The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The irresponsible American media

One of my early posts focused on the purpose of media in America. The freedom of the press is a sacred right in the same category as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to bear arms. What rights regarding the press were they purchasing with their blood at the birth of our nation? The right to merely report the news? The fact that some oppressed countries cannot even do that, I must admit that was part of it. Did our brave men die for their right to entertain us? Ridiculous.

The right purchased for the press was the right to contribute to public debate and opinion. The goal of every journalist student is not to simply report the news; they want to "make the world a better place". We can argue over what is "better" and realize that here and there the freedom of the press will be abused and misused. However, we should not expect the media as an institution to be as irresponsible as it has been regarding Iraq.

I have linked to a commentary by Clifford May from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies called "Memo to Murtha". He opens with a commendation of Murtha's service to the country and for "for sparking an honest debate" regarding Iraq. For the most part I agree with that sentiment. So far the discussion on Iraq has been based on name calling and groundless or grossly exaggerated charges. He mentions that there is room to critique the planning of the administration for a post-Saddam Iraq.

Clifford May then goes on to point out where Murtha has a serious flaw in his thinking. Under the assumption of Murtha that we cannot win in Iraq and therefore should withdraw troops, May asks what then Murtha? Standing up in Congress and demanding we withdraw our troops without any plan to deal with Iraq after we leave is grossly irresponsible. May points out that the Iraqi troops are not yet prepared to deal with the al-qaeda presence in Iraq. Portions or all of Iraq would fall to al-qaeda. They will use Iraq as a middle-east base that would threaten the entire region as well as surely threaten the U.S. as they build unchecked. May points out further consequences outside of Iraq stating:

In many other countries where al-Qaeda has been applying pressure -- Bangladesh, Indonesia and Thailand to name just a few – three things would now be clear: (1) It is dangerous to be allied with the U.S.; (2) it is futile to resist al-Qaeda; and (3) bin Laden and Saddam were correct in predicting that if you bloody Americans, they will always turn tail and run
May's entire article should be read and reread as it is one of the best commentaries on Iraq I have seen. While May thrashes the thinking or lack thereof of Rep. Murtha, I would extend the thrashing to the American media. How irresponsible that in their zeal to embarrass or take down a president they do not take the time to discuss the consequences so clearly laid out by May.

While Democrats like Bob Beckel and prominant media members hold up polling data showing a majority of Americans wanting the troops to be withdrawn from Iraq, they overlook the point that those being polled are not fully informed on the issues. A poll of the uninformed has no value. As we know from man-on-the-street questioning in radio and tv shows, many people cannot tell you who key governmental people past and present are. We can hardly believe they are informed about all the intricate details of Iraq. The media gladly adheres to the belief that Iraqi polls show Bush is wrong rather than those being polled need to be more informed. What do you think the response would be if a polling question asked:

"With U.S. forces facing continuing obstacles in Iraq, yet knowing there would be disastrous future consequences if we withdrew too soon do you think the U.S. should withdraw troops in the near future?"

We see that the media is failing miserably at keeping the public informed on critical issues. The question is are they themselves underinformed or misinformed; or is there something more sinister? In their zeal to undermine the efforts in Iraq are they truly ignorant of the severe issues at stake, or do they see future catastrophe as a political opportunity to demonize Bush for years as each consequence of an early withdrawal comes to fruition?

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