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.