Iraq Vacuum Filled by ‘Good News’

In a TomDispatch essay (10/23/08), professor and author Michael Schwartz lets us know “What the Good News from Iraq Really Means”:

Even before the spectacular presidential election campaign became a national obsession… coverage of the Iraq War had dwindled to next to nothing. National newspapers had long since discontinued their daily feasts of multiple–usually front-page–reports on the country, replacing them with meager meals of mostly inside-the-fold summary stories. On broadcast and cable TV channels, where violence in Iraq had once been the nightly lead, whole news cycles went by without a mention of the war.

The tone of the coverage also changed. The powerful reports of desperate battles and miserable Iraqis disappeared. There are still occasional stories about high-profile bombings or military campaigns in obscure places, but the bulk of the news is about quiescence in old hot spots, political maneuvering by Iraqi factions, and the newly emerging routines of ordinary life.

Schwartz goes on to explain that “since there are far fewer foreign reporters moving around a quieter Iraq,” the coverage that does appear “is often little more than a collection of pronouncements from the U.S. military, or Iraqi and American political leaders… framing the American public’s image of the situation there.”

Read FAIR’s magazine Extra!: “Spinning the Surge: Iraq & the Election” (9-10/08) by Peter Hart