Jim Hoft introduces CNN to 2nd Lt. Joshua Booth, who was killed by sniper fire in Haditha on October 17 and asks if they are going to show his death, too.
When I first watched Wolf Blitzer’s interview with Duncan Hunter, I was, as Michelle Malkin put it, not in a good mood. (By the way, be sure to follow the link to Michelle’s site to support an American sniper.) What put me in a bad mood, and frankly made me want to scream, was a comment by Wolf Blitzer that made me realize that some things I take for granted as common sense, are things those at CNN just don’t “get.”
Newsbusters posted the key quote that I want to address.
Blitzer tried to argue that they were only exposing the world to the hard realities, and responding to left-wing critics that the war is sanitized since gruesome death isn’t show on TV for young children to see: “Is this appropriate, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Hunter, for the American public to see how awful, to see how brutal the war can actually be? Because I — I guess there has been criticism from the other side that we sort of whitewash, and we don’t really convey to the American public the full extent of the brutality of the enemy. Do the American people have a right to know what war is like?”
Rep. Hunter had an excellent response.
Hunter argued that the people have never been more able to go find images of gruesome death in an American war: “Well, first, Wolf, the American people aren’t made out of cotton candy. They understand, when you see 2,791 battlefield deaths, that people are killed, and they are killed in bad ways. This is the first generation of Americans that could actually go online and watch an American be decapitated, have his head cut off by al-Zarqawi, as they watch. So, I would say that, contrary to what you are saying, this is a war in which more brutality is shown than probably any other.
“But the point is that — that this one killing of one American doesn’t really tell any statistic. Of — of the people killed in Iraq, 524 of our Americans have been killed in accidents, mainly automobile accidents. Now, you don’t show automobile accidents, because it’s not sexy. It’s not violent. It doesn’t draw a big audience. Showing the impact of a single bullet, a single shooting doesn’t tell you anything. If you isolated one American going down on Omaha Beach at Normandy, what would that tell the American public?” He reminded Blitzer that there were around 5,000 soldiers killed at Iwo Jima, but it was not necessary for the American people to see them being killed to understand that. Hunter went on to give additional reasons the video should not have been shown, including that CNN was allowing terrorists to use them as an outlet for their propaganda. (He said it in a much more diplomatic way though.)
Hunter got to the heart of the matter, but the CNN sniper video was only the latest example. Many in the media have allowed themselves to be used by the terrorists, as well as by those opposed to the war, to undermine support for the mission in Iraq. I have wondered over the past couple of years how much support there would have been for past wars if the enemy’s propaganda was regularly fed to the American people and if only the very worst of the war effort was presented.
CNN claims they are interested in showing the “unvarnished truth?” Certainly, as Wizbang reader Scotty pointed out, they weren’t so committed to showing the unvarnished truth when Eason Jordan was in the CNN Baghdad bureau covering up Saddam’s atrocities. But then news of Saddam’s atrocities bolstered the President’s case for invading Iraq. It is no accident or coincidence that those stories rating the “unvarnished truth” treatment, as well as the wall-to-wall coverage, all happen to be the ones that reinforce Democrat talking points.
Remember all the wall-to-wall coverage of the economy during the Clinton years? It was kinda hard to miss. Well, don’t know if you have heard or not, but the Bush economy is outstanding by almost every possible measure and the Dow has been breaking all time highs all month long — oh, and gas prices are down by about 30 percent from last year. But if you watch the news you will learn that there is anxiety that bad economic news may be just around the bend. Hey, CNN, and all you other networks, could we get some unvarnished truth about the economy? No spin, no what might be just around the bend. By the way, that bad economy has been coming for a couple of years now. Don’t worry media guys, eventually there will be a downturn. That is the nature of the economic cycle. Just hang in there.
The public’s perception of the economy, shown in many polls, is that things are not so great. That perception flies in the face of the cold, hard facts, but what the heck? Why should the news consumer get the unvarnished truth when it comes to the economy? At least, why should they during a Republican administration?