Monday, February 28, 2005

Iraq - Legacy Media Wake Up


Legacy media are finally admitting what we have know for a long time, the coverage in Iraq has been one sided against America from the beginning.

Chrenkoff has been doing legacy media's job for them. His good news Iraq series is up to part 22. They and we owe him big time.

Yesterday I posted that some in the media were starting to speak out. It's nice to see they single the BBC out in particular for their biased reporting; something I've been doing for almost a year now. Here is what Bartle Bull had to say about the BBC in that post.

But the daily BBC message I watched with my various Iraqi hosts never budged. The refrain was Iraq's "atmosphere of intimidation and violence," and the message was that the elections could never work.


When I went to the BBC's Baghdad bunker for some interviews after the election, the reporters I had been watching on television asked me, "So what's it like out there in the real world?" They meant the Iraqi street.

Today The Scotsman finally wakes up to what the blogsphere has been saying since before the war began. The Scotsman also points out the failure of the BBC.

You would never guess that from some British media reports, which are about as cheerful as coverage of a funeral. There is no difficulty telling the difference between the BBC’s Caroline Hawley and a ray of sunshine. You get the impression that most commentators are disappointed that the elections happened at all and, when they did, were secretly hoping for an outrage so dreadful it would turn 30 January into a day of wailing rather than cheering.

There was a brief flicker of hope for the press pack when a British Hercules aircraft crashed, killing nine RAF personnel and one soldier.

At once the British media made it the main story of the day, which, despite the tragedy for the families, it was not, particularly as there was no proof that the crash, though claimed by two separate terrorist groups, was caused by terrorists.

But never mind that. The crash gave commentators what they wanted: an excuse to downplay the success of the first democratic elections in which many Iraqis had ever taken part, and imply that they were a failure.

The truth is that hatred for George Bush and all he stands for is so entrenched in the eyes of bien pensant western commentators, that using the word "success" about Iraq would choke them. If word ever slips out, in relation, for example, to the highly influential Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani’s rejection of an Iranian-style theocracy, or that both Sunni and Shia openly state that they must get on together and not destroy the country through civil war, it comes hedged with such portentous and lugubrious caveats that it sounds more like a distasteful disease. [...]

This longing for the failure of Bush’s Iraq policy is understandable but rather childish. It is also behind the times. US policy has certainly not been perfect. There are blackspots and boiling points, particularly in Baghdad. Yet somehow "on-the-spot" journalists fail to remind us that Iraq is more than Baghdad and that, in vast swathes of the country, not only is normal life resuming, but it is resuming with hope for a democratic future that was impossible under Saddam.

And if you do not believe me, listen to Walid Jumblatt, the patriarch of the Druze Muslim community in Lebanon. He has stated publicly that, although he is cynical of the US invasion of Iraq, the election has turned out to be, "the start of a new Arab world". He went on: "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it." If this is heresy, I’m happy to own it. There may be trouble ahead, but Iraqis are now making sure that Iraq is on its way.

More and more people are waking up to the fact that the BBC is nothing more than a propaganda machine targeting America and George Bush in particular. The BBC owe the American, British and Iraqi public an apology. They also owe the brave fighting men and women of those countries an apology. The BBC's propaganda gave comfort and aid to the enemy during time of war and helped demoralize our troops. For this they should truly be ashamed of themselves.

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