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Press on Press

In an article in the Washington Times by Jennifer Harper, she examines how the press continues to focus on the images from Abu Ghraib while other stories like the mass graves from Hussein’s reign and U.S. success stories are set aside.

Accounts and graphic photos of Iraqi prisoner abuse persist in the press despite the fact that the story has run its course.
The world already knows salient details of the prisoner humiliation and nudity, the causes of the abuse are under official investigation, and the courts-martial have begun. Yet, the caterwaul in the press against the American military and the war in Iraq continue.

Positive human-interest accounts about the armed forces are rare. The press tends to ignore battlefield vignettes from military news services, which could offer an expanded perspective to the public.

The center has been following “the bias problem” among broadcasters who use the abuse story to build a case against the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. As a sample, the group tracked abuse stories from April 29 through May 11 on NBC and found that the network aired 58 stories on the abuse in that period.
The MRC also found, however, that in the past year, NBC had aired only five stories on mass graves found in Iraq from the Saddam Hussein era.

From the articles I have read, there were hundreds of pictures taken of the abuses. The mainstream media appears to want to have a few of these pictures trickle out each day to prolong the story. The abuses at the hands of U.S. Marines were bad. Those responsible should and will be punished. Showing more pictures of the same abuses is not news. It’s a rallying cry for Muslim extremists and a blantant attempt to sensationalize the actions of a few for the sake of politics.

5 comments to Press on Press

  • Joshua

    I don’t agree that the story has “run its course,” because this is a major story that calls into question the leadership capabilities of a U.S. military run operation in a time of great uncertainty. This is an important story that deserves continuing coverage.

    However, I don’t like how the media presents both the abuse photos and the Nick Berg video. Both of these images are horrific. Watching CNN’s American Morning and Fox News’ Fox and Friends, they show clips of the Berg video (non graphic content) and photos with little to no explanation as to what they are and, WORSE YET, as promos before and after commercial interruptions. It’s awful. These images, I feel, are broadcast indiscriminately. When introducing a “coming up… the Nick berg case” promo and showing the beginning of the video… I feel this is in bad taste. As a promotion to make sure the viewer doesn’t switch channels during the commercial break, it makes light of an extremely disturbing and emotionally charged issue… all for corporate media gain. And the gratuitous use of abuse photos is shameful… they are on every media outlet as promos (“and coming up… prisoner abuse”). Shameful. These pictures should be viewed with solemnity, not as a placeholder to make sure the viewer sticks with the channel through the car and beer commercials.

  • Aggie

    I also don’t think the abuse story has fully run its course as we don’t yet know who authorized what. But perhaps the airing of the photos associated with this story has run its course. I don’t think we need to see more and more and more of the stuff–we already know it’s nasty and shouldn’t have happened.

  • If you’re looking for good taste from the news, you’re going to be looking for a very long time.

    It’s also obvious by now that the salacious nature of the Abu Ghraib story, combined with the fact that it makes the current administration look bad, shows where most news outlets are pointed: firmly toward the left.

    The news that sarin gas was found in an exploded bomb in Iraq only made it to page 11 of the New York Times, and was buried in a similar place in the Washington Post. Why? It’s a newer story than Abu Ghraib, and it shows the presence of a WMD in Iraq. The search for objectivity, or at least good news judgment, is at least as difficult an effort as finding taste.

  • Joshua

    Nobody knows if that one bomb with sarin gas in it was from the Hussein regime or was imported afterwards. That’s why it’s on p. 11 on the NYTimes. If they found WMD in Iraq, rest assured it will be front page news everywhere, including the “liberal” press.

  • Morgan

    OK. What about the video of Saddam’s torture rooms? There are literally hundreds of hours of torture where people are thrown off buildings, having limbs chopped off and electricuted to death. Where are the photos from that? These are photos that make the Marine abuses look like a tea party. I have yet to see any of these photos make the evening news.

    As for the Sarin gas, there were four liters in that shell. That’s enough to kill several thousand people. I don’t care where the shell came from. If that had been fired into downtown Tel Aviv, there would have been a commission over why we didn’t stop it.