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"Too many in the media today regard the reporting of the Vietnam War as one of their greatest triumphs. It certainly showed the power of the media - but also its irresponsibility. Some in the media today seem determined to recapture those glory days by the way they report on events in the Iraq war."
The quote is Thomas Sowell as seen on Powerline, who responds:
Sowell is right, but he leaves one important issue unaddressed. Why is it that the mainstream media can justify their relentless negativity and their single-minded focus on American casualties? After all, journalists are well aware that terrorists are being killed too, and that much progress is being made on various fronts.
I'm not sure if people complaining about the media fail to understand that its an institution or if they deliberately wish to push the mainstream reporters to spin the story in their favor. I suspect the latter.
The question posed: "Why is it that the mainstream media can justify their relentless negativity and their single-minded focus on American casualties?" --but not dead terrorists? Which leads to another related question; Why does the media focus the deaths of American soldiers but not on the deaths of Iraqi civilians? The media underreports the deaths of terrorists and Iraqi civilians for the exact same reason.
They are not Americans.
Simple, easy answer to your question. We care about Americans. Why aren't we reporting the innocent deaths? Why aren't we reporting the deaths of insurgents?
Same reason folks.
I guess I'm uncomfortable with the idea being floated about, that the media was responsible for America's loss in Vietnam and that we would have lost WWII as well, allowing Hitler to overrun Europe had we had the same media reporting then as now. Leading us to the natural conclusion that we should view any media that reports on negative aspects of the government's war as treasonous and supportive of evil. Propagators of this meme like to suggest that we'd be more supportive of a war if we were just blissfully unaware of its costs.
I suppose that's true, but I doubt we want to propose ignorance as a key foreign policy goal. After all, democracy is about choice, choice is contigent on good information.
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