Sunday, March 23, 2003

As I've said many times before in various contexts, I was raised to consider all points of view, all the facts from all perspectives. It wasn't only the way I was raised, it was the way I was trained as an historian. Whenever I read anything it's automatic for me to check who wrote it and what their angle is. So it is with war news. The barrage is constant, but much of it is packaged and framed to support a particular view. "Conservatives" who have spent years railing against the major media for packaging news in ways favorable to their own interests, whether those interests be ideological or financial (i.e. keep the drama coming because drama=viewers), should not forget their formerly adamantly held convictions during this time.

The American news channels - broadcast and cable both are so caught up with video that even with their wealth of resources, they are neglecting to report on the many stories developing or to adquately follow up on events that even happened yesterday. Before we went to Mass this morning, for example, all the cable news networks were fixated on this fire in the weeds on the banks of the river in Baghdad. I mean fixated. For hours. As if the sight of the citizens of Baghdad jumping around a river bank were in any way more newsworthy than the skirmishes that were occurring throughout Iraq, than the apparent fragging (for an explanation see Michael's blog), or whatever is going on with the Turks...

So we turn to the internet, hoping to find relief, and to some extent we do. But again, even the better warbloggers are coming at it from the perspective of full, unquestioning support for the Bush administration, which is fine, but there are other angles worth checking out, if not for the perspective, which you can take or leave, but for the articles they link, which you won't find linked on the warbloggers' sites. Here are two:

Nowarblog links to stories about the State Department's stated doubts about the future of democracy in Iraq

Counterspin links to stories about Red Cross accounts of casualty figures and frankly ambiguous responses of some Iraqi citizens to American action and presence.

Of course - not the whole story. But if you can ignore some of the blather surrounding it and focus on the information offered (linked from reputable news sources), you get more of that whole story than you would if you just stuck with the voices that you want to hear, voices that sound just like yours.

And if your cable or satellite system carries Newsworld International, by all means, watch that as much as possible.

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