A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Too Graphic for the MSM

Okay, the blogosphere is all abuzz this week with discussion of the Eason Jordan business. That’s all well and good; as a blogger, I’m glad it was one (or several) of us that brought down another biased news executive. The only concern I have is that this kind of thing must not go to people’s heads … remember that blogs aren’t some sort of holy, inerrant medium that is utterly free from sin. We all have, do, and will continue to make occasional mistakes. If we forget that – if we allow the thrill of taking out slanted MSM bigwigs to become more important than the reasons why they need to be taken out – well, then, we’re no better than Rather and Jordan.

Okay, enough cautionary rhetoric from Sandor's soapbox.

My Dad sent me an e-mail over the weekend. It was one of those “Forward This to 10 People if You Agree” e-mails, but this one actually had an interesting point. It contained five photographs and was entitled “Shocking Pictures From Iraq”. Of course I instantly thought of prison abuse, leveled buildings in Fallujah, and mangled corpses of women and kids.

Here are the pictures from the e-mail:

Iraq 1 Posted by Hello

Iraq 2 Posted by Hello

Iraq 3 Posted by Hello

Iraq 4 Posted by Hello

Iraq 5 Posted by Hello

Now here’s the point: Why haven’t we seen these on the news? I see dozens of photographs and video clips from Iraq every day, if not more. Why is it that the MSM so loves to show us insurgents with AK-47s, bleeding bomb victims, and pyramids of naked Iraqi prisoners, but they never – never – show us just one like those posted above?

This is real, folks. Those pictures are not fakes, and the events they depict are not illusions. You see the third and fourth pictures down? I myself participate in the program that provides those school kits for Iraqi kids. I get e-mails every couple weeks from Jim Hake, the man who organizes it. Our soldiers do stuff like this, all day, every day. This stuff is far more representative of the work we’re doing there than the pictures of dead civilians and burning humvees, but we never see it on the news.

And that is why bloggers are having so much success taking down these media hotshots and their slanted stories. Dan Rather was so impatient to get his anti-Bush piece onto 60 Minutes that he got sloppy with his fact-checking, and Power Line nailed his ass to the wall for it. Eason Jordan, so eager to make the US military look bad, accused American soldiers of intentionally killing reporters. He got dogpiled by dozens, then hundreds, of bloggers who knew he was lying through his teeth.

The reaction from the MSM has largely been “Why are you doing this to us!?!” Well folks, look at the news you report to us, and then look at those pictures I posted above. See a disparity there?

That’s why we’re doing it to you.