Wednesday, June 15, 2005

An Unpalatable Cocktail

Am I the only person irritated by the way the AP decided to report the story of Douglass Wood’s rescue? Here’s the first paragraph of their report:

Iraqi troops, backed by U.S. forces, freed an Australian hostage after six weeks in captivity, officials said Wednesday. The release came as a suicide bomber dressed in an Iraqi army uniform blew himself up in a mess hall north of Baghdad, killing at least 25 Iraqi soldiers and injuring 27.

What the hell does the suicide bomber have to do with the rescue of Douglass Wood? I know that the wire services like to lump the catalogue of Iraq horrors together in their daily dispatches from the war zone, but the rescue of Douglass Wood is a story filled with drama, excitement and joy. It's a story that clearly deserves to stand alone.

The AP headlined the Douglas Wood rescue with this: “Iraqi, U.S. Forces Free Australian Hostage,” and then a mere one sentence into their tale of military derring-do they ditch it to give us two and a half paragraphs on Baghdad bombings. They then return to the hostage rescue, before going back to the bombings yet again for another 10 paragraphs.

These are two separate stories that have no connection to one another. It would make as much sense to combine at random any other two stories in today’s headlines. For example:

Thousands of people have been arrested across Ethiopia after violent clashes in which police killed 36 people, a New York-based human rights group reported Wednesday. The clashes came as Tom Cruise said his romance with Katie Holmes is the real deal.

The only explanation is that the AP, with its standard MSM anti-war bias, intentionally soiled a bit of good news in order to prevent it from making their readership feel any better about Iraq. It’s a pathetically petty tactic.

Tom adds: the anti-war people that write and edit this news know very well that they'll never change the present course of events, and the potentially huge impact that these events will have, through the typical means of anti-war demonstrations, sloganeering, or shouting down the Governator giving a speech. They know very well that the best way to acheive their goals is to negatively spin the war in every aspect in the attempt to influence as much pessimism and defeatism and "we're-just-making-things-worse"-ism as they can. And since much of this war isn't about military battles, but rather a war of competing ideas, these writers and editors know they have alot of power in their hands to accomplish it. In light of this, I'd like to share what my esteemed General William Tecumseh Sherman had to say about the press:
I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast. Could very well be true, Bill T.
On another note, does the fact that the American and Iraqi forces had good enough intelligence to find a live hostage say anything worthy of print? Guess not.

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