Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Media Distortions- Then and Now

To those who watched closely the media debacle that was the Dan Rather/CBS national guard story, and who are currently following the whole Reuters doctored photos fiasco, I think it is too easy to simply assume that such errors are only creatures of modern day journalism.

I recently read the book Flags of our Fathers, which discusses in depth the lives of the six young soldiers who raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The photo taken at that precise moment is the most reproduced image of all time. In reading it I realized that the press was willfully ignorant to push a story/narrative that would present a false view of the facts. Contrary to press reports, the act of carrying and raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi was an anti-climatic event which was done without any enemy shots being fired. The bulk of the deaths occurred as the Marines tried to take the rest of the island. Despite these facts, the press intentionally added headlines and captions to paint an image that the flagraisers had to fight their way up the mountain and raised the flag in the midst of a hail of bullets and mortars.

In a very real sense, these journalists where attempting to paint a positive, inspiring picture of the war in the Pacific. While their intentions were good, their actions were not.

Fast forward fifty years and we face a press which is just as willing to distort the facts to fit a particular narrative, only the narrative is staunchly anti-American. While the journalists of yersteryear were perhaps too eager to praise allied efforts and lambast the enemy, modern day journalists are all to willing to second guess America and Israel, and give the benefit of the doubt to any other foreign nation or entity.


Post a Comment

<< Home