Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good Question on Iraq

Glennzilla asks a very good question about the Iraq War and the media coverage it receives in the context of presidential politics:

What is the point of writing a big feature article claiming that Americans are moving towards support for the Iraq War again and this is dramatically re-shaping the political landscape in McCain's favor while purposely ignoring the mountain of extremely recent empirical data completely negating that claim? One could justify such blatantly dishonest presentations from pro-war propagandists like Bill Kristol and Michael O'Hanlon, but shouldn't a newspaper with pretenses to being a news organization do a better job of pretending?
He answers his own question quite thoroughly. By large margins, Americans want the Iraq War to end. By large margins, Americans favor the Democrats over the Republicans on Iraq policy. But the news media wants, among other things, a close presidential race that generates personality-driven stories, dramatically zig-zagging polls, and large ad purchases by the respective campaigns in "swing states" and beyond.

Yet again -- how many times have we heard this? -- things are improving in Iraq. And we've heard the corollary almost as often -- Republicans stand to gain from their steadfast devotion to endless war in Iraq.

False and false. But we should expect to hear the McCain campaign eagerly embrace these falsehoods and push them as hard and as far as possible through a too-willing news media.

2 comments:

mikesdak said...

I quite agree. I think the desire for drama is also why you don't see media writing off Hillary's campaign deptie the numbers. The longer she deludes herself, the more copy generated. It is very selfish attitude that does a great disservice to the country.

Dale said...

Absolutely. The Clinton-Obama slapfest fills airtime effortlessly. They can't get enough.