Analysis and rationality in a nonrational world

January 10, 2007

Bad reporting, wrong conclusions

Filed under: News reporting — analysis @ 3:06 pm

Some mainstream news media accurately reported the statements of Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats and Republicans in Congress: they would not support any more troops being sent to Iraq until George W. Bush provided a goal for our presence there, and the conditions under which we would leave.

Given how many goals we’ve heard for the war in Iraq, that doesn’t sound unreasonable. Originally we were told we would enter Iraq, eliminate Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction, and leave. We’ve done that – not that there were any weapons to eliminate. At some point, though, especially with the Bush and Cheney families making so many millions of dollars off of the war, one begins to wonder if that was ever really the goal.

It seems insane to be in a war without a stated purpose or any sort of end plan. That becomes an occupation, not a war. Indeed, it becomes colonization. If that’s why we’re there, saying it outright would certainly help the military. Then we could change our tactics and strategy to colonize instead of acting like targets for the benefit of private contractors.

The sad thing is that many news sources, particularly Fox, are mis-reporting the escalation-opponents’ argument, and they are doing it in exactly the same way as the Bush apologists – that is, claiming that the Democrats (Republicans who feel the same way are ignored so it can sound more partisan) are demanding an immediate unconditional surrender or withdrawal. Well, that isn’t true. They have said they’d happily support sending more troops, if there was a reason to do it other than “George Bush said so.” But so far, that’s the only reason we have.

It’s not good enough – and shame on those who lied to their readers or listeners so the Democrats would sound like a bunch of drug-addled 1960s hippies. We’ve had enough slams. Now that Democrats and Republicans are working together, all the media should be doing their part by reporting on it accurately and without bias. Unfortunately, some companies and commentators make more money when they get their audience riled up by spreading lies and hatred; and they’re misleading a good number of patriotic Americans, spreading dissent at home for their own benefit.

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