Skip to comments.Stung by Ingraham, NBC Claims Its Iraq Coverage. . . Not Negative Enough!
Posted on 03/22/2006 5:24:01 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
by Mark Finkelstein
March 22, 2006
Laura Ingraham clearly hit an MSM sore spot with the charges she levelled during her appearance on yesterday's Today show, in which she locked horns with David Gregory and James Carville. Read Laura in the Lions Den.
Ingraham accused most American media of covering Iraq from their balconies in the Green Zone, confining their reports largely to IEDs and killings and missing the more positive stories that abound across the country.
This morning, a clearly stung NBC asked itself whether it is doing a good job reporting on Iraq, and - surprise! - the Peacock Network assured itself and us that indeed it is. If anything, Today told us, the situation in Iraq is even worse than the MSM portray it.
Ingraham's gutsy appearance took on national momentum. Laura discussed it at length during her own syndicated radio show. Rush Limbaugh picked it up, and Ingraham made evening appearances on the O'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes. At one point, Ingraham mentioned that it was her viewing yesterday of a report by NBC's Richard Engel, from the proverbial Green Zone balcony, that sparked some of her sentiment.
NBC fired back this morning, and featured the very same Engel in doing so.
Hosting the segment was Gregory, sitting in for Matt Lauer. He kicked things off asking "is the U.S. media focusing too much on the negative and ignoring the positive stories in Iraq?" Gregory then threw it to Engel in Baghdad, who began by alleging that there are "a lot of myths and misperceptions about what reporters are doing and are not doing here in Iraq."
Engel then narrated a montage showing that at various times, he and his crew have accompanied US troops, put on flack jackets and ventured outside the Green Zone, and exposed themselves to a variety of violent situations. We saw dramatic footage of Engel flat on the ground as bullets whizzed around. The point was made that even staying in the office can be dangerous, as the NBC News Bureau has twice been bombed. Engel also mentioned the danger of kidnapping, with 40 reporters having been taken hostage so far.
While making the case that Baghdad is a dangerous place and that the people covering display bravery, in many ways Engel failed to confront Ingraham's most fundamental charges. She had challenged NBC to apply some of the massive resources it devoted to the Olympics, or even to answering "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?", to its Iraq coverage. Ingraham suggested that the media get off their perches and out into the field. Speak with the Iraqi military, meet with villagers and children. Ingraham predicted that the resulting stories would paint a picture of Iraq more positive than the gloom and doom seen in the glare of the latest IED explosion that is the typical MSM fare.
There was nothing in Engel's report to indicate that NBC had ventured much if at all outside Baghdad or made any systematic effort to speak with the Iraqi military, or with Iraqi people-in-the street or with villagers in the many peaceful areas of the country.
Indeed, Engel's report confirmed Ingraham's allegation that the MSM portray Iraq in a consistently negative light. At one point, Engel asserted that "reporting on everyday life is increasingly dangerous because life here is getting more dangerous." And incredibly, Engel closed by claiming that, if anything, NBC's coverage was . . . not negative enough.
When Gregory asked "is security the overall story?" Engel replied:
"Most Iraqis I speak to say most reporters get it wrong. The situation on the ground is worse than the images we project on television."
Today Show/NewsBusters ping.
NBC claims its Iraq coverage not negative enough. Yeah, that's the ticket!
Here's more information on the Ingraham/Gregory confrontation.
I thought about posting a separate thread because ABC's Good Morning America led off with asking readers' to email them from their website about what type of coverage we (the public) would like to read.
I went ahead and emailed them my thoughts.
M.S.M death throes alert!
Well if it's all that bad, why is he standing on a balcony? Has he ever heard of snipers? Bazookas? or American Tanks? ;)
Were there any clips of Engel and ordinary Iraqi citizens and/or children?
That's a predictable result, when you embed yourself with al Qaeda!
Here's a link to a depiction of Ingraham's appearance yesterday on the Today show: "Laura in the Lions Den."
Is it any coincidence that NBC represent the first letters of the phrase
I think not.
I despise them more at times like this than all others combined. They actually believe that we believe they submitted themselves to the tough questions. Pffft.
If NBC believes most Iraqis they speak with, then the reporter's statement constitutes an admission that they are not getting out and getting the REAL STORY about the security situation.
And, if they believe, by their own admission, that they are not getting the real story on the "security situation", why is it that they believe they are reporting the real story regarding the "non security" aspects of life in Iraq?
Ms. Ingraham is correct to challenge the lamstream media to do that, but my guess is that even if they did they'd find a way to spin it negatively. What we need to realize is that the lamestream press has no intention of being objective. When a Republican/conservative is in office, everything is bad, bad, bad. When a liberal 'Rat is in office, everything is great, great, great. Their reports are not information but agitprop. The MSM is an agenda-driven business, and the truth of the matter about any given subject is not a consideration.
We're mostly on our own when it comes to finding out the truth of any story today. Fortunately, we have more resources today to do that than were available in the past. Unfortunately, most people in the country are lazy and willing to believe what they are told than make any effort to find things out for themselves.
Tim Russert forgets what the estimates for deaths were for the initial invasion...He said he could not find one person who expected we would have had 2000 lost..I think he is not being truthful. He went into a list that was pure spin..a pick and choose who said or thought what before the war...without identifying who said it. He has lost any semblance of objectivity.
NBC gets me for local news in the morning many times..The only time I watch their reporting otherwise is because the channel hasn't been changed yet..A pox on them..I am going to watch Fox local channel news.
God Bless and Protect Those Who Protect Us..
Back live indoors, Engel concluded: "Ann, one of the things I'll remember most about this experience was as I was standing there obviously unarmed, feeling very exposed wearing a bright blue flak jacket was there was a soldier standing next to me. I didn't know him I hadn't even noticed him before. And suddenly as the gunshots were coming at us he came over to me and said, 'It's gonna be okay, don't worry.' And he actually stepped right in front of me protecting me with his body and started to return fire at the insurgents. And I just remember thinking that this is one of the small acts of heroism, I think you can say, that I so rarely get a chance to see and even less frequently report about. Ann."
Frankly, neither side has it correct. There are good things happening, as well as an abundance of bad. And the ongoing bad media campaign is sickening.
Frankly the administrations admission the other day that any withdrawl would likely occur on some other administrations watch is a very different story of when we were told we would leave if asked by the Iraqi government.
It could be that we know the government wouldn't ask for at least three more years or now we wouldn't if we were asked.
But back to the media, how many reporters or their crew have been killed, seriously hurt or kidnapped while covering this war. And I bet they weren't all on a balcony.
Laura's comment was a straw man argument.
This morning on Today, we ask "Are journalists doing a bad job covering Iraq?" Let's ask a journalist.
That's pretty funny.
In the past 5 months, I have talked to 4 local reservists who each returned from Iraq assignments that lasted more than a year.
If it isn't the first sentence they volunteer, it is in their second: They say that what you see on TV is not at all the way it is Iraq. And they say that it is much more POSITIVE than portrayed.
This is why the MSM has such a credibility issue. When do you see any stories about returning service members? Usually only if they are in the minority voicing opposition, or if they have returned with a major injury. Only the local media outlets cover the reports from our friends and neighbors who give first-hand accounts of what is really being accomplished.
As far as David Engel, it seems like if he went to a road-building site or new school or hospital, his chances of needing his flak jacket and helmet would be greating reduced. But, they're not doing that kind of story in New Orleans, either. So why should we be surprised?
Again, they wouldn't show his face. Seems odd, if he's "pessimistic," because why would terrorists target someone who was spouting their line?
Last night on Hardbowel, Matthews referred to Bush's press conference as more ...blaming the press.
In the early days of the troops in Bagdad, one of the big hotels was attacked. IIRC NBC's Richard Engel was the reporter who sent his driver downstairs (where the action was) to get the news reports. Engel stayed upstairs (safety) and made his broadcasts from there.
There were FR threads about it when it was revealed. Engel may have been employed by CNN at the time. IIRC, he changed employers a couple of years ago.
That was about the time he was annointed with the nomenclature: Chicken Richard.
General Electric should be kicked off every government bid list.
This strikes me as similar to Pauline Kael's "No one I know voted for Nixon."
Obviously, he is so isolated, he cant see reality.
"Laura's comment was a straw man argument."
Of COURSE it was. Laura was only out the field for
a week with the troops. How would she know what the
dying mainstream media is doing? It certainly is
a straw man argument to point out that NBC et al's
reporters are reporting from their hotel rooms and
the bars where the latest explosion is.
You, sir, are an ass.
Maybe if just once, when the MSM is caught red-handed reporting something wrong/lying/being biased, they would just own up to it and take their licks, then viewers would have a bit of respect for them and their ratings wouldn't be hemhorraging.
I noticed that Lou Dobbs/CNN did the same thing yesterday when they were discussing the Presidents comments at the presser
As for Engel ... many of us still remember the Baghdad Webcam back when the war first started .. and how Engel had to call into NBC NY Headquarters to get the latest news so he could report during the evening news
I support Bush and the war in Iraq, even while acknowleging there were mistakes (show me a war where everything worked according to plan). You say I want to see flowers blooming everyday, that's absolute BS. I just want the full picture. Can you find one story of progress that makes the front page? There has to be at least one hero in the war...they can't be all torturing and murdering innocent women and children can they?
Thank you for your kind and well thought out response. So 61 journalists killed since the invasion took place means they are reporting from their balconies? I can't find a figure on those injured.
When you'd like a terrorist to shoot accurately, they whiz them over his head!
They WILL RULE. (Ya ha ha.)(sarcasm)
[Now, I have to go vomit. You have a strong stomach governsleastgovernsbest.]
I don't deny this. I know this too well. But even the so called conservative press still talks about the dangers and problems of the area. Britt Hume, while downplaying all the gloom and doom will still state Iraq is not peaceful and clearly very dangerous.
Soldier: Small act of heroism. Engle: Large act of cowardice and treason!
Along those lines:
CBS ........... "SeeBS"
Last night on the NBC Nightly Snooze (which I rarely watch) had this story covered in a 4-5 minute piece by the Chris Matthews wanna-be Andrea Mitchell who took the same take line as described above (while trying to appear to be 'fair & balanced', of course).
Actually, just a strong supply of Prilosec!
From the files of Snow Job and the Seven Media Midgets.
Richard Engel aka "Pretty Chicken."
Andrea Mitchell is Barbra Streisand on peyote.
I call BS, the first part of that statement is from an Iraqi, the second part is that reporter's opinion. It doesn't matter if they venture out of the green zone or not, the MSM will only pursue stories that validate their biases.
CBS: Complete Bull Sh!#
I suggest you read the WHOLE comment the President said .. including the follow up question
President Bush pointed out to the reporter that he wanted Bush to put a time table on Iraq .. and he isn't going to do that
Now you know why,years ago, right after the merger Ted Turner wanted to use his AOL windfall to purchase NBC.