Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Deconstructing news for those who don't think

Curt, at Flopping Aces, has brought to my attention a powerful comparison between standard MSM reporting and actual source reporting regarding events in Iraq. You can find the whole thing at The Adventures of Chester, but this should whet your appetite:

First, let's examine the overall tone of both sets of documents just through some of the descriptive phrases in each. In the TIME article, here are representative words, reflecting, and shaping, the overall tenor of the piece: "elusive and inexhaustible enemy" "success" is "elusive" "inexhaustible enemy emboldened by the US presence" "gradual . . . erosion" in public support "millions of Iraqis will vote on a constitution that threatens to further split the country" "beleaguered US mission in Iraq" "unwinnable military fight" "series of failures" "hardened local fighters" "politically compromised outcome" "dangers, dilemmas, and frustrations that still haunt the US in Iraq" "temporary tactical gains" "doubts about whether anything resembling victory can still be achieved" "powerless to do anything" about atrocities "intelligence suggests insurgents are displaying their mettle" "This enemy is not a rabble." "fierce resistance" "shaken US officer" "troops . . . embittered" "momentum lost" "insurgents proving so resiliant" Do you really even have to read the article to know what it says? When I was a child, my father told me that Life magazine was for people who don't like to read, and TIME for people who don't like to think. Seems an accurate characterization.
Anyone who can do this kind of careful, breakdown analysis, followed by a pithy, dead-on comment, is one smart cookie in my book. If you don't emerge from contact with this article convinced that the MSM is pursuing an agenda in its reporting -- and that this agenda often makes only minimal contact with reality -- well, maybe you should apply to TIME or Newsweak for a job, 'cause they're looking for people like you.