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Yeah right, it's the media's fault that war is hell

Next, we'll be blamed for global warming and AIDS.
 
 
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By now, you've all seen the segments on CNN, Fox (if you watch it), and all the other major media outlets seriously debating whether reporters are giving enough coverage to the "good" parts of the Iraq war.

This is just mind-boggling to me. I mean, war is kind of all about violent combat and death, right? Or am I misunderstanding something about the nature of war here?

But aside from the most obvious ridiculousness of "good" war stories is the attempt at straight-faced "reporting" as news outlets respond to the accusations from Dubya and his supporters that it's the media's fault that this isn't a more popular and lovable war.

How can we even take these accusations seriously when they come from the same administration that has regularly paid fake reporters to praise its policies both here and in Iraq?

And how can the Bush administration even think of blaming reporters for the lack of "good" news? As CJRDaily points out, reporters in Iraq can't write up-beat stories even when they try to:

We're left with this nagging feeling, however, that the overwhelming reason why we see so much "bad news" coming out of Iraq is that, in spite of a halting start-and-stop sort of progress toward democratic institutions, things are not going well on the ground.

[...]

The other day: in search of a "good story," Jake Tapper visited the set of a popular sitcom, "Me and Layla" filming in the streets of Baghdad and starring the "Iraqi Danny Devito." Tapper was going to focus on the head of the entertainment company producing the show, a man named Hamid, in an attempt to highlight those "who are trying to make the Iraqi people laugh." Just as the ABC crew was taping a segment showing the sitcom being filmed, Tapper captured the director running to take an urgent phone call. Hamid, the man who had greenlighted "Me and Layla" and arranged for ABC to do the story, had just been assassinated.

CJRDaily also points out that "86 journalists and news assistants have been killed in Iraq since the initial invasion three years ago and 38 have been kidnapped (compare this to the 63 journalists killed over a 22-year period of war in Vietnam)."

And they want some warm fuzzy news from reporters who are being injured, kidnapped, threatened and killed?

Maria Luisa Tucker is a staff writer at AlterNet and associate editor of the Columbia Journal of American Studies.