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Thread: As violence subsides in Iraq, network news covering it less

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    As violence subsides in Iraq, network news covering it less

    Networks following the blood and when there is none, they reduce coverage. Once again, we only get the bad news out of Iraq and the networks see the war as simply only having political ramifications, with some possibly planning to pull out of Baghdad after the election in November.


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    The New York Times reports that broadcast coverage of the conflict in Iraq has been "massively scaled back this year."

    The paper cites data from Andrew Tyndall that show the Big Three have devoted 181 "weekday minutes" to Iraq in 2008. That's down from last year, when the broadcasters spent a total of 1,157 minutes on the war effort.

    "The CBS Evening News has devoted the fewest minutes to Iraq, 51, versus 55 minutes on ABC’s World News and 74 minutes on NBC Nightly News," the paper says.

    If you think that's bad, the future may be even bleaker.

    [B]"Journalists at all three American television networks with evening newscasts expressed worries that their news organizations would withdraw from the Iraqi capital after the November presidential election[/B]," the Times reports. "They spoke only on the condition of anonymity in order to avoid offending their employers."

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    [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/business/media/23logan.html?dpc[/url]

    Getting a story on the evening news isn’t easy for any correspondent. And for reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is especially hard, according to Lara Logan, the chief foreign correspondent for CBS News. So she has devised a solution when she is talking to the network.

    Lara Logan told Jon Stewart recently that war news is hard to get onto TV.
    “Generally what I say is, ‘I’m holding the armor-piercing R.P.G.,’ ” she said last week in an appearance on “The Daily Show,” referring to the initials for rocket-propelled grenade. “ ‘It’s aimed at the bureau chief, and if you don’t put my story on the air, I’m going to pull the trigger.’ ”

    Ms. Logan let a sly just-kidding smile sneak through as she spoke, but her point was serious. Five years into the war in Iraq and nearly seven years into the war in Afghanistan, getting news of the conflicts onto television is harder than ever.

    “If I were to watch the news that you hear here in the United States, I would just blow my brains out because it would drive me nuts,” Ms. Logan said.

    According to data compiled by Andrew Tyndall, a television consultant who monitors the three network evening newscasts, coverage of Iraq has been “massively scaled back this year.” Almost halfway into 2008, the three newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007. The “CBS Evening News” has devoted the fewest minutes to Iraq, 51, versus 55 minutes on ABC’s “World News” and 74 minutes on “NBC Nightly News.” (The average evening newscast is 22 minutes long.)

    CBS News no longer stations a single full-time correspondent in Iraq, where some 150,000 United States troops are deployed.

    Paul Friedman, a senior vice president at CBS News, said the news division does not get reports from Iraq on television “with enough frequency to justify keeping a very, very large bureau in Baghdad.” He said CBS correspondents can “get in there very quickly when a story merits it.”

    In a telephone interview last week, Ms. Logan said the CBS News bureau in Baghdad was “drastically downsized” in the spring. The network now keeps a producer in the country, making it less of a bureau and more of an office.

    Interviews with executives and correspondents at television news networks suggested that while the CBS cutbacks are the most extensive to date in Baghdad, many journalists shared varying levels of frustration about placing war stories onto newscasts. “I’ve never met a journalist who hasn’t been frustrated about getting his or her stories on the air,” said Terry McCarthy, an ABC News correspondent in Baghdad.

    [B]By telephone from Baghdad, Mr. McCarthy said he was not as busy as he was a year ago. A decline in the relative amount of violence “is taking the urgency out” of some of the coverage, he said. Still, he gets on ABC’s “World News” and other programs with stories, including one on Friday about American gains in northern Iraq.[/B]

    Anita McNaught, a correspondent for the Fox News Channel, agreed. [B]“The violence itself is not the story anymore,”[/B] she said. She counted eight reports she had filed since arriving in Baghdad six weeks ago, noting that cable news channels like Fox News and CNN have considerably more time to fill with news than the networks. CNN and Fox each have two fulltime correspondents in Iraq.

    Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, who splits his time between Iraq and other countries, said he found his producers “very receptive to stories about Iraq.” He and other journalists noted that the heated presidential primary campaign put other news stories on the back burner earlier this year.

    Ms. Logan said she begged for months to be embedded with a group of Navy Seals, and when she came back with the story, a CBS producer said to her, “One guy in uniform looks like any other guy in a uniform.” In the follow-up phone interview, Ms. Logan said the producer no longer worked at CBS. And in both interviews, she emphasized that many journalists at CBS News are pushing for war coverage, specifically citing Jeff Fager, the executive producer of “60 Minutes.” CBS News won a Peabody Award last week for a “60 Minutes” report about a Marine charged in the killings at Haditha.

    On “The Daily Show,” Ms. Logan echoed the comments of other journalists when she said that many Americans seem uninterested in the wars now. Mr. McCarthy said that when he is in the United States, bringing up Baghdad at a dinner party “is like a conversation killer.”

    [B]Coverage of the war in Afghanistan has increased slightly this year, with 46 minutes of total coverage year-to-date compared with 83 minutes for all of 2007.[/B] NBC has spent 25 minutes covering Afghanistan, partly because the anchor Brian Williams visited the country earlier in the month. Through Wednesday, when an ABC correspondent was in the middle of a prolonged visit to the country, ABC had spent 13 minutes covering Afghanistan. CBS has spent eight minutes covering Afghanistan so far this year.

    [B]Both Ms. Logan and Mr. McCarthy noted that more coalition soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in May than in Iraq. [/B]No American television network has a full-time correspondent in Afghanistan, although CNN recently said it would open a bureau in Kabul.

    “It’s terrible,” Ms. Logan said in the telephone interview. She called it a financial decision. “We can’t afford to maintain operations in Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time,” she said. “It’s so expensive and the security risks are so great that it’s prohibitive.”

    Mr. Friedman said coverage of Iraq is enormously expensive, mostly due to the security risks. He said meetings with other television networks about sharing the costs of coverage have faltered for logistical reasons.

    Journalists at all three American television networks with evening newscasts expressed worries that their news organizations would withdraw from the Iraqi capital after the November presidential election. They spoke only on the condition of anonymity in order to avoid offending their employers.

  2. #2
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    a few points of perspective:

    [INDENT]- it's not a war, it's a privatized occupation of a sovereign nation...

    - the media did far more to enable the build-up and advocacy of the invasion than it ever did to thwart it... so to pretend the media is somehow "unhappy" with the current state of affairs is highly illogical....

    - Americans were never offered the opportunity to become truly passionate about it, pro vs. con, because the images have always been completely sanitized by the U.S. media, unlike the media in every country in europe which actually shows the carnage nightly and lets their citizens decide...

    - the surge is as much a success because of the fact that we bought off a faction that was killing our troops as it is because of any alleged tactical brilliance...

    - the surge is as much a success because of the fact that the ethnic cleansing was already complete by early 2007 as it is because of any alleged tactical brilliance...

    - whether 20 U.S. soldiers die in Iraq or 75 die in Iraq each month, the fact is that soldiers will always die in Iraq as long as we maintain an unwanted imperialistic foothold in that country. ... there will always be factions of radical Islam who resent our presense there, and no subjective "winning of hearts and minds" will ever change that... you can't kill them all, as much as some of you would like...

    - there is only so much news in a news cycle... when your daily cycle is now sopped up by hawkish threats and posturing against Iran and Syria, as well as the election, and Israel's military exercises, well, what do you expect?[/INDENT]

    yes, there's a downturn in ethnic violence in Iraq... we get it... we're all happy about that... but did you pro-Empire types believe there was an endless line of Iraqis just waiting to be killed unless we saved them? that they'd not take up positions on opposite sides of the Tigris at some point? ... sorry, but the damage has been done... you really shouldn't pat yourselves on the back for the way things have played out... there's blood on your hands, neocons... and there will always be... no matter how you wanna alter the history books...
    Last edited by Press_Coverage; 06-26-2008 at 01:55 AM.

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    [QUOTE=Press_Coverage;2601858]a few points of perspective:

    [INDENT]- it's not a war, it's an privatized occupation of a sovereign nation...

    - Americans were never offered the opportunity to become truly passionate about it, pro vs. con, because the images have always been completely sanitized by the U.S. media, unlike the media in every country in europe which actually shows the carnage nightly and lets their citizens decide...

    - the surge is as much a success because of the fact that we bought off a faction that was killing our troops as it is because of any alleged tactical brilliance...

    - the surge is as much a success because of the fact that the ethnic cleansing was already complete by early 2007 as it is because of any alleged tactical brilliance...

    - whether 20 U.S. soldiers die in Iraq or 75 die in Iraq each month, the fact is that soldiers will always die in Iraq as long as we maintain an unwanted imperialistic foothold in that country. ... there will always be factions of radical Islam who resent our presense there, and no subjective "winning of hearts and minds" will ever change that... you can't kill them all, as much as some of you would like...

    - there is only so much news in a news cycle... when your daily cycle is now sopped up by hawkish threats and posturing against Iran and Syria, as well as the election, and Israel's military exercises, well, what do you expect?[/INDENT]

    yes, there's a downturn in ethnic violence in Iraq... we get it... we're all happy about that... but did you pro-Empire types believe there was an endless line of Iraqis just waiting to be killed unless we saved them? that they'd not take up positions on opposite sides of the Tigris at some point? ... sorry, but the damage has been done... you really shouldn't pat yourselves on the back for the way things have played out... [B]there's blood on your hands, neocons[/B]... and there will always be... no matter how you wanna alter the history books...[/QUOTE]

    I dont think that they're bothered by the blood. Its something they shower in.

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    why are you surprised by this? You live in capitalist society where sensationalism sells. Love it or leave it!

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    [QUOTE=Press_Coverage;2601858]a few points of perspective:

    [INDENT]- it's not a war, it's an privatized occupation of a sovereign nation...

    - Americans were never offered the opportunity to become truly passionate about it, pro vs. con, because the images have always been completely sanitized by the U.S. media, unlike the media in every country in europe which actually shows the carnage nightly and lets their citizens decide...

    - the surge is as much a success because of the fact that we bought off a faction that was killing our troops as it is because of any alleged tactical brilliance...

    - the surge is as much a success because of the fact that the ethnic cleansing was already complete by early 2007 as it is because of any alleged tactical brilliance...

    - whether 20 U.S. soldiers die in Iraq or 75 die in Iraq each month, the fact is that soldiers will always die in Iraq as long as we maintain an unwanted imperialistic foothold in that country. ... there will always be factions of radical Islam who resent our presense there, and no subjective "winning of hearts and minds" will ever change that... you can't kill them all, as much as some of you would like...

    - there is only so much news in a news cycle... when your daily cycle is now sopped up by hawkish threats and posturing against Iran and Syria, as well as the election, and Israel's military exercises, well, what do you expect?[/INDENT]

    yes, there's a downturn in ethnic violence in Iraq... we get it... we're all happy about that... but did you [B]pro-Empire types [/B]believe there was an endless line of Iraqis just waiting to be killed unless we saved them? that they'd not take up positions on opposite sides of the Tigris at some point? ... sorry, but the damage has been done... [B]you really shouldn't pat yourselves[/B] on the back for the way things have played out... there's blood on your hands, neocons... and there will always be... no matter how you wanna alter the history books...[/QUOTE]

    Dude, who are you talking to? Me? Who is patting themselves on the back? Who is a pro-Empire type? Or, are you trying to start a fight with people who haven't even posted in this thread? How come you are taking an "us versus them" tone in this thread? This was simply about news coverage going down as the violence subsides. You hate the Iraq "Privatized Occupation of a Soveriegn Nation". I get it. But please don't drag your years of Iraq War opposition baggage into every thread in the forum. You're trying to pick fights with "neocons", "pro-Empire types" and people "patting themselves on the back" when none of that is even a topic of conversation in this thread.

    You acknowledge that coverage is down since the violence has diminished yet you immediately jump into talking about "tactical brilliance," "ethnic cleansing" and all these other things related to how or why the surge is working. Why do you feel it necessary to point out all the reasons for the success of the surge that are not related to our military? That has zero to do with this topic. Troop deaths are down drammatically ever since the start of the Iraq "Privatized Occupation of a Soveriegn Nation" began. This is a good thing....and it's also one of the very LAST points you make, that "we're all happy about that." Why the need to say that any good news that comes out of Iraq has to be luck or unrelated to any policy or military effort taking place over there. It's like you're saying, "the surge is working but don't credit our guys for it!" The point of the NY Times article is essentially that the surge is working and the networks are reporting it a whole lot less.

    You're like Debbie Downer. People could come here and say, "hey it's sunny outside." You'll be the first to say, "well, there's a small cloud over the South Pacific today."

    For a guy who constantly points out unnecessary or unjustified military action it is almost funny the way you come into threads with your own guns blazing and employ "Ready, Fire, Aim" with your canned responses. It's almost like a broken record that was recorded by someone with a one-track mind. I'm not making a personal attack, I'm just saying that you seem to let the hardcore people on this board that you disagree with (conservatives, Iraq war supporters, etc.) bother you so much that you drag all that baggage into every other thread and feel the need to start talking about "neocons", "pro-Empire types" and people "patting themselves on the back."

    If you read the articles in the original post I would have expected some commentary on how Afghanistan was mentioned or maybe the difference in coverage between network and cable news channels. Not a rehashing of the whole war and a veiled attack on the people that you fight with in other threads. Keep it there and don't bring it to this one. You're a pretty smart guy, you don't need to pepper spray the place with the illegal occupation, Empire building, neocon mumbo jumbo you've used 1000 times before. Hit on the topic or ignore the thread. You don't need to jump in and defend the media by deflecting and diverting to all this other stuff.
    Last edited by jetstream23; 06-26-2008 at 03:07 AM.

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    [QUOTE=villain_the_foe;2601862]I dont think that the media is bothered by the blood. Its something they shower in.[/QUOTE]

    Fixed.

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    [QUOTE=jetstream23;2601869]Dude, who are you talking to? Me? Who is patting themselves on the back? Who is a pro-Empire type? Or, are you trying to start a fight with people who haven't even posted in this thread? [/QUOTE]

    My gawd... Take it easy, would you? I only got through the first couple paragraphs before I had to move on.

    I did "hit the topic." ... This is a forum for pontification, and everyone does it. Did it sprain your eyes somehow? Regardless, if I was talking about you, in particular, rest assured I would address you, in particular. Is your thread sacred and should only glow with 'see, war can be good' spin from any poster who dares follow in response? Oops. I'm barely here anymore, so you're being a bit overdramatic. Still, follow some of your own advice, and ignore the response.

    Sorry, but I'm talking about a mindset, and an ideology that I don't agree with. A general "you." Not you, jetstream, in particular. I mean, what did you do, present a thread to hold hands about? I offered perspective to the theme, as I mentioned in the first line. I didn't say "you suck," so spare us the indignance. It's a political forum for debate, not a conservative think tank of unison.

    If people take personal exception to it, sorry again. But a thread was offered suggesting the media is conveniently ignoring the lull in violence. I felt it was important to remember the media's true culpability in all of this, as well as the numerous reasons why the media isn't focusing as much attention to it any more. It certainly has little to do with any goofy "rooting interest" that so many people on this forum insist upon the media having.

    Are you upset regarding the merits of what I said, or merely that I had the gall to say it?

    Oh, and I only have 870 posts. So 1000 would be a bit off the mark, even if they were all full of "neocon mumbo jumbo." I'm sure there's plenty of threads like this I've missed, and dozens more than that which I've summarily ignored.
    Last edited by Press_Coverage; 06-26-2008 at 04:38 AM.

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    [QUOTE=Press_Coverage;2601903]My gawd... Take it easy, would you? I only got through the first couple paragraphs before the whining became unbearable.

    I did "hit the topic," K? ... This is a forum for pontification, and everyone does it. Did it sprain your eyes somehow? Regardless, if I was talking about you, in particular, rest assured I would address you, in particular. Is your thread sacred and should only glow with 'see, war can be good' spin? Oops.

    Sorry, but I'm talking about a mindset, and an ideology that I don't agree with. I mean, what did you do, present a thread to hold hands about? I offered perspective to the theme, as I mentioned in the first line. I didn't say "you suck," so spare us the indignance. It's a political forum for debate, not a conservative think tank of unison.

    If people take personal exception to it, sorry again. But a thread was offered suggesting the media is conveniently ignoring the lull in violence. I felt it was important to remember the media's true culpability in all of this, as well as the numerous reasons why the media isn't focusing as much attention to it any more. It certainly has little to do with any goofy "rooting interest" that so many people on this forum insist upon the media having.

    Are you upset regarding the merits of what I said, or merely that I had the gall to say it?

    Oh, and I only have 870 posts. \[/QUOTE]

    Not upset at the merits of what you said at all. I just find it not particularly germane to the thread. This is certainly not a sacred thread and nothing to hold hands about, but it just drives me crazy that conversations and issues can't be somewhat isolated and discussed, at least for a little while, in the context of a particular story without dragging in all the political/ideological baggage from other places. It's like when someone interviews a celebrity about their latest scandal and all they want to do is change the subject and discuss their movie or promote their book. It took 2 seconds for the subject of the thread to be ignored and diverted to empire building, ethnic cleansing, neocons and military tactical brilliance. I'm surprised you didn't get to the WMD's, Haditha, redeployments or Saddam's trial before talking about the subject of the thread. ;)

    Almost as annoying as a war that drags on and continues to sap resources that would be better utilized elsewhere, is having to hear over and over about illegal occupation, neocons, and empires as a preamble to any post when it is barely relevant at best to the subject of the thread. It's like asking someone how do I get to the nearest supermarket and then having them spend 3 hours telling you how to build the car.

    I know you've got some very deep and hardcore opinions on the war and you're certainly entitled to them. Everyone is. But maybe you should just put them in your signature so you don't have to mention the same things every time, they'll just appear wherever you post.

    I'd be interested if you wanted to take a look at the original article again and post some thoughts related to that. Seriously. No thoughts on the networks pulling out of Baghdad? No concerns that coverage is being drastically reduced when Iraq is supposed to be the key issue of the upcoming election? Why is the media telling us less and less about what's happening in Iraq when we're getting closer and closer to an election where the war is one of, if not [I]the[/I], biggest issue and difference between the two candidates? I was honestly very surprised when I read this article.

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    :Dyou can't believe this article, it comes from the criminally liberal NYT!!!!

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    [QUOTE=piney;2601987]:Dyou can't believe this article, it comes from the criminally liberal NYT!!!![/QUOTE]

    Not criminally liberal, just exceedingly liberal. :D

    Could you imagine if the story HADN'T gone through the liberalization filter first? Then we may have heard about the positive stories being buried and the producers who actually say, "get me more blood to show on TV, we've got an election in a few months!" :eek: ;)

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    [QUOTE=jetstream23;2602420]Not criminally liberal, just exceedingly liberal. :D

    Could you imagine if the story HADN'T gone through the liberalization filter first? Then we may have heard about the positive stories being buried and the producers who actually say, "get me more blood to show on TV, we've got an election in a few months!" :eek: ;)[/QUOTE]

    it has nothing to do with an election dude,



    first off, it is easier to sell a story about violence...and secondly, if there is no news, how do you report it..


    I mean, how many times should they write an article about violence subsiding? It isn't a daily newsworthy story...

    It is a one time story, maybe a weekend magazine state of the war piece, but it isn't different.......every episode of violence is a different story, havng less violence, is not.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=piney;2602581]it has nothing to do with an election dude,



    first off, [QUOTE]it is easier to sell a story about violence[/QUOTE]...and secondly, if there is no news, how do you report it..


    I mean, how many times should they write an article about violence subsiding? It isn't a daily newsworthy story...

    It is a one time story, maybe a weekend magazine state of the war piece, but it isn't different.......every episode of violence is a different story, havng less violence, is not.[/QUOTE]

    The news media shouldnt be in the business of selling anything. They should be in the business of reporting. But the real reason why there's less reporting in Iraq isnt because of the violence subsiding, its because the private mega corporations are prepared to go get the oil. Thats something that they dont want to report to us because it'll put most americans assumptions in the "fact" column.

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    [QUOTE=villain_the_foe;2602962]The news media shouldnt be in the business of selling anything. They should be in the business of reporting. But the real reason why there's less reporting in Iraq isnt because of the violence subsiding, its because the private mega corporations are prepared to go get the oil. Thats something that they dont want to report to us because it'll put most americans assumptions in the "fact" column.[/QUOTE]

    well...I don't know about the second part, but as far as the media goes, you are talking theory over reality..

    all the media is concerned with is making money....perhaps the individuals who are working creatively do not, perhaps they have nobler goals, but the owners and distributors of our, and any media for that matter, are concerned most with profit.

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    [QUOTE=villain_the_foe;2602962]The news media shouldnt be in the business of selling anything. They should be in the business of reporting. [B]But the real reason why there's less reporting in Iraq isnt because of the violence subsiding, its because the private mega corporations are prepared to go get the oil. Thats something that they dont want to report to us because it'll put most americans assumptions in the "fact" column[/B].[/QUOTE]

    The complete opposite is currently being reflected in the price of crude oil.

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    of course it is.....if our brave soldiers are getting killed, then what does the lib media have to report that makes them feel good.

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