May 24, 2006

It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic

If you've been paying attention at all, you've no doubt heard the incessant whine from the right that that mean old "liberal media" is the reason we're doing so badly in Iraq. Why, if they'd only report the GOOD news in Iraq, these bozos cry, people would support the war. It's so unfair!

Well, as was clear to anyone with a few brain cells still sparking, there just wasn't much good news out of Iraq, or certainly so little that it didn't quite overshadow the hideous maiming, death, and utter chaos which is so prevelent.

Not only that, but reporters simply couldn't go out to report on "good" news. Why? Because they'd probably file a pretty cruddy story if they were blown to bits, which is what was likely if they ventured outside the fortified "Green Zone".. the massively defended chunk of real estate in the heart of Baghdad where US officials and civilian contractors hide.

Now comes this bit of news.

The U.S. government funded Voice of America news service had a correspondent in Baghdad. She and her driver/bodyguard were ambushed and fired upon, and her bodyguard was later kidnapped and released, then later shot in the head and murdered. The brother of her interpreter was also murdered.

Not surprisingly, she politely asked to leave her post, saying that she couldn't live with the though of people being slaughtered simply because they associated with her and for what she reported.

OK. Fair enough.

But, it seems that Voice of America is having a little trouble finding a replacement. NO ONE wants the position. It's too damn dangerous.
VOA reporter Alisha Ryu said yesterday that she told her bosses in December that "it would really be impossible for me to do any kind of work" in Iraq. "I couldn't live with the idea that someone else could have died who was working with me. . . . For all journalists, it's really become impossible to move around."

Asked why VOA has not sent another reporter to Iraq, Ryu said, "They didn't have any volunteers to replace me."
Since the Iraq war began in March 2003, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 69 journalists have been killed while on duty, along with 26 media support workers.
So, our Republican government, the very one that pushed and promoted the line that the "mainstream media" was guilty of not reporting all the "good news" from Iraq, can't get ANYONE to even go to Iraq to report it.

Funny, if it weren't so pathetic.


At 5/24/2006 8:31 AM, Anonymous Huck Finn said...

Kinda tough to be an VOA journalist riding around Iraq. Might as well put a big target on the side of the car that says, "Shoot me, I'm trying to tell people that America's winning, in an attempt to maintain the will of the American people so they will support keeping American troops on your soil for decades. I really do know that this is a civil war, but I'm off to report on a newly-built elementary school that will fix everything for the Sunnis."

Maybe we should have invaded Al-Jazeera before we invaded Iraq.

At 5/24/2006 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have HBO, then watch Bagdad ER - a documentary free on VOD digital any time you want to watch it. Hour long true story of how messed up this stupid war is and how tragic it is for our fine young people to be sacrificed in this horrific way......

DRs say it like it is...and no military or media censorship for a change.

At 5/24/2006 1:05 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Al-Jazeera is a legitimate news outlet, certainly just as much as Fox News... perhaps with even more integrity.

And the US. has murdered an Al-Jazeera reporter with a wife and kids, as well as bombed their headquarters in Baghdad.

And actually, the reporter was targeted for reporting on the concentration camp like conditions of a Sunni prisoners brutalized in a prison run by Shiites with ties to militia groups where torture was documented.

Even government paid reporters can't find much good to report.

Killing jounalists who report inconvenient facts is kind of evil.

Even when you call for Americans to do the same thing.

At 5/24/2006 1:38 PM, Anonymous Huck Finn said...

Dope, I guess you missed my sarcasm. What I'm saying is that if we relied on news about Iraq from Al-Jazeera or some other "organic" news outlet, we'd have a much better picture than from VOA. This is certainly the case during a civil war, which no one here seems to be willing to call say.

I've got Al-Jazeera on my satellite, and I occasionally watch it to see how they choose to cover a certain story, so I can see how it's actually covered. Another good source, believe it or not, is Stars and Stripes which is funded by DOD. Because they carry very military-focused news, they do a decent job of showing the good and the bad about military life in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Relying on VOA or even Fox News (geesh!) for accurate news on Iraq is worthless and just sets the journalists up for being targeted in an unsecure environment like the Sunni Triangle.

We (Americans) may not like what we see from the more organic news sources, but they'll certainly show more of the "ground truth" since they're actually "boots on the ground" and not "behind the wire."

At 5/24/2006 1:45 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

My apologies. I did miss the sarcasm. Thanks for putting me straight.


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