Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Cheap Shot with Quote

Wedneday, 26 March 2003

There's been a fair bit of comment from bloggers and others about the performance of the media in reporting this war. A lot of people hold the opinion that, once again, the media are letting the side down by reporting facts that our governments would rather not let us know. For example, the BBC had the temerity to show Dubya having his hair and make-up fixed up on camera before he was actually scheduled to go to air. Most of those taking this position are standing in a cheap shot free fire zone - I'm sure that the Iraqi government is having no trouble keeping their media outlets in line. Of course, if the liberation of Iraq succeeds, future Iraqi governments will have to contend with media organisations and journalists who will be every bit as badly behaved when it comes to demonstrating knee-jerk support for the government in power as their western counterparts. Call me naive, but I thought that, in part at least, this is what we are fighting for.

There's a claim being made, mostly implicitly, that the sort of critical media coverage and commentary we are sometimes getting plays into Saddam's hands. It allows Saddam to use our Western liberal-democratic values to weaken our resolve to impose those western liberal-democratic values on rogue states. There's a topic for a much longer post in that issue, but for now, I'll just finish with this quote from Tony Blair, aired yesterday on the ABC's AM:

There are of course difficulties that have arisen, tragedies and accidents and we grieve for the lives lost. That is in the nature of war and it is in the nature of today's instant, live reporting of war, that people see the pain and the blood in vivid and shocking terms. [my emphasis].

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