Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biased Media Buts

In the last year and especially the last few months, the media has begun to report on success in Iraq. While this is an improvement over the almost uniformly negative reporting, it has retained the shadings of the past coverage that assumed defeat.

That is, whenever the report is about a success or some progress, the reporter almost invariably adds the "but ...". Like, "Casualties are down, but [insert reason] this is fragile and could unravel, leading Iraq back to the death spiral."

Which is fine, I suppose. Some caution is appropriate in reporting. Surely, we could yet lose despite very good indicators of victory.

What annoys me is that back when the media was reporting on escalating violence and casualties, never once did I read or hear "but, even though we appear to be losing, because of [insert reason] there is reason to hope that American forces and our Iraqi friends will learn to cope with this problem and emerge victorious in the end."

There was never a big but when the press said we were losing. I disagree with the idea we were losing, but even accepting their judgment, why didn't they offer the "but" line the way they do now when we are winning?

It's all about biased media buts, in my opinion.