Topic: The Media
Midweek Ennui: What to say…?
Max B. Sawicky over at Max Speak: You Listen sums up how many of the left feel given events so far this week -
Yeah, I suppose.
That business with the Koran and Newsweek and the riots and all - see Newsweek, Suckered, Sucks the Air Out of the Room - will not go away.
From Baghdad, the noted local blogger there - ?Riverbend? - says this -
Ah, but we say it?s not a war against Islam. And the administration says this unhappiness all the fault of that badly sourced item in Newsweek.
Kevin Drum, in the Washington Monthly has this to say about that: ?By the time this is all over, I suspect the Pentagon is going to be sorry it ever made a fuss over the Newsweek item in the first place. Every reporter in town is now going to start investigating this stuff, and the results are not likely to be pretty. Stay tuned for a fusillade of deeply researched stories about allegations of religious desecration by American troops starting in about a week.?
Oh, that should be fun.
Andrew Sullivan cites the White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, this week ?
So the news magazine should print what the White House says they should print? Well, if they are patriotic and support our troops they will.
Some of us caught a bit of the reaction to that at the press briefing. Reporters asking if Scott thought he should be editor of Newsweek and decide what stories to run. No, he didn?t mean that! Then why the pressure? No guys ? it?s NOT pressure, just a suggestion. Scott, what?s the difference ? is the White House telling us what to say? No guys ? it was just a suggestion! And so on and so forth. It was amusing.
Sullivan adds this -
This is getting good.
Jacob Weisberg over at SLATE.COM argues here that this whole business is just your run-of-the-mill attempt to shut down the free press ?
Well, no one likes criticism, do they?
Weisberg also points to an interesting New York Times item containing this -
No kidding, Marvin!
So who are we to believe? We are told the press is the problem.
Fred Kaplan in Kaboom! How to enrage Iraq's Sunnis points to a front page story in the May 17 Philadelphia Inquirer, by staff reporters Hannah Allam and Mohammed al Dulaimy, headlined, "Iraqis Lament a Call for Help." The piece is about last week?s Operation Matador where we fought all those foreign jihadists in the desert villages of western Iraq. Our government says this was a great success, and for the first time since the Vietnam War, we were provided with body counts to prove it. The problem is Allam and Dulaimy say it was ?a grave disaster.? It seems that Iraqi tribal leaders in the area had formed a vigilante group called the Hamza Forces to stop all those Islamic extremists coming in across the Syrian border. They were outnumbered and at least three of the tribal chiefs asked the Iraqi defense ministry and the US Marines for help. We rolled in and flattened the place. But we weren?t exactly careful. We killed a lot of the Hamza guys too, and their families ? and their homes are gone. Now they?re pretty ticked at us. And obviously, they?re not too happy with the new Shiite government in Baghdad. The prospect for a unified Shiite-Sunni-Kurdish everyone-is-happy Iraq gets dimmer. But we did the body count.
We won - depending on who you believe.
Who are we to believe?
You might want to read - Afghan Poppycock - Hamid Karzai's halfhearted jihad by David Bosco ?
And Bosco goes on to explain it all in detail.
No wonder the administration is frustrated. Some folks are calling them out. So they work to stop it.
And there was the Scottish MP - George Galloway ? doing the mother of all call-outs this week ? see The Scots are known for being blunt? from earlier in the week.
I found a good item on that, from Jeanne at Body and Soul of course. It?s also on rhetoric ? how one makes one?s points.
Usual domestic method: ?? if the facts aren't with you, and you can only win by scoring cheap points here and there. Pulling off a sharp insult. Twisting a fact to good effect. Bullying the messengers into parroting your message. Ha! We win!? (think Ann Coulter, Bill O?Reilly)
UK method: No cheap shots and bitch slaps. Tell the truth ? and, oh yeah, use anaphora.
She says this -
Well, our friend, the systems guy in London, Ontario ? a bilingual French-Canadian but born out here in Yorba Linda, Nixon?s hometown ? suggests telling the truth is, shall we say, something you don?t do down south here -
Probably true. The administration has a problem with news that reports what is actually happening. We have a bigger problem with our leaders saying anything we don?t want to hear. And they know that.