Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Covering The Iraq War

John Hinderaker over at Power Line point us to a Media Research Center study of coverage of the Iraq war by the three broadcast news networks. As you might expect, the evidence doesn't exactly support the MSM's claim to be fair and objective. Most notably:
Network coverage has been overwhelmingly pessimistic. More than half of all stories (848, or 61%) focused on negative topics or presented a pessimistic analysis of the situation, four times as many as featured U.S. or Iraqi achievements or offered an optimistic assessment (just 211 stories, or 15%).
Be sure to give the report a read, it puts in hard evidence what the conservative pundits have been pointing out for a long time: the MSM is not for the president, the war, or the soldiers fighting it.

It's time that the MSM took a look at offering unbiased and comprehensive reporting on Iraq. For starters, they could ask Sec. Rumsfeld for some help, because he certainly gets it. From his speech Monday at Johns Hopkins University:
I'm not one to put much faith in opinion polls. But the other day, I came across an interesting set of statistics that I want to mention. It seems that the Pew Research Center asked opinion leaders in the United States their views of the prospects for a stable democracy in Iraq.

Here were some of the results: 63% of people in the news media thought the enterprise would fail. So did 71% of people in the foreign affairs establishment and 71% in academic settings or think tanks. Interestingly, opinion leaders from the U.S. military are optimistic about Iraq by a margin of 64% to 32%. And so is the American public, by a margin of 56% to 37%.

And the Iraqi people are also optimistic. I've seen this demonstrated repeatedly--in public opinion polls, in the turnout for the elections, and that tips to authorities from ordinary Iraqis have grown from 483 to 4,700 tips in a month.

This prompts the question: Which view of Iraq is more accurate? The pessimistic view of so-called elites in our country--or the optimism expressed by millions of Iraqis and by the roughly 158,000 troops on the ground? But, most important is the question: why should Iraq's success or failure matter to the American people? I'd like to address these questions today.
But don't expect many MSM types to go digging through Rummy's speech to find out the things they neglect to report. Instead, they'll continue to offer their anti-war slant, and have to face consequences like this.