The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke

Home  TOC  Sitemap  Search

Alerts - Petitions - Polls - Surveys

Archives  Features  Cartoons

About Us  Contact Us

Conservative Calendar of Events

Election 2002

Columnists  Guest Voices  Bios

Publishers Corner

 

The First Casualty

Michael R. Bowen, MD

The Basics

Michael R. Bowen, MD

mbowen@americasvoices.org       
biography
archives

 

"The freedom to speak a lie, or not much care whether it is a lie or not, may be the essence of self-delusion, or of deconstruction, or even the adversary system.  But it is not true freedom, which is dependent on truth."
-- Paul Greenburg, commentator

August 5, 2003


Forget all that stuff about truth being the first casualty in war.  This time around, the first casualty was-and remains-the credibility of the press.

We've all heard the rehashes of the loony media predictions before the war:  huge casualties, slaughter of civilians, flaring up of the "Arab Street", use of weapons of mass destruction against our troops, etc.  And we all remember similarly screwy reporting during the war:  we were in a quagmire, we didn't have enough troops, we hadn't planned our supplies or manpower properly, wait until we got to the bitter house-to-house fighting in the cities, on and on and on.  No sensible person expects the Talking Heads to ever acknowledge how wrong they were, but you'd think they'd be a little smarter by now about keeping their bias from being so blatant.

Since the end of major combat operations, the foolishness has continued.  We had the 170,000oh, wait, make that only 30 priceless artifacts looted and destroyed.  We had the Paul Wolfowitz Freudian slips, first that the weapons of mass destruction argument was just a ploy to get everyone on board, and then that, well, we really did attack just to get their oil after all.  All the major media played these stories to the hilt, and then walked away from them when they were shown to be false.

And it looks like it's never going to end.  Saddam's sons, surrounded and instructed to surrender, open fire and are liquidated by the 101st Airborne, and what does the Fourth Estate have to say?  Reuters says it was an assassination.  Others say it's not really the Hussein boys.  The best any of them can bring themselves to do is to acknowledge that, yes, it was Qusay and Uday, and yes, they refused to surrender and came out shooting, and, yes, Iraqis were celebrating all over the country because of it, but it's not important because meanwhile guerrilla attacks continue, the infrastructure has not been repaired, democracy has not been established, and Halliburton has landed a sweetheart deal to make a killing on reconstruction.  Reuters intones that the sons had "a reputation for cruelty".  Reputation?

Maureen Dowd deliberately edits a Bush quote and builds a typically vitriolic column on it.  A few news outlets catch her in her lie and print corrections the next day, but nothing happens at the Good Gray Lady.  The BBC secretly interviews a British weapons expert, "sexes up" his comments to claim that Blair lied, and then spills the name of their source, culminating in the man's suicide, but not, of course, any repentance from the "Beeb".  National Public Radio is losing contributions as outraged Jews become unable to stomach their anti-Israel bias.  Dan Rather is losing ratings as people turn away in disgust.  Geraldo is kicked out of Iraq for divulging locations of military units.

The Bush-Lied-About-The-Uranium party line may or may not be getting anywhere, but what's definitely getting traction is an even bigger story:  the press hates Bush, and hates him so much that they will distort any and all news.  For every story about the horrible quagmire, there are a dozen letters home from soldiers telling us not to believe it.  The media's credibility is in tatters, and though they know they're in a hole, they just can't stop digging.

The media have gotten a big black eye out of the whole affair, and they richly deserve it.  The only way out of this is to find some objective reporters and editors, and put them in charge.  But people of that caliber are not to be found in America's newsrooms, and the staff of the New York Times wouldn't even know where to begin looking for them.  Look for America's media world to turn into a thin crust of well-known elite organs, floating on, and being ignored or even mocked by, a vast substratum of smaller publications and Internet sites patronized by citizens who have learned not to trust the Times or the BBC anymore.

 

Copyright Copyright 2020 by Michael R. Bowen, MD & America's Voices, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Dr. Michael Bowen, a former Naval officer, has a private medical practice in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.  He writes the weekly column
"The Basics" and the occasional guest column "Mixed Reviews" for America's Voices, a conservative political opinion and educational web site.  His columns also appear in other popular Internet sites, including Opinionet.com and Enterstageright.com.  E-mail Dr. Bowen at mbowen@americasvoices.org.

Home  TOC  Sitemap  Search

Alerts - Petitions - Polls - Surveys

Archives  Features  Cartoons

About Us  Contact Us

Conservative Calendar of Events

Election 2002

Columnists  Guest Voices  Bios

Publishers Corner

D-Day inaugural
feature article

www.americasvoices.org
publisher@americasvoices.org
editor@americasvoices.org
webmaster@americasvoices.org

Disclaimer

Publishing Guidelines

Copyright Copyright 2020 by Americas's Voices, Inc.
Columbus, Ohio.  All rights reserved.

America's Voices, America's Voices University, americasvoices.org and www.AmericasVoices.org are service marks of America's Voices, Inc. a not-for-profit educational organization.