Friday, August 25, 2006

Context

We've heard plenty about the effect of Al-Jazeera and similar organizations in how the ongoing war is perceived, and rightly so. There's a lot of sophistication in what goes on their airwaves and it's worth remembering that sophistication and sophistry are very much related terms. We've all seen how these organizations can effectively provide a direct conduit to Al Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas and all manner of related terrorist organizations, airing their videos, conducting interviews and providing analysis of their operations and ambitions.

This is nothing new, of course - the Nazis and the Japanese provided regular propaganda broadcasts during WWII, featuring the soothing tones of Axis Sally and Tokyo Rose. Early on in the Iraq War, Saddam's mouthpiece "Baghdad Bob" was the butt of many jokes as well. It seemed that we recognized propaganda for what it was. But as the conflict drags on, it seems like our media give increasing credibility to terrorists and hostile foreign government leaders and less to George Bush and the government he runs. Mike Wallace, long renowned as the toughest interviewer in the history of television, gave a respectful, even meek platform for Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, the daytime boss for the Iranian mullahs. Previously, Dan Rather performed a similar service for Saddam Hussein before the Iraq War began.

What's striking about this is that these men, who are sworn enemies of this country, are allowed an essentially open platform for what they believe, while an American president, especially George W. Bush, would not get a similar reception. Every time Bush encounters the media, the hostility he faces is palpable. I suspect that Karl Rove and his fellow political operatives are going to be bringing this sort of thing to the attention of the American public in the coming weeks. At this point many in the media are so heavily invested in their narrative of presidential failure, that I wonder what will happen if contrary evidence is effectively presented....

1 comment:

Mark said...

I love you -- Maria