“When I wrote in one story about ‘bloody street fighting in Baghdad,’ it appeared the morning TV viewers were seeing jubilant Marines and Iraqi civilians tearing down statues of Saddam Hussein on the eastern side of the Tigris River. Some readers, believing all of Baghdad was like that, were livid. They did not grasp the fact that, on the western side of the river, pitched battles were still taking place. Because they did not see it on TV, it was not happening. And it did not fit their view of the war.” Ron Martz —Embed Catches Heat: TV Sanitized the Iraq Conflict, But a Paper Gets the Hate Mail (Editor and Publisher)
In response to an older blog entry, Michael Turton e-mails me:
You are correct in saying the truth will not come out.
If you look at the first site above, the anti-protester site, and scroll down, you’ll see a
picture of an Iraqi in a B&W striped shirt kissing a soldier. Look down further at the pictures and see who is in the center of the statue wrecking party.
That event was staged, my friend. The B&W striped kisser made the cover of USN&WP kissing one soldier, and Newsweek kissing another. He’s probably one of the
Iraqi freedom fighters shipped in prior to the taking of Baghdad.
Whatever the truth about the photo in question, it’s abundantly clear that those who relied only upon TV for their understanding of the war are getting a flashy, shallow package. But that’s true of any TV news product.