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War and the press - I am the fountain of affection
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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Fri, Apr. 11th, 2003 10:47 am
War and the press

I've been discussing with various folks how staged the felling of that statue of Saddam Hussein might or might not have been. The camera angles and the fact that this all happened right next to the hotel housing most of the journalists made many suspicious. This web page gives one angle on it: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2842.htm -- it claims that some of the Iraqis photographed greeting the Marines with glee... were shipped in by the Pentagon on Sunday, and the plaza "teeming" with people never had more than 150 people in it. (We had several times more in front of John Harvard's statue for the protest the day after the war began.)

The militia member in that bottom right photo... it reminds me of the "spontaneous" "Florida" protesters during the 2000 ballot recount process, who were actually shipped in from various Republican campaigns.

Bleah.

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kathrynt
kathrynt
Kathryn
Fri, Apr. 11th, 2003 09:28 am (UTC)

I'm commenting on this everywhere I see it, because I think it's important that people know: On the day this happened, the journalist-of-the-moment on CNN said "I want to make it clear that there are not thousands of people here. There are at most two or three hundred. This is not a massive uprising." Even the mainstream media is supporting this point.


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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Fri, Apr. 11th, 2003 09:43 am (UTC)

While that CNN commentator may have said so, that is not the coverage it's getting now. The image of the statue is rolled over and over, and mostly without commentary saying "this is a deceptive view, there aren't many more people than you're seeing". No wide shots of the plaza, etc.


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kathrynt
kathrynt
Kathryn
Fri, Apr. 11th, 2003 09:47 am (UTC)

Oh, I KNOW it isn't the coverage it's getting now. The point I want to make is that this isn't something that some fringe wacky leftist organization cooked up -- this was supported ON THE DAY OF by C N BLOODY N. And now the party line has all totally changed. It's irritating.


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juanal
juanal
Juan
Fri, Apr. 11th, 2003 09:31 am (UTC)

Color me not shocked.


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jim_p
jim_p
Jim P
Fri, Apr. 11th, 2003 09:43 am (UTC)

Maybe the Iraqui information minister is now on the Pentagon payroll?


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johnpalmer
johnpalmer
John
Fri, Apr. 11th, 2003 11:20 am (UTC)

It's been something that's bothered me, too.

I know, as nearly as anyone can know the future, that 'being greeted as liberators' will happen, even if it has to be manufactured. We'll be at least the de facto rulers of Iraq... and any wise bureaucrat who has survived SH's rule (which I'm sure, as with most bureaucracies, requires knowing which way the wind is blowing) will realize that helping to provide the pomp and circumstance will be immearuably important to his future success. ("His", in this case, because I'm guessing that the bureaucrats will be men, given the location.)

But, I don't suppose the majority of people in the US want to hear that the celebrations are smaller than we would hope for, and that maybe the Iraqis aren't all of one voice about being occupied by a foreign power. It's easier to chant U-S-A! U-S-A! like this was a flipping sporting event.


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llachglin
llachglin
The Avenging Finn
Fri, Apr. 11th, 2003 01:38 pm (UTC)

I have a feeling this kind of media manipulation is more widespread than we know. Some time over the last couple of days I was watching war coverage, and they showed footage of what looked like a random Iraqi spontaneously thanking the US and UK from the window of his car. Ah, a liberated Iraqi happily greeting the day's news, right?

Five minutes later, the same news network is talking to a prominent member of the Iraqi opposition about events, and it's absolutely the same guy shown in the car. Of course, they never said that it was the same guy, or made any comment at all to indicate that this was anything other than a regular man in the street. If you tuned in halfway or weren't paying close attention, you would have been left with a really distorted perspective.

The other thing here is that I remember from the WTO events in Seattle (and other similar events) how the national coverage made things look much worse than they were in terms of property destruction and clashes between protesters and police. A handful of vandalism targets was blown up into city-wide riots. What's in the frame of the picture becomes the whole event. The camera lies.


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