Why Aren't U.S. Journalists Reporting From Iraq?
September 13, 2002 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Why Aren't U.S. Journalists Reporting From Iraq? "This notion that the Iraqi leader is in cahoots with Osama will be easy to feed the American people. To the American people, one bad Arab is the same as the next, and Osama equals Saddam. People who wonder about the Bush war-urgency only need to think about this: there’s a blind spot that needs to be exploited now, before too many journalists get the idea to go inside Iraq and find out what’s really happening. As long as the Condi Rices, Dick Cheneys and other hawks are talking to journalists with no experience inside Iraq, they won’t get a raised eyebrow about this notion that the secular dictator is in bed with the jihadis -- even though [reports indicate]....the CIA has found no link between the Iraqi dictator and Al Qaeda."
posted by fold_and_mutilate (55 comments total)
 
Looks like the author answered his own question:

"First there are the logistical problems. You can’t get a visa very easily and you can’t just fly into Baghdad. You have to spend fourteen hours sitting in a car, driving across the barren crust of earth that covers all those billions of barrels of oil Cheney and Co. are really interested in.

Once inside Baghdad, you are assigned a "minder" -- a sometimes very creepy member of the Iraqi government apparatus who is going to eavesdrop on everything you say and terrify any average person you happen to meet."


Sounds pretty clear-cut to me.

A) difficult to get there
B) can't speak freely with the people if you do manage to get there

Thanks for playing.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:59 PM on September 13, 2002


Make that "her" own question. Apologies to Nina, who I'm sure is a fine representative of the fairer sex.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:00 PM on September 13, 2002


Maybe [the reporters] all try to get visas when the bombing begins, and report from the Rasheed Hotel at the point when informing Americans will mean snagging footage of dead civilians -- instead of asking Cheney why isn’t he more worried about nukes in Pakistan -- where the jihadis are actually in the army and intelligence?

crash: it’s not easy to get inside or get real interviews. But it can be done. American peace activists are going every month, walking the streets freely.
posted by mikrophon at 2:00 PM on September 13, 2002


"Great piece," is what I meant to say after that first chunk. INSIGHT!
posted by mikrophon at 2:04 PM on September 13, 2002


If real journalists were really doing their jobs the media outlets would probably be reporting on what are arguably the true problems the Bush administration has with Iraq - attempts at military/nuclear parity with Israel, oil, and Bush-clan vengence.

There is good journalism about Iraq, but its not going on the televised news. From my brief exposure to Fox 'News' earlier this week the question of why are we going to war has long been replaced by how and when. Fair and Balanced. Always makes me chuckle.
posted by skallas at 2:05 PM on September 13, 2002


Its all really easy to fix: The entire Cheney, err-- Bush admin should be prohibited from making any money off of iraqi oil now or after they leave office (in 2004).
posted by Fupped Duck at 2:16 PM on September 13, 2002


Why do I have the impression that 80% of people protesting any given issue or policy are doing so because protesting feels good? How else can you explain arguing Fox News Channel is no worse than Iraq's take on objective reality.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:17 PM on September 13, 2002


I think most journalists avoid actually going into Iraq cuz they are mildly allergic to having their tongues cut out.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:21 PM on September 13, 2002


Journalism doesn't really do well in a dictatorship. You're all pretty priveledged to have your dissent rags like tompaine.com, the New York Times and MetaFilter to turn to. I'm sure our Iraqui friends don't have the same comfortable options.

But it can be done. American peace activists are going every month, walking the streets freely.

Why would "peace activists" (sic) want to go walking around freely in Iraq anyway? So they could tell the people "Like, man, we know you're all oppressed and starving under the hand of Mr. Hussein, but, like, man, give peace a chance, dudes! Your horrible lives are nothing compared to the SHEER OPPRESSION we get back in the US! I mean, some of us actually almost got arrested when we threw chunks of concrete through a Starbucks window during the last anti-globo march! Can you BELIEVE that? Anyway, I gotta get back to the hotel now. Peace dude! Down with the capitalist oppressors!"
posted by evanizer at 2:23 PM on September 13, 2002


...the CIA has found no link between the Iraqi dictator and Al Qaeda

This seems hardly surprising. Doesn't Saddam dislike the Fundamentalists? Didn't he start a war with Iran? He may have issues with the U.S. over other issues, but getting in bed with Al Qaeda probably isn't on his top 10 "to do" list.
posted by entrustNoOne at 2:33 PM on September 13, 2002


Actually, I read somewhere that during Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Osama wanted to go to war against Iraq, and his beef developed with the US because US's doing the job from Saudi territory prevented him from doing it.
posted by semmi at 2:43 PM on September 13, 2002


Ooh, those damnable hippies, eh, Evan? Nice dodge.
"Peace activists? That can't be true, because what would they talk about?"
posted by mikrophon at 2:48 PM on September 13, 2002


"The construction of more mosques in Iraq is on the orders of his excellency, Saddam Hussein, because he believes that the power of human beings comes from religion."

Hardly secular.

From the same link:

"It is a jihad situation," he said. "There is no political meaning. It is religious. Every believer has to go to war to stop the US."

...but getting in bed with Al Qaeda probably isn't on his top 10 "to do" list.

Looks like Saddam is already under the covers.
posted by pallid at 3:03 PM on September 13, 2002


American peace activists are going every month, walking the streets freely.

Not with a camera with the CNN logo on it.

there's a blind spot that needs to be exploited now, before too many journalists get the idea to go inside Iraq and find out what's really happening.

Maybe this is the same reason you don't see the camera crews showing the Palestinians celebrating 9/11, chanting "Death to America."

At one point in time, a near identical story to the one that I linked to above, at FOX, was on CNN. For some reason it has been removed from other stories on September 11, 2001 at CNN.com.

If many journalists went to Iraq, they would find out what is really going on. And it would not fit with the dove attitudes at CNN or NYTimes.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:08 PM on September 13, 2002


semmi: please give me a source on that Osama vs. Saddam reference.

It seems logical to me, Osama should hate a guy who led a ten year war against an Islamic fundamentalist state. Not that I think Saddam's any less wacky than Osama. Just less likely to blow up random American landmarks. I'm sure Iraq has trained anti-Israeli terrorist cells, but I doubt they want to be involved with groups that would probably side with Iran and might want to start an Islamic revolution in Saudi Arabia.
posted by sheik_yerbooti at 3:10 PM on September 13, 2002


Steve-- all the more reason for journos to get over there. I think Americans are hungry for more facts on this issue, and would welcome the chance to have the situation presented as it really is.

Furthermore I don't think CNN or the NY Times are made up of "doves," rather they are 'conservative' in the sense that war with Iraq is a bold step without a significant precendence.

People from all sides of the debate should write their media of choice and tell them to get over there and start showing, in Steve's words, "what is really going on." While it won't be easy to get good information in an oppressive dictatorship, we will all be better served by having more information.
posted by cell divide at 3:19 PM on September 13, 2002


There's been a Sky journalist reporting from inside Baghdad all week. That's Sky -- Murdoch-owned, Fox-affiliated Sky. It can't be that hard.
posted by Summer at 3:37 PM on September 13, 2002


Pallid-- religion is the opiate of the masses, and when you are an evil dictator you need a lot of opiate. Saddam is not motivated by religious concerns, but will use them to get what he wants. His grounding is in secular nationalism, religion is a tool in his hands.
posted by cell divide at 3:38 PM on September 13, 2002


sheik_yerbooti: I can't remember where I read that information, but checking google just now, I found this, it may help.
posted by semmi at 3:51 PM on September 13, 2002


Pallid - I think I saw part of some interview last night with Saddam's mistress or something, and she said his praying is merely a show for his people. He doesn't practice his religion, unless its in front of a TV camera. Another CNN(?) pundit said the US shouldn't disturb old SaDAMN as he balances the power with the Fundamentalists because of their equal disdain for each other. Other MeFites probably remember these two interviews better than I.
posted by entrustNoOne at 4:00 PM on September 13, 2002


Is this the sort of thing you can't do?
posted by Grangousier at 4:01 PM on September 13, 2002


Did you ever consider starting your own Blog F&M?
posted by revbrian at 4:14 PM on September 13, 2002


While it won't be easy to get good information in an oppressive dictatorship, we will all be better served by having more information.

Why? I hate to go into this dark forest, but I think ParisParamus is right. The US is going to war in Iraq, whether the people know why or not. Bush's speech yesterday convinced me of that. What we really need is more reporters on the White House beat so we can find a good reason to impeach this...person who would take us to war for no damn good reason.

revbrian, why should he when he has Metafilter?
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:17 PM on September 13, 2002


Cell Divide - I have to take issue with your thesis that journalists can come and go as they please.

In a country with a brutal repressive dictator (i.e. Iraq or the PA) who either says "We can't do anything to offer protection to journalists if you run those photos" (as happened in the PA) or where disappearances or assassinations are part of daily life (i.e. Iraq) you can't possibly expect that any sane journalist, even the ones that covered wars before, would _want_ to go in.

Are you familiar with the press caravans in the Gulf War? There was no "gonzo journalism" (by which I mean journalists shirking the constraints of the Allies and wandering the streets) for a very simple reason: dead reporters tell no tales.

Between life and death, most reporters choose life.

I will say that I disagree that the NYTimes or CNN are Dovish. They've been stoking the Isreal Palestine thing pretty effectively for awhile now, and the war on terror has been pretty all consuming. They may be left leaning, but war sells papers.

Just remember, from your comfortable computers and couches and TVs, that there is no "journalists immunity" to bullets. Ask Daniel Pearl. Ask Mark Seager.

"My God, I thought, they’ve killed this guy. He was dead, he must have been dead, but they were still beating him, madly kicking his head. They were like animals.

They were just a few feet in front of me and I could see everything. Instinctively, I reached for my camera. I was composing the picture when I was punched in the face by a Palestinian. Another Palestinian pointed right at me shouting “no picture, no picture!”, while another guy hit me in the face and said “give me your film!”.

I tried to get the film out but they were all grabbing me and one guy just pulled the camera off me and smashed it to the floor. ... I was scared for my life. (Sunday Telegraph, October 15, 2000)"

http://world.std.com/~camera/docs/alert/rai-up.html

You're asking people to go and die. Are you willing to go? Armed with nothing other than a pen and some paper?

Sure, getting both sides would be great. No, it may not be possible.

How many reporters from the US were allowed into Nazi Germany in 1941? 42? More to the point - what happened when someone translated Mein Kampf into English and tried to use it Stateside to explain to Americans that they needed to get into the war and stop the brutal, repressive and evil Hitler? (What happened was a copyright infringement lawsuit that effectively shut down production of the book, with threats of violence if that didn't work)

No, CNN is not welcome the same way arms inspectors aren't welcome.
posted by swerdloff at 5:09 PM on September 13, 2002


Meant to make that link an active one. Try:

Journalists and the PA for a brief (and frankly quite chilling) view of what happens to journalists in the middle east.

Then ask that they go in again.

No, I'm not willing to send a team of special forces in with every reporter to make sure that they don't get killed, that's how special forces get killed. And get killed they will.

I'm generally speaking a man of peace. But reading that made my blood boil.

"Before the filming in Lebanon, ABC’s Beirut correspondent Jerry King had vouched for [Geraldo] Rivera to PLO spokesman Mahmoud Labadi. Right after the documentary aired, King left Lebanon, never to return. While King might have saved his skin, his ABC colleague Sean Toolan was not so lucky – Toolan was murdered a few weeks after the documentary was broadcast. While there was no proof that the murder was a result of the PLO’s displeasure – where would proof come from in lawless Beirut – many observers thought that the killing was pure retaliation for Rivera’s documentary."

What do you think, that's just the PLO?

Iraq pays palestinians to blow themselves up. And Palestinians calmly, happily do so. For glory.

Why on earth does anyone here think that a CNN personality would be sacrosanct? Hello?
posted by swerdloff at 5:23 PM on September 13, 2002


I think folks are missing one of the larger points the article makes, the fact that SH, although undoubtedly an idiot of massive proportion, is one of the least likely people to get mixed up with Islamic funkamentalists...the jihadists/terrorists that Bush and others are trumpeting as the real villains.

Did you ever consider starting your own Blog F&M?

~chuckle~

Did you ever consider developing the capacity to intelligently comment on the issue presented? (Like everyone else in the thread thus far, save one I quote below)

revbrian, why should he when he has Metafilter?

Hmmm....as you both do.


revbrian has posted 35 links and 737 comments to MetaFilter
and 5 threads and 57 comments to MetaTalk

Wulfgar! has posted 3 links and 446 comments to MetaFilter
and 4 threads and 221 comments to MetaTalk

fold_and_mutilate has posted 24 links and 406 comments to MetaFilter
and no threads and 26 comments to MetaTalk


Pot. Kettle. The alleged color of my heart.

Ad hominem. Cowardice. Banality.

Fish. Barrel. Gunshots.

~wink~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 5:25 PM on September 13, 2002


New Yorker story alleging Iraq-al Qaeda link. (Scroll down to 6. THE PRISONERS).
Weekly Standard link asserting PBS confirmation of New Yorker story.
posted by swell at 5:38 PM on September 13, 2002


One last note. Rent "Deadline" and then come back and discuss the paucity of balance in reporting on Iraq.

You'll note the hard hitting and anti-Iraq nature of the above BBC journalist (posted by Grangousier, about how the poor downtrodden Iraqi people are upset that America is going to bomb them...) and perhaps you'll notice my sarcasm.

Let's see reporters _within these countries_ criticise them. And then we can continue the debate. Mmmkay?
posted by swerdloff at 5:47 PM on September 13, 2002


swell: The only "al-quada" link I see in iraq is a link to Saddams enimes.
posted by delmoi at 7:28 PM on September 13, 2002


Nonsense F&M - I don't use MeFi as a personal ideological soapbox.
posted by revbrian at 8:47 PM on September 13, 2002


swerdloff: No, CNN is not welcome the same way arms inspectors aren't welcome.

Not *quite* so. CNN has a bureau in Baghdad. I believe BBC has one there too. The AP or Reuters may have something there as well. Al-Jazeera has a bureau there (but draw your own conclusions about their journalism.)

Yes, it is hard for journalists to do a good job. A friend of mine works over there occasionally, and she tells me that sometimes yes, there are government "minders" (especially outside Baghdad proper) -- which is why you'll see that fact noted in reports that have been affected by the presence of a minder. Not every report, AFAIK, has a minder, and I don't believe satellite feeds are monitored (as they are, say, in China.)

It's by no means ideal, and as you point out, it's no substitute for a free and independent Iraqi press...but I do think the presence of non-Iraqi news organizations helps to paint a vastly different picture than Iraqi state television does.
posted by Vidiot at 8:49 PM on September 13, 2002


For what it's worth - Fox News has had someone in Iraq this week. I don't recall who, but I do recall them saying something about "all the reports from Iraq are monitored for content by the government there". I'm pretty sure Peter Arnette was there in July as well.

I would think that the lack of reporting has a lot to do with very little newsworthy going on there - at least the kind of news that makes good TV.
posted by revbrian at 9:02 PM on September 13, 2002


Talk about missing the point......

I'll do it in caps so you can understand....

Ahem...

AL QAEDA HATES IRAQ AS MUCH AS BUSH DOES.

SADAAM WHILE USING RELIGION TO SUBVERT HIS OWN PEOPLE DOES NOT AGREE WITH ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS. (IE: TALIBAN)

ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS WANT TO TOPPLE THE IRAQI REGIME (AND EVERY OTHER MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRY) AND REPLACE IT WITH ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS LEADERS.


Thank you
posted by CrazyJub at 9:22 PM on September 13, 2002


[meta] You keep doing what you're doing, fold_and_mutilate. You're not the first and won't be the last to wear your heart on your sleeve, politically, here in the blue. [/meta]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:53 PM on September 13, 2002


Fuck, I find myself agreeing with foldy more and more
I'm worried

and, it's so very lame to attack him with the already tired "get your own weblog fuckwit" argument. we all have opinions. foldy lately is providing good links and has cut down the inflammatory language and trolling. he is articulating an effective anti-war position -- you're free to disagree, but he's using this site well
many of you guys are just mad at him because since he dropped the "meat is murder" stuff he's -- strange as it sounds -- making sense
posted by matteo at 9:58 PM on September 13, 2002


delmoi: The point was not that Saddam's not wild about the Kurds, the point was that the Kurds have captured Saddam's people who were trained in Afghanistan by al Qaeda.

swell: The only "al-quada" link I see in iraq is a link to Saddams enimes.

FYI: Linguists have no accepted standards for rendering Arabic into roman text, so al Qaeda is as correct as the more common al Qaida. (The one I used is in fact in the New Yorker article I linked to.)

However, if you're going to do a spelling flame on this, and quote me in the process, please at least use the spelling I used.

Also, please note that there is a provably correct way to spell the word "enemies".
posted by swell at 10:22 PM on September 13, 2002


This post was certainly more acceptable than the posts that end with troll-phrases. Thank you for thinking of the community, foldy.

Journalists may not want to go to Iraq because they recall Farzad Barzoft.

As it's been months since the administration has even peeped about a provable connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda, it's a bit pointless to use the lack of proof of such a connection as an undercutting of the administration's arguments.

I do find several of the comments here a little simplistic. Al Qaeda may have little love for Saddam -- in many ways they are competing for the affections of Arabs and Muslims. Saddam is a Ba'athist, which is to say (roughly) a pan-Arabist, so he sees himself as a new Saladin to unite the Arabs. This is a secular concern, no matter the number of mosques he builds. Al Qaeda is Islamist, or jihadist, which has to do with the primacy of shari'a law in Muslim life and ultimately a theocratic view of government. Saddam is no Islamist, but to say he is a secular leader is only to say that he is atheist but that he is not motivated primarily by a religious political philosophy. Saddam believes in an Iraq ruled by Saddam, not an Iraq ruled by imams or mullahs.

Now to the next question. We need not prove a connection to Al Qaeda to demonstrate an Iraqi connection to global terrorism; he was a major sponsor of Abu Nidal (until he had him killed this summer), and the Iraq link to Hamas is vague but notable, and in particular the Iraqis trained unspecified terror groups at an airbase called Salman Pak including instruction in hijacking techniques. The presence of a 707 mock-up at the base has been shown by satellite photo. The base was confirmed as a chemical weapons site by UN inspectors.

Maybe he has only used this connection passively, but he certainly knows more than one terrorist -- and they aren't all working for al Qaeda by a long shot. Surely it's no leap to surmise there are terror groups who thought the "glory" of 9/11 was worth getting some of their own. I have said for a year now we'll see planes hitting buildings someplace in the world, now that the technique has been demonstrated.

Still, I'm baffled by the point of this Tom Paine piece. If journos go to Iraq, they find Iraqis are nice people? Sure. They find Saddam doesn't like Shi'a theocrats? Sure (he's deathly afraid of the Shi'a plurality in his own South, even if you don't count Iran). They sure won't find much to corroborate or disprove -- for strategic purposes -- anything about Al Qaeda one way or another. Ultimately, the liberal fantasy that reporters meeting real live Iraqis will then argue against a war is an insult to reportorial professionalism.
posted by dhartung at 1:45 AM on September 14, 2002


Ultimately, the liberal fantasy that reporters meeting real live Iraqis will then argue against a war is an insult to reportorial professionalism.

Yes, but the right-wing fantasy that bombing the fuck out of oil-rich countries in order to try to put in power CIA-friendly regimes (the Central-Americanization of the Middle East and Central Asia, if you will) is going to help the war on terrorism and make the West safer for those who'd like to fly without suicide hijackers on board, well that fantasy is insulting too.

I guess Nina's point is, go to Iraq and try to do some original reporting if at all possible or at least go there. Take a look around. Do your job -- how many interviews with relatives of 9-11 victims do we really want to watch? Let those poor people try to cope with their loss, cut the 9-11 footage (how many times have we had to watch those planes, the huge fireball on tv?)

And, does Saddam like terrorists? Yeah, probably.
But what about Qadafi then?
What about those Syrians, so loved by Washington? (their 1991 support really came at a high price didn't it?)

Wanna follow the money given to hijackers?
Please do. The invade the countries that funded those 19 thugs.
I'd be surprised to find Iraq in that list
posted by matteo at 6:35 AM on September 14, 2002


Damn you people can be so obtuse. I never said he should "get his own weblog", I asked if he had considered it.

The reason I asked is because after I started one on politics and news and started arguing across the political blogs I was a lot less likely to argue politics here, where it is mostly less than welcome.

You don't have to look far in Meta to hear griping about NewsFilter and that was my way of helping stem the tide.
posted by revbrian at 8:29 AM on September 14, 2002


Between life and death, most reporters choose life.
Not always. Remember Danny Pearl. At all events, there have always been war correspondents who were willing to put themselves at risk to cover the front lines. The current "news" culture (of well-groomed celebrity reporters standing in front of picturesque backdrops) just doesn't lend itself too well to serious investigative reporting in unglamorous settings.
posted by Raya at 8:47 AM on September 14, 2002


There is only one link (comparison) between them that matters:

Al Qaeda wishes the civilized world dead.
Saddam Hussein wishes the civilized world dead.

Why are we arguing this?

The "get his own weblog" argument is simultaneously a valid point and an attempt at derailing this thread. Rather successfully I might add, which is irrelevant cuz it's a silly argument anyway.

Why does it matter whether a tyrant has affiliations with terrorists?

You're in a desert alone at night and the car batteries dying. The headlights are the only things that appear to be keeping the lions & hyenas at bay. The hyenas attacked your friend so you've been shooting at them with what ammunition you have left in the jeep, but for the moment the lions haven't attacked. You KNOW they'll attack eventually. They're eternally hungry and you're a sitting duck. Do you try a pre-emptive strike and shoot at them now, or wait until after one of them lunges over the jeep and puts your head in its mouth? Hyenas & lions are sworn enemies, but both would see humans as a midnight snack.

Whether or not Saddam & Bin Laden are in bed with one another is irrelevant. They could be bosom buddies or sworn enemies. They'd both rip your tongue out of your head as easily as they'd look at you.

Hence, this is a silly argument. Look. I hate violence. I hate war. And even I think we should take down SH.

Again. WHY are we arguing this?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:50 AM on September 14, 2002


Reporters Sans Frontiers annual report. It's tough everywhere, but that's what being a reporter is. Going into Iraq isn't going to cause magic to happen, but are people really saying they shouldn't go? They won't get total access, obviously, but they'll get something, and that's better than nothing. It surprises me that people do not even want to take a look inside Iraq, I am sure there are enough reporters who want to go.
posted by chaz at 11:07 AM on September 14, 2002


Saddam Hussein wishes the civilized world dead.

Says who?
Please provide an actual link. Lately Iraqis have said that, if attacked, they'll strike back very harshly (they're bragging, of course, but what can they say, "please invade us we're all assholes"?)

Giving money to Palestinian sucide bombers' families is disgusting, but not the same as training and organizing a huge network of Mohammed Attas

Again, if you want to fuck up the Iraqis, go ahead: but I'll respect your position only if you're willing to do the same to:

Pakistan (much more Al Qaeda involved than Iraq)
Saudi Arabia (follow the money)
Lybia (Qadafi)
Syria (fund terrorism)
Iran (same)
Belarus (arm sales to terrorists, non-elected violent dictator in charge)
and so forth

oh, and there's a 1.25 billion Muslims on this planet
posted by matteo at 11:34 AM on September 14, 2002


...and in particular the Iraqis trained unspecified terror groups at an airbase called Salman Pak including instruction in hijacking techniques. The presence of a 707 mock-up at the base has been shown by satellite photo. The base was confirmed as a chemical weapons site by UN inspectors.

This info which seemed semi-reliable back in March should be taken with a grain of salt. Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter visited the site recently and seemed to think that the defectors were full of shit. The problem is the defectors have their own agenda, as does Ritter, and the administration has shown a willingness to misrepresent the facts so any so called 'evidence' should be met with skepticism.

Oh and MSNBC has a reporter in Baghdad.
posted by euphorb at 1:04 PM on September 14, 2002


Again. WHY are we arguing this?

Maybe because nobody else is. In the american press there is only a debate about 'how and when' we invade Iraq, and very little reference to 'why and what are the costs' if we do. We could be talking about how bin Laden is unaccounted for, be he dead or alive. We could be talking about Saudi Arabia being the birthplace of most of the hijackers and Al-Qaeda management. We could be talking about Pakistan, run by a ruthless dictator trying to hold off the religious fundamentalists trying to overthrow him, and take control of his nuclear ability. We could be talking about Enron, Warren Anderson, or how Florida still can't count votes(especially hard to count votes cast by minorities it seems). We are going into Iraq. F+M is right to put his anti-war arguements on meta because most of the media is pure propaganda.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:41 PM on September 14, 2002


[We could be talking about Enron, Warren Anderson, or how Florida still can't count votes...]

What news channel are you watching? These things are discussed constantly!
posted by revbrian at 3:28 PM on September 14, 2002


Matteo: "Says who? Please provide an actual link."

You have got to be kidding me, Matteo. How about I provide you an actual link proving the sky is blue while I'm at it? We are infidels, remember? He's said and done actions in the past confirming his desire to destroy the civilized world. I'm not going to legitimize your accusation otherwise by providing a link!
posted by ZachsMind at 3:38 PM on September 14, 2002


Raya: Remember Danny Pearl. At all events, there have always been war correspondents who were willing to put themselves at risk to cover the front lines. The current "news" culture (of well-groomed celebrity reporters standing in front of picturesque backdrops) just doesn't lend itself too well to serious investigative reporting in unglamorous settings.

huh? Wasn't Danny Pearl doing serious investigative reporting in unglamorous settings?

Yes, there are real journalists, and there are blowdried talking heads. Both exist in the current news culture. This has been true for a long time.
posted by Vidiot at 3:54 PM on September 14, 2002


Very recently, Ashleigh Banfield was reporting from Iraq. I would say within the last month, right before she started her roadtrip across America. It was rather interesting. They were able to film and speak with whoever they pleased. Ashleigh and the crew had a "minder" with them which prohibited them from shooting in high security zones, but other then that, they were free to say and do as please
posted by robotrock at 5:36 PM on September 14, 2002


We're asking the wrong question. The question we should be asking is why aren't there Iraqi journalists reporting from America? Why? Cuz Saddam KILLED all of them before they could get on the plane. And why aren't there any Talibanian journalists reporting from America? They killed themselves ON a plane.

I slay me! I got a million of 'em!
posted by ZachsMind at 7:27 PM on September 14, 2002


They were able to film and speak with whoever they pleased. Ashleigh and the crew had a "minder" with them which prohibited them from shooting in high security zones, but other then that, they were free to say and do as please

So they could talk to who ever they wanted and take photos of what ever they wanted unless they were told not to...?

It isn't free to do as you please when you have a member of the government there to censor you.

How free would it be if Banfield had a FBI agent following her on roadtrip across America, telling her what & who she could and could not talk to & video tape?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:28 PM on September 14, 2002


matteo, about right-wing fantasies, I share few, so I'm not sure who you're railing against. *shrug* As it happens, I make my arguments regarding the dangers posed by Iraq on a different basis than direct connection to September 11, so I am untroubled by thread after thread continuing to bray that there is none. This is what is called a straw man argument.

The problem here is not, as the thread has amply demonstrated, a lack of Western reporters in Iraq. It is a lack of Western reporters in Iraq reporting stories that the Tom Paine columnist likes.

euphorb: Thank you for acknowledging that Scott Ritter has an agenda. As it is, there are other "former UN weapons inspectors" running about, and they seem to pretty much universally disagree with Ritter. Nice job with the trollage in title tags, though. Points for style.
posted by dhartung at 11:18 PM on September 14, 2002


no, you missed it. they were only barred from shooting at certain locations, not who they spoke to.
posted by robotrock at 11:49 PM on September 14, 2002


no, you missed it. they were only barred from shooting at certain locations, not who they spoke to.


What is the difference? Free Press is Free Press.... Saddam says he has no WofMD then what does he have to hide?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:09 AM on September 15, 2002


so I'm not sure who you're railing against

I'm not railing against anyone -- I'm making a point regarding those who think that toppling Saddam will significantly decrease the risk of new terrorist attacks -- I see a lot of them, in the news and on MeFi too -- it's the Mylroie-Perle of this world who ARE making US foreign policy right now
Anyway there's going to be a war very soon, baby's-brain-eating Saddam will be kicked out, justice will prevail, and we'll all be happy
*shrug*
posted by matteo at 9:22 AM on September 15, 2002


« Older "Coz every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man"   |   Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments