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The media and war.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
How should the American media act during war time?

1. Be pro-American in their coverage. Not present the other side's propaganda. Not present information about civilian casualties caused by American bombs in Afghanistan. Reporters are citizens like any other, and should support the troops and the war effort. If they don't, they're aiding the enemy.

2. They should be critical, international in perspective, and independent of the gov't. Reuters, for example, does not use the term "terrorist" (or "freedom fighter," they say), calling those terms judgments rather then facts. They should present the enemy's statements in addition to our govt's, they should report facts even if those facts might hurt the country's morale, and they should be cautious about our govt's attempts to control information.

The Bush administration apparently thinks #1. They've asked the TV networks to essentially eliminate their coverage of bin Laden's statements.

The Al-Jazeera TV network recently showed one of bin Laden's interviews, along with an American's response in its entirety. In the US, the networks did not show that bin Laden statement, at the request of the Bush admin. So the Arab-language countries received more information than the US. I think that's ridiculous.

I personally love to hear what bin Laden has to say. Is Condy Rice afraid that bin Laden will start to get the American people on his side? No one even knows what he's talking about half the time.

They've also met with Hollywood types. I have no problem with Hollywood modifying their plans to take the war situation into account. But why in the world are they talking to the administration about it?

Propaganda and media control are only necessary for irrational causes. If we are doing the right thing, and it can be openly justified, let the information flow! What is the Bush admin. afraid of?
post #2 of 15
I think the "official" reason they don't want Bin Laden's statements aired is because they're afraid they contain coded messages to his associates in other countries. It seems somewhat unlikely to me.

Jeff
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post #3 of 15
The media should follow their journalistic ethics. The very act is pro-American because it is a guaranteed right under the Constitution of the United States of America.

1. They should only deal in verifiable facts, never ever in propaganda from the homeland nor from enemies.

2. They should not reveal information that is detrimental to the health and well-being of its soldiers and citizens. Revealing troop movements, specifications of arms and armament, and whatnot are clearly out-of-bounds. Casualties, troop behavior, and things like it are not.

3. All of the above is irrelevant because the media is a capitalistic venture, not an altruistic one. That is, they'll do whatever makes the most money only bounded by its legality. If it happens to be helpful, lucky for us.
post #4 of 15
Shocking, the Bush administration wants the media to be pro-American!? How dare they!

It's the media's job to be all those positive things and they are too lazy to do it. Don't blame the government for a lazy and inefficient media system.

My grade for the media thus far:
C+
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post #5 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>
2. They should be critical, international in perspective, and independent of the gov't. Reuters, for example, does not use the term "terrorist" (or "freedom fighter," they say), calling those terms judgments rather then facts...</strong><hr></blockquote>

Reuters did this out of fear. They didn't want their people to be attacked by the Arab Street. I have no problem calling those who hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings "terrorists". Those who choose not to shouldn't be encouraged. They should be ridiculed.
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post #6 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>Shocking, the Bush administration wants the media to be pro-American!? How dare they!

It's the media's job to be all those positive things and they are too lazy to do it. Don't blame the government for a lazy and inefficient media system.

My grade for the media thus far:
C+</strong><hr></blockquote>


I'll have to agree with grover here. Seems the media has their own agenda in all this sometimes. It's rather quite pathetic.
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post #7 of 15
I think too often the media takes the opposite view just because that's the roll they are used to. You know. Pentagon says the war is going well...media calls it a "quagmire". Bush says "evil doer" about a 100 times ... media has to put a "human face" on "evil".


During an election year or in a political process it's great. As long as they try to stay centered and cover all the bases. Even if they don't it's just about harmless. During "war" it comes off as a tad unamerican.

Americans like to root for the underdog too. But the underdog in this one are the Taliban and Al Queda. Too bad some in the media are rooting for them.
post #8 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by jeffyboy:
<strong>I think the "official" reason they don't want Bin Laden's statements aired is because they're afraid they contain coded messages to his associates in other countries. It seems somewhat unlikely to me.

Jeff</strong><hr></blockquote>

bin Laden has actually admitted to this in an interview. He is sending coded messages to his operatives. So Bush/Blair were right in saying not to transmit the entire thing. Just because you cannot understand it does not mean that there aren't those can. Besides, all we get is the translation that they choose to give. I have spoken with those who speak the language and the news I have heard is that you do not want to know what he is really saying. Suffice it to say, it is not as nice as it sounds, they sanitize it a bit.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #9 of 15
He does give orders and things in interviews? And then admitted it in another? Some mastermind!

I wonder why news translators clean up his comments? One would think they'd want to put him in the worst light possible.

Interesting stuff, NoahJ.

Jeff
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What are you up to, Norm?

My ideal weight if I were 11 feet tall.
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post #10 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by jeffyboy:
<strong>He does give orders and things in interviews? And then admitted it in another? Some mastermind!

I wonder why news translators clean up his comments? One would think they'd want to put him in the worst light possible.

Interesting stuff, NoahJ.

Jeff</strong><hr></blockquote>
Yeah, I beleive it was in the same interview where he admitted to detroying the WTC. Mastermind, no. Madman, yes.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #11 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by THT:
<strong>The media should follow their journalistic ethics....

3. All of the above is irrelevant because the media is a capitalistic venture, not an altruistic one. That is, they'll do whatever makes the most money only bounded by its legality. If it happens to be helpful, lucky for us.</strong><hr></blockquote>


Well said. The media is not, nor has it ever been in the "truth" business. People in this country would be wise to realize / remember that. So many people take what they hear at face value from the news media, and it's really pathetic they don't know any better.

We've become a very ill-read, ill-informed country. As far as the war goes, I think the Pentagon ought to keep whatever information they want, and give out whatever facts remain that cannot endanger our mission or our people overseas.

They have zero obligation to the press. In fact, I think it would be rather humorous if they'd stop being so polite and patient with the press and take a Charles Barkley approach. Every time someone asks a question the know damn well is out of bounds, the General or whoever is speaking ought to verbally zing them publically.

The media vultures need to be put in their place.
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post #12 of 15
[quote]I have no problem calling those who hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings "terrorists". Those who choose not to shouldn't be encouraged. They should be ridiculed.<hr></blockquote>

Who does that?
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post #13 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by Mac The Fork:
<strong>
Who does that?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Reuters

[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>... Reuters, for example, does not use the term "terrorist" (or "freedom fighter," they say), calling those terms judgments rather then facts... </strong><hr></blockquote>
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post #14 of 15
[quote]Reuters<hr></blockquote>

My ability to assimilate obvious facts has decended to an all-time low.

Perhaps Reuters refrains from using 'terrorist' to avoid the changes in popular definition brought to it by the American situation, which ties it more specifically to Al Qaeda members acting against the United States than just anyone who aims to incite terror.

By that reasoning, calling someone a terrorist can be more of a judgment than is possible with the facts available, and calling an Al Qaeda member a terrorist furthers a distorted referential meaning.

Would an Arab street infuriated by the use of the word 'terrorist' to label an obvious terrorist really have the sense to note bylines?
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post #15 of 15
Yea. I'm sure they were worried about the integrity fo the definition of the word "terrorist".

More the point they said "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". Great.

Fact is Reuters is pandering to their larger overseas subscribers who don't like reading the truth about their "islamic brothers".
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