Monday, July 23, 2007

Iraq: Where Have all the Journalist Gone?

During the last 5 years the United States media has been silenced in perhaps the most crucial time in American history. We are currently fighting 2 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet our media coverage is completely lacking 'real' journalistic content. Our news has been domesticated for US consumption. Long gone are the days when we received information from the journalist in the field.

Currently in Iraq, our news is being supplied by the U.S. military. Secluded in the Green Zone, the few western journalists in country, crowd together and listen as a US official tells them the stories of the day. Hard reporting is left to a bygone error. We are not getting the 'Iraqi' viewpoint. More or less, not even an international viewpoint. Should we be trusting the news that the US military is supplying the in country journalists?

For journalists to cut through the BS they need to go out on the streets of Baghdad. Without this, we are merely receiving what the Administration wants US to hear and see. The bloody realities of war are not seen....nor heard...we are left in the 'fog'. Instead we get a perversion of what is happening on the ground. Embedding is not a 'real' option. It only perpetuates the cycle of domesticated news. The source is corrupt to begin with. This war is in a media blackout. The average American does not see the true price of war. Instead we see occasional doses of American troops playing with children, soldiers shooting at an enemy that is not seen....the gruesome realities of war remain untouched.

From the luxury of the Green Zone they sit and wait for the next news conference. Hoarding together to get the latest US spin. We need reporting from the streets, yet this is nearly impossible since they are secluded within their own private gated community. Walled off from the outside world. Be it the price of freedom, the price of the free press.....real journalism awaits...the pens and paper remain quiet.

We went from having over 700 embedded journalists in Iraq at the beginning of the war to currently only a handful. The war started out as the most televised, best covered war in American history. Five years later it is the United States best kept secret. Shameful. America deserves the truth. Without knowledge of what is truly happening on the ground, we the people, are losing control of our future. There is no accountability to the actions we are pursuing outside of the comfort of the Green Zone.

Shock and Awe is right. That is what the American public is facing. The 'shock' of the free press scumming to the Bush Administration's media censure. The 'awe' is that the press is going along with it. Where are the brave journalists who risked their lives to get the bring to the common citizen the realities of the situation. Where are the newshounds on the ground keeping the sources honest?

FOX, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR....we want news coverage not spin. Stop building your armed encampments and seek out the news. Stop hiding from it. No matter the monetary cost to get the story, American democrazy and the future of a free press lies in your hands not the Administration. Does one really think that if Americans saw the costs of war we would still be in these blood for oil wars? I think not. Show the blood, determine who is committing these car bomb it the Sunni, the Shite, Al Qaeda 2.0.1, identify the characters....find the story instead of it being dropped at your feet. Damn it...Cover the News reveal the secrets. Its a dangerous job...we applaud take the jump save America's free press and expose this war for what it is. A mistake. A farce. One continuous 5 year lie perpetuated on the global community. Stop hiding in the 'bushes'.
Same Players. Different Scandal.

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