Iraq Coverage: Click Here Now

Instapundit and Roger Simon are all over the unbelievable, disgraceful, infuriating lack of coverage of the antiterrorist march in Iraq.

Unlike the Western antiwar demonstrators, who talk of ‘repression’ while getting free legal assistance, the demonstrators in Iraq are, literally, risking their lives.

And while I certainly won’t claim to have enough knowledge or perspective to come to a conclusion as to what these demonstrations really mean, I can absolutely say that by not covering them, the media are denying me – and everyone else – the ability to formulate that perspective.

I’m disgusted. But not, sadly, surprised.

If you share that response, you might want to send an email to the New York Times Public Editor, or his Los Angeles Times equivalent. It’ll just take a second, and like me, you’ll feel better once you do.

26 thoughts on “Iraq Coverage: Click Here Now”

  1. Emails done.

    This is shocking. What the hell is going on here? Have we in the blogosphere simply lost perspective as to what is significant and newsworthy and what isn’t? I don’t buy that. The demonstrations were not only “good” news, but by virtue of their sheer message, size, timing and contrast with the day-to-day body count, they were also important by any impartial standard.

    Therefore, the major news media is not impartial. And the only question is why. Is it because they are only focused on the drama of violence and setbacks? Is it really that most reporters and editors of the mass media are democrats and liberals and therefore are promoting an anti-Bush (and in passing an anti-Iraqi and anti-American) agenda?

    The media appears to be a huge battlefield for shaping not only perceptions, but I fear events as well – the winning of hearts and minds. And it seems to be globalized. The European news media are providing an extremely distorted view of American intentions and progress in Iraq. This bias, while less flagrant, is apparent in the U.S. media as well. Ebadi’s disgraceful nobel acceptance speech yesterday was also part of that battle – on the wrong side. Forty-three percent of Iraqis believe the U.S. invaded and is now occupying their country to get its hands on their oil. These views do not arise and are not sustained out of nowhere. Words, perceptions conveyed, images have consequences. The civilized world seems to be in the midst of a mindset in which freedom is unfreedom, racism is anti-racism, and humanitarian assistance is oppression. All in a mass communion of appeasement, denial and slow fulfilment of a civilizational death wish.

    Excuse the hysteria. But I was surprised.

  2. Done.

    …you ought to email someone at the NSC (Blackwill), the WH (Bartlett), or the CPA (Senor) for dropping the ball on this one as well.

    They have an inordinate ability to set the news agenda, and they’re F-ing it up, big time.

    They should have known this was happening–hell, the probably had a big hand it making it happen–and acted accordingly.

  3. Email done. The CPA seems to have no sense that they are fighting an information war. Heck, the commander of the 3ID tank battalions that made the first attacks into Baghdad proper immediately realized this when they seized the first of Saddam’s palaces, and did not withdrawl for the night as common sense seemed to dictate. May be we need a Col. instead of an ambassador in charge of the CPA.

  4. …the other thing I thought of with the CPA is that maybe they are afraid that if they trumpet these protests, they’ll actually undermine them by taint of association.

  5. Email sent. Got a response back immediately from LA Times:
    “There was no omission of news events here. What is your source of news? Just curious. Thanks”

    Suggestions for clever replies? ;)

  6. hmm, I asked him (whoever it is that’s responding to my emails) where on the LA Times website I could find a reference to the marches. He ignored my question and just asked for the second time “where on the Internet are you finding your news?” I wonder if even knows what a blog is.

  7. If these marches were so newsworthy, why can’t I find anyhting about them on the CPA website (especially since CPA has been criticized for not getting enough good news out there)?

    SP

  8. This was the response I got:

    “Thank you for your comments and inquiries. Everything sent to this mailbox is read either by me or by my associate, Arthur Bovino. If a reply is appropriate, you will be hearing from us shortly. When referring to a specific article please include its date, section and headline.
    — Daniel Okrent
    Public Editor
    ————————————–

    You can find the email addresses for most reporters, editors and departments by sending a request to staff@nytimes.com or directory@nytimes.com

  9. Sent the email to Okrent’s office, and FWIW here is the reply.
    Mr. Phillips,

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    The Times did print a picture on page A18 of the rally against terrorism in Iraq.
    The caption reads: Taking a stand against guerrillas, Iraqis stood on columns in Baghdad yesterday during a rally that attracted thousands. The attacks have killed and wounded Iraqi civilians as well as Americans and their allies.

    Mr. Okrent has asked me to tell you that Roger Cohen, the editor of the foreign desk, is away this week.
    Dan intends to meet with Mr. Cohen next week when he will bring up reader concerns about the Iraq coverage.

    Cheers,
    Arthur Bovino
    Office of the Public Editor
    The New York Times

    At 09:45 AM 12/11/2003 -0800, you wrote:

    Dear Sir:
    I am truly disappointed in your [lack of] coverage of the anti-terrorist demonstration in Baghdad. Had there been 50 people protesting against the US forces, I am sure , given your sad history, that it would have been front page news with interviews etc. Your journalistic approach to coverage of events in Iraq comes across as really blatantly biased against the US, and could be construed as giving “aid and comfort to the enemy”. I am left wondering what you want to happen to the long oppressed Iraqi people?
    Sadly

    Alan Phillips

    Arthur Bovino
    Office of the Public Editor
    The New York Times
    (212)556-7652

    Let’s see what happens next.

  10. Hmm… shoot first and ask questions later? Seems that Kevin (www.calpundit.com) noted that both “liberal” and “conservative” newspapers failed to cover it. Funny thing is, I clicked over to http://www.antiwar.com, via a Reason Hit & Run post, and found the story listed on their site. They linked to this story in the Seattle Times (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001812403_demo11.html). Yep, the crowd most of you love to hate covered the story.

    Perhaps y’all ought to lather down a bit and not take blog posts as gospel.

  11. I just received the following email as well:

    ——–
    Thank you for your inquiry.

    The Times did print a picture on page A18 of the rally against terrorism in Iraq.
    The caption reads: “Taking a stand against guerrillas, Iraqis stood on columns in Baghdad yesterday during a rally that attracted thousands. The attacks have killed and wounded Iraqi civilians as well as Americans and their allies.”

    Mr. Okrent has asked me to tell you that Roger Cohen the editor of the foreign desk is away this week and he intends to meet with him next week when he will bring up reader concerns about the Iraq coverage.

    Cheers,
    Arthur Bovino
    Office of the Public Editor
    The New York Times

  12. Before you get your panties in a wad, lets keep some things in perspective.

    The vast majority of Iraqis want a peaceful, safe, and free Iraq. As does the rest of the world, including the vast majority of anti-war protesters.

    The question is whether we will succeed. Frankly, Iraqis can march until they are blue in the face but unless we can kill or capture Saddam Hussein (remember him?) and defeat the insurgents, we are not going to get what we want.

    This is why the most important stories are about our success in defeating the guerillas. In the long run, stories about painted schools and happy marchers do not say much about whether we will be successful. Stories about rocket attacks on U.S. troops do. That is why most stories focus on the attacks.

    So, you can all puff out your chests in righteous indignation when the media does not cover the happy stories in the depth that you desire. But I can assure you that claiming the media “does not want us to win” is utterly absurd.

  13. Just Wondering –

    Sorry, when the ‘newspapers of record’ bury or fail to cover this – which I’ll point out is a _potentially_ material issue (that the Iraqis are _possibly_ not all violently opposed to the US presence) is simply buried or not covered.

    I’ll have a longer reply to Kevin later…

    A.L.

  14. While I agree that this protest is more significant than most, protests as a whole are over as far as the media is concerned. They don’t carry the same currency in the public mind as they once did—largely, in part, I think, to the glut of enormous protests during the 90s over relatively insubstantial matters (e.g. the Million Mom March).

  15. I guess this is better than the other conservative swill about going and seeing how great the Iraqi schools since it has turned out Bechtel screwed it up. Yes go see the demostrations, and look at all those Commie flags! Of course they could have covered the other demonstrations in other cities like Najaf protesting against America, but hey, no complaints about missing those demonstrations, right.

  16. You’re missing the point. The majority of the media cover just about every anti-American and anti-Bush march that comes down the pike. They also seek out and quote disgruntled Iraqis. So why isn’t this Iraqi anti-terror march, which is a good thing, news worthy? Why don’t they seek out and quote more grateful and hopeful Iraqis? Because it’s GOOD news. And good news is just not as newsworthy in their eyes.

  17. Is it supposed to be surprising that Iraqis (or anyone else) are against terrorism?

    Ten thousand people.

    The same NYT/Wash. Post/big media routinely ignored material coverage of rallies with ten times that many people in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere when the marchers were protesting Congress’ “deliberations” of whether to concur with Bush about proceeding with our pre-emptive, lie-based invasion of Iraq.

    Here’s a news flash I’d like to see the major media cover: Osama bin Laden is still alive and plotting the next move against the United States.

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