Massing's Latest Installment
Via Juan Cole, Michael Massing's new article on Iraq media coverage is out. As usual, Massing distills the most important issues hindering media coverage, including both intentional and circumstantial impediments to on the ground reporting and the poisonous quality of cable news coverage.
Now, with President Bush preparing for a second term, what can we expect from the press in Iraq? The initial signs, from Falluja, are not encouraging. Even allowing for the constraints imposed by embedding, much of the press seemed unduly accepting of US claims, uncritically repeating commanders' assertions about the huge numbers of insurgents killed while underplaying the devastation in the city. And little attention was paid to the estimated 200,000 residents said to have fled Falluja in anticipation of the fighting. Amid US claims that the city had been "liberated," these refugees seemed invisible. But, in light of the coverage in recent months, this should have come as no surprise.