May 1 2007

Transmission Accomplished

Propagandizing the short-lived Iraq War ‘victory’

While much has been written about how credulous reporting about the Bush administration’s bogus weapons claims paved the way for the Iraq War, it’s important to remember that media cheerleading for the war only intensified once the bombs started falling—a dismal performance documented here with examples from the first celebration of “shock and awe” to the swooning over George W. Bush’s declaration of “Mission Accomplished.” These quotes are excerpted from “Iraq and the Media: A Critical Timeline,” published on (3/19/07). An awesome performance “We don’t want to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq, because in a few days we’re gonna […]

Sep 23 2005

Elliot Mincberg on John Roberts & David Enders on Iraq Withdrawal

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Supreme Court nominee John Roberts has certainly passed the media confirmation process, with most of the coverage quite favorable to Bush‘s nominee for chief justice. With all that praise, what are we missing? Elliot Mincberg of People for the American Way will join us to answer that question. Also this week: Though Iraq news has been largely pushed off front-pages, the war obviously still grinds on. And opinion-shaping media in the U.S.-pundits and editorial page writers-are mostly ignoring increasing calls for withdrawing the troops. But what do Iraqis think about ending the occupation of […]

Oct 1 2004

An ‘Outrage’–But Is It True?

CNN's Dobbs attacks Annan for calling Iraq War "illegal"

When U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan declared that he thought the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was illegal (BBC, 9/15/04), CNN‘s Lou Dobbs was outraged, calling it “another incredible outburst by Kofi Annan” (9/16/04). But Dobbs and his CNN reporters neglected to pursue the most important aspect of the story: Was Annan right? Annan told the BBC that the war was “not in conformity with the Security Council, with the U.N. Charter.” When asked, “It was illegal?,” Annan replied: “Yes, if you wish,” adding: “I have indicated it is not in conformity with the U.N. Charter; from our point of view […]

Aug 1 2004

War’s Iconic Image a PSYOPS Creation

The July 3 L.A. Times finally put to some sort of definitive rest the notion that it was ebullient Iraqis who pulled down the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad’s Firdos Square in April of last year. The statue pulldown is described in an internal Army study, the Times reported, as one of many psychological operations maneuvers employed by the military. It was a Marine colonel who decided to topple the statue, and “it was a quick thinking Army psychological operations team that made it appear to be a spontaneous Iraqi undertaking.” Today, the elite media strategy appears to be to […]

Apr 1 2004

Invasion, One Year Later

Still no debate on Sunday morning

The Sunday morning interview shows on March 14 all devoted significant time to the one-year anniversary of the start of the invasion of Iraq. But viewers of these programs would have had a hard time finding a debate about the controversial decision to go to war. ABC‘s This Week with George Stephanopoulos featured an interview with Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was also the sole guest on Fox News Sunday. CBS‘s Face the Nation featured Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, with pro-war New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman sitting in on the questioning. Only NBC‘s Meet the Press showcased […]

Mar 18 2004

Fear and Favor at the PBS NewsHour

(NOTE: Please read the update to this alert.) Journalist Christian Parenti was invited to talk about Iraq on the March 2 broadcast of PBS‘s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. But Parenti’s criticism of the reconstruction contracts granted to corporations like Halliburton and Bechtel apparently crossed a line for the program’s host. According to a report by Cynthia Cotts in the Village Voice newspaper (3/17/04), Lehrer objected to comments Parenti made in response to a question about whether bombings in Iraq would “make the American job harder on the ground in Iraq”: PARENTI: I would think so. I would think that we […]

Feb 1 2004

If News From Iraq Is Bad, It’s Coming From U.S. Officials

Study Data

Despite criticism of the media by the Bush administration and its allies, U.S. TV news coverage of the Iraq situation continues to be dominated by government and military officials, according to a new study by FAIR. The few critics of military operations that find themselves on the nightly news broadcasts rarely question the war as a whole. Nightly network news reports largely focus on tactics and individual battles, with more substantial and often troubling issues surrounding the war, such as civilian casualties, rarely being reported. The study looked at 319 on-camera sources appearing in stories about Iraq on the nightly […]

Dec 1 2003

Iraq and ‘Neglect’

Since the victory declared in Iraq turned out to be premature, the Bush administration has been doing more and more media criticism. Their complaints about the media may be dubious, but they do get results. For example: On Fox News Sunday (10/26/03), Paul Bremer, the administration’s overseer in Iraq, took issue with a New York Times story from the day before that said that the U.S. was seeking funds from other countries “for reconstruction of water, power, health care and other systems devastated by the American invasion six months ago.” Bremer told Fox‘s Tony Snow, “I don’t know where the […]