The US press has been notoriously left-wing, which in itself is not a problem. However, when their own political agendas serve to frame their "reporting", they lose all credibility and should be roundly criticized. The press's reporting of the war in Iraq (not to even mention the war that Israel has been forced to fight against the Arabs) and then the coverage of the "occupation" of Iraq has been shameful. From the beginning of the war to the current "scandal" of Abu Ghraib the press has done everything possible to show the US in the worst possible light, at times even to the point of suppressing good news. It seems that the press, along with many on the left are actually hoping for the US to lose; hoping for worse things to happen in Iraq, as long as this will get Bush out of office. The Spectator's Toby Harden wrote
about this phenomenon yesterday.
The press has routinely shown us pictures that serve to drive people into the "anti-war" camp: from the post-liberation looting to the pictures from Abu Ghraib. But any pictures that would show people why we are in this war and why we need to win, are quickly suppressed. We have seen the pictures from Abu Ghraib far more than we have seen the WTC fall, or Daniel Pearl being killed, or the contractors mutilated in Fallujah, or even the recent pictures of Nick Berg being slaughtered. This is no accident; the press is intent on defeating Bush, no matter what harm it does to the country or the war effort. Jeff Jacoby summarizes
What exactly is the governing rule here? That incendiary images sure to enrage our enemies and get more Americans killed should be published, while images that show the world just how evil those enemies really are should be suppressed? Offensive and shocking pictures that undermine the war effort should be played up, but offensive and shocking pictures that remind us why we're at war in the first place shouldn't get played at all?
Yes, Virginia, there really is a gaping media double standard. News organizations will shield your tender eyes from the sight of a Berg or a Daniel Pearl being decapitated or of Sept. 11 victims jumping to their deaths, or of the mangled bodies on the USS Cole, or of Fallujans joyfully mutilating the remains of four lynched US civilians. But they will make sure you don't miss the odious behavior of Americans or American allies, no matter how atypical that misbehavior may be, or how determined the US military is to uproot and punish it.
We are at war with a vicious enemy, and propaganda in wartime is a weapon whose consequences can be deadly. Nick Berg lost his life because the Abu Ghraib pictures were turned into a worldwide media event. Yes, those who did it were sheltered by the First Amendment. That makes their actions not better, but worse.