Thursday, December 23, 2004

Just popping back, as promised, to note this American Thinker article which deals with the Rumsfeld 'sting' operation by what it calls the 'Press gang'. There are, of course, meaningful questions to be raised, but the sensitivity of the media is just about crude enough to be manipulated, yet not attuned enough to help us understand.

One thought I would raise (or several along one line) is that the murder of 19 Americans among others in Mosul may conceivably have been timed to coincide with media scrutiny of Rummy. It may also be the case that the release of two French journalists on the day of the US' highest recent casualties was not coincidental. When I mentioned in the previous post that a media bandwagon may be joined by concerned parties for political effect, I shouldn't have omitted the terrorists in that analysis. They watch CNN, and the Beeb, as well.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Rounding up the bandwagon (news).

Here's one of those classic examples of the BBC giving a bandwagon a roll by collecting a range of stories over a period of time and publishing them as one 'story', thereby demonstrating a narrative to which they or those who contribute to the news (ie politicians, other media) can add. It's emotionalised tripe really, about whether condolences were personally signed or not, though I know that some would disagree with me on that- maybe from the high moral ground, but still I'd contest that it's emotionalised tripe given the hardnosed media context in which these fellows have their being.

It would be controversial to defend Rumsfeld, yet that's just what I feel like doing- because no-one else could have carried the weight of media scrutiny that he has carried to enable the Iraq war to take place without collapsing under the weight of Western defeatism.

Instapundit also defended Rummy out of the same instinct for unfairness which I personally would prefer to call sensitivity to bias (examplar of sensitivity here).

I always believed that the first Rummy story this Christmas (as the illiberal elite realised he was going to outstay Colin Powell and couldn't stand it any longer) was a put up job, and the BBC's reporting then was a model of how to make such a story credible and powerful.

Meanwhile, in the follow-up, which the BBC deigned to consider newsworthy, a 'grilling' over 'equipment' became a 'query' over 'kit' and the 2000 cheering soldiers became merely 'soldiers assembled'- quite a low-key affair compared with the story I'd heard previously.

But now, in the latest story of Rumsfeld's woes there is no mention of the planted question (which ought to be allowed to derail the bandwagon but funnily enough isn't), which reverts to 'full-grill' mode (ie the storyline of disgruntled ordinary soldiers is unbroken by matters of fact). Funny what we remember to report and what we don't.

Something, by the way, that I should not fail to mention is that I am liable to be absent from blogging for much of the festive season, so don't be surprised it there are longish pauses. I'll pop in and I'll return more permanently in the New Year. So, if I don't say it later I'll say it now: Happy Christmas and New Year (except to the Beeb, who should use the time to reflect shamefacedly on their many failings!).

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