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February 27, 2005

"Hotel Journalists" Rooting For Failure in Iraq?

Great article from Prospect Magazine excerpted by Normblog:

January 30th turned out to be a better day for Iraqis than it was for reporters.

The failure of "hotel journalism" might be forgivable if it were truly about prudence or even laziness. But there has been something wilful about the bad reporting of this story. It is weirdly personal: Iraq must fail. It is in fact the press that failed, on a scale for which I cannot think of a precedent. Will the big media outlets demand the same accountability of themselves that they demand of everyone else? They should, for the success of these elections was not so surprising to those who dug below the surface of Iraq.

Thanks to JimW for tipping me to the story; more thoughts at Instapundit.

Another Trend?: Strange Women notes Jack Kelley is making the same demands for MSM accountability.

An Oldie But A Baddie: One of the clearest admissions of leftie reporters rooting for our enemies came from Gary Kamiya, an executive editor at Salon.com, writing shortly after the fall of Baghdad:

I have a confession to make. I have at times, as the war unfolded, secretly wished for things to go wrong. Wished for the Arab world to rise up in rage. Wished for all the things we feared would happen.

I'm not alone…more casualties would have been a preferred alternative to the larger moral negative of a victory.... Wishing for things to go wrong is the logical corollary of the postulate that the better things go for Bush, the worse they will go for America and the rest of the world.

When this hateful confession appeared, letters poured in from Salon readers congratulating Kamiya on his bravery and honesty, and admitting, too, that others had shared the same hopes for American failure.

Rooting for more casulaties? For the Arab world to "rise up"?

Can it be doubed that Kamiya is quite right that he is "not alone" in these wishes, and that this hope for American deaths and humiliation permeates much of the media's reporting on Iraq and Afghanistan (and Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo)?

He wasn't alone, as The Nation proved:

Or take Jonathan Schell, writing in the Sept. 22 issue of the Nation: "[Democratic Senator Joe] Biden says we must win the war. This is precisely wrong. The United States must learn to lose this war a harder task, in many ways, than winning, for it requires admitting mistakes and relinquishing attractive fantasies. This is the true moral mission of our time."

Conservatives are sometimes criticized, fairly I think, for wanting things to go right and letting that hope color their analyses of the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, and the world at large.

But, as Kamiya "bravely" admitted, there are others who have quite the opposite hopes and desires. And they don't all work for Al Jazeera. (Or, let us say, they don't draw a paycheck from Al Jazeera.)

Letting hopes for American victory cloud a dispassionate analysis of the facts is dangerous.

But letting hopes for an American tragedy do the same is vicious, hateful, and, yes, fundamentally, and inarguably, un-American.


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posted by Ace at 03:22 PM

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