If a story shows America doing something good, it's "propaganda". If it shows America doing evil, it's "the truth".

The irony of it is that those who buy into this philosophy are themselves being nothing more than tools of propagandists, including those of the U.S. Government.

And to the last, none of them will be honest enough to admit it to themselves, let alone anyone else.

Thus through self-deception do those whose business is controlling the minds of others achieve their goals.

For them, business is good. In fact, they have customers lined up around the world to have their brains washed.

While I find the development disturbing, I have to admit it is breathtaking to watch.



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 09:48 AM
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Oh America does do good things, no doubt about that. The best thing they could do right now would be get the hell out of iraq and stop trying to force feed the entire world their verson of democracy.



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by Majic


Your post makes no sense Majic. Why would the United States put out propoganda against itself when all that does is create huge anti-U.S. sentiment? You realize that the U.S. requires the rest of the world for its own survival, right? As do the international businessmen that run it. Why create a fake backlash when all it will do is cause economic problems?

You also must realize that many people around the world are very much against war no matter the reasons. Altruistic purposes for the "good" aspects of war are immaterial. War continues a cycle of violence and death that is never-ending. To participate or support it for any reason also continues the cycle. I'm not sure there was a day that went by in the 20th century that didn't include war and that is certainly true of the 21st century as well. People are sick of it.

[edit on 22-1-2005 by Frith]



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by Frith
Your post makes no sense Majic. Why would the United States put out propoganda against itself when all that does is create huge anti-U.S. sentiment?

It makes no sense on its face, but there are very good reasons why the U.S. pushes the propaganda it does, and to make the point convincingly is not only off-topic, but would take much more effort than I am willing to put into it.

You will believe what you want to believe. You will also believe what they want you to believe if you ignore their work.

Aside from all that, I'm an American and I am satisfied that the thinking behind the U.S.'s information warfare strategies is sound. We have the best in the world in our employ, and I trust their judgment.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that I'm claiming all anti-U.S. propaganda originates in the U.S. Not by a longshot.

Also don't make the mistake that just because you dislike a U.S. policy and someone else also does that they are your friend. That's a common error that never leads to a happy ending for the one who makes it.

You would probably be shocked at how much anti-U.S. propaganda is paid for by the U.S. itself, and deliberately so for calculated effects. The reasons for these campaigns are never obvious, nor can they be.

Treachery As An Information Gathering Tool

Information warfare is a subtle business.

To take just one teeny tiny example, an information warfare specialist might set up an anti-U.S. political group with a fancy website. Then register as many people with the group and website as possible.

Presto, you now have a handy "enemies list" and plenty of ways to track these people and their associates down.

But you would be gravely mistaken if you think that's anywhere close to what IW specialists are limited to.

There are literally no limits to what they are capable of doing other than the limits of imagination, and those limits are constantly being removed as new techniques and technologies are developed.

The Battle For Your Mind

Information warfare is waged using the weapons of words, ideas, concepts, perceptions and opinions. Consequently, most people are unable to realize that they are even being attacked.

After all, if you know you're being attacked by IW specialists, you might be more cautious about what you believe, wouldn't you?

Even if you knew it, however, defending against such attacks is never simple, and sometimes IW hacks deliberately let you know what they're doing so they can get a response they wouldn't otherwise get.

Some of their techniques seem absolutely crazy if you don't know the strategies behind them. That's what makes them so effective.

Sounds paranoid, doesn't it? Ah, just so.

Motivational Speaker

The only reason I'm mentioning it at all -- which would seem to be contrary to the interests of my own country -- is that it's just so painful to watch day in and day out on this board.

Besides, as should already be obvious at this point, I could go on and on and on about this topic and still not convince those who choose to deceive themselves.

So if you want me to spell all this out for you over your own objections, don't hold your breath. No offense, but I honestly don't care enough about your education to bother.

On the other hand, if you care enough about your education, I suggest bothering to look into this for yourself and making your own informed decisions.

Linking It All Together

Feel free to start with some of those nifty Wikipedia links in my signature block, which I will include in this post just in case:

Disinformation | Information Warfare | Propaganda | Psyops | Public Diplomacy

Most people I talk to about this subject either refuse to believe it exists, that it is as pervasive as it is or their eyes just glaze over because it's not a topic of interest for them.

It is a big, big subject, and a lot of the information can be hard to track down for reasons I hope you can appreciate.

Do so, however, and you will find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Or at least get an idea, because as much as I have studied this field, I still haven't gotten to the bottom of it.

I'm not even sure that is humanly possible, frankly.

But to be totally ignorant of the way you are being controlled is to surrender to those for whom you should at least try to be a challenge to manipulate.

That's just my opinion, though. People choose to believe what they want to believe, and I don't think I would want to change that even if I could.

Here's hoping you make a decision you can live with.




[edit on 1/22/2005 by Majic]



posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
Aside from all that, I'm an American and I am satisfied that the thinking behind the U.S.'s information warfare strategies is sound. We have the best in the world in our employ, and I trust their judgment.


So then what do you think about the Iraq WMD issue then? Do you still trust their judgement after this debacle? There are only two outcomes to the answer of why no WMD were found. Either our intelligence services are 100% incompetent or they're lying. So you still trust their judgement after that, correct?

I'm guessing you go for the other option supplied by some, that ALL of Iraq's WMD are buried in the desert or have been transferred to other countries. This is an option which spells disaster if you believe it. Not that the other options don't either. Buying into this story will continue a wild goose chase of death with no guaranteed results.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 08:42 AM
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Originally posted by Frith
You also must realize that many people around the world are very much against war no matter the reasons. Altruistic purposes for the "good" aspects of war are immaterial. War continues a cycle of violence and death that is never-ending. To participate or support it for any reason also continues the cycle.


Gotta' disagree with ya' on this one. WWII was very much wanted
by the French and English. They were getting hammered by Germany
and they wanted war .... to get rid of Germany. Chamberlain tried
the 'peace at all costs' and got side swiped by the Germans (and
Hitler probably laughed his a$$ off at Chamberlain as well).

Japan attacked America. It deserved war in return. Going to war
against the agressors - Japan and Germany ENDED their bullying
and brought peace in the long run.

So ... to 'participate or support it for any reason continues the cycle'
isn't correct. Sometimes war is necessary.

As far as your comment that there are people around the world
who are against war for any reason ... then I submit that those
people come in two groups - those that have forgotten the lessons
of World War I and World War II - there are times when war is
definately necessary. The other group that fits in here would be
the corrupt - such as those French and German officials at the UN
that didn't want war simply because their illegal booty would be
cut off - and not because of any moral reason even though that's
what they pretended.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 08:49 AM
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Originally posted by instar
Most of the world cant be wrong ! Anti americanism didnt come from nowhere. You think it's a big unfortunate coincidence
that most of worlds media reports are alledgedly "biased"?


You missed the point of the thread - 'if it bleeds, it leads' .. however ...

Yes, most of the world CAN be wrong. You are right, Anti-Americanism
didn't come from nowhere - it came mostly from gullible people believing
what the Anti-American media spoon feeds them. There is nothing
'alleged' about the bias of the international media against America.
This report proves that ... as many others do. The media only reports
'when it bleeds' ... it doesn't deem newsworthy ANYTHING good that
America (or anyone else) does.

The point of this thread - the media only reports the bad because that's
what it likes to report. The international anti-American media have
built up an anti-American audience and brainwashed them .. now they
are spoon feeding them more junk to keep them believing as they wish.

The truth is not being reported. Plain and simple. As the author of this
article said ... American soldiers take dirty pictures in a prision and it's
all over the news for months, but when a woman relief worker gets
murdered in Iraq by the insurgents while helping Iraqi children it
barely gets mentioned. BIASED. BIASED. BIASED.

I'm starting to think that the international (and American) media is no
better than Al-Jazeera.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
fact is that many, upon many, members here simply dismiss such or ignore these exposed facts. There is no denying this, simple as that.

The media dictates and the populance adheres and soaks it up like a spoonge. The majority can deny so, but as mentioned, countless threads alone within ATS show otherwise. Ironic or strange, but there is no simple denal of this.


EXACTLY what I am getting at. You stated it much better than I did.
And I agree with you completely. ATS is mirroring the way the world
acts. 'if it bleeds it leads' ....



seekerof



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by instar
The best thing they could do right now would be get the hell out of iraq


That would be the WORST thing we could do. As much as I'd like to see
all Americans out of Iraq, if we were to just pull out and leave ... the
sucking sound would be heard around the world and every terrorist
and/or religious nut with an ego problem would rush in to fill the void.
The mass murders and in-fighting would make Saddam's Regime look
like a picnic.

John Kerry insisted on a sudden and complete evacuation of Vietnam.
What followed were the 'Killing Fields' and millions and millions dead.
When Kerry was advocating a withdrawl from Vietnam, the TV reporters
asked how many people he thought that would leave dead, and Kerry
responded with a ridiculously low number - something like a few hundred.
Major Kerry blunder.

Millions upon millions died in the killing fields. It would be the same
in Iraq if we up and left. We have to be there long enough to safely
turn the government over to the Iraqi elected officials, then it's up
to them to arrest (or kill) the insurgents who are murdering their
own people in a last ditch effort to stop freedom.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by Frith
So then what do you think about the Iraq WMD issue then? Do you still trust their judgement after this debacle? Either our intelligence services are 100% incompetent or they're lying.


Incompetent. They screwed up. It's that simple. Also - wasn't there
some dis-information being fed to them by France? That's what was
in the news ...

Let me take you back to Abraham Lincoln for a minute. Lincoln went
to war to keep the union together. There is some discussion as to
if what he did was legal or not ... forcing states to stay in the union.
THAT was the purpose of the civil war. While in the war, Lincoln freed
the slaves and 'chatted up' the immorality of slavery. What the war
is now remembered for is that it freed the slaves and that is what the
people rallied around .... but the ORIGINAL intent was to keep the union
together and that is in some legally mirky waters to say the least.

I see the same kind of thing with Iraq.



posted on Jan, 23 2005 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by Frith

Originally posted by Majic
Aside from all that, I'm an American and I am satisfied that the thinking behind the U.S.'s information warfare strategies is sound. We have the best in the world in our employ, and I trust their judgment.


So then what do you think about the Iraq WMD issue then? Do you still trust their judgement after this debacle? There are only two outcomes to the answer of why no WMD were found. Either our intelligence services are 100% incompetent or they're lying. So you still trust their judgement after that, correct?

I'm guessing you go for the other option supplied by some, that ALL of Iraq's WMD are buried in the desert or have been transferred to other countries. This is an option which spells disaster if you believe it. Not that the other options don't either. Buying into this story will continue a wild goose chase of death with no guaranteed results.


Actually, the 'other' option is the one that has the most validity and is the most concerning. The Iraqi government cannot document that much of its WMD were indeed destroyed. The only reasonable conclusion that we should be reaching is that we really don't have conclusive evidence of what happened to them. Its possible they could have been destroyed. Its possible they could still be buried somewhere in Iraq. Or the worst case scenario, that they have been dispersed all over the Middle East, could also be possible. We simply don't know.

Officially, the US government seems to have concluded that the intelligence community screwed up, but it seems to be a reach based upon the evidence we have, and I believe that they are attempting to find a public closure on the issue. Its politically tough to come out publicly and state that you have absolutely no clue what happened to Iraq's WMD, which instead appears to be the reality of the situation.




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