Friday, November 18, 2005

All Your Bias Are Belong To Us!

From NRO's Media Blog:

I spent my morning speaking to a group of marines who were interested in learning how to communicate their message more effectively to the public through the media. I spoke on a panel about new media, then I was on another panel discussing various aspects of media culture that made it difficult for marines to get good news stories to the public.

The Marines were a fantastic audience. They were engaged and inquisitive on every point, and they were also genuinely concerned about the mainstream media's preoccupation with negative news. They felt that it's not that the negative stories —like casualty reports — shouldn't be reported, but that we never hear what America is getting for this sacrifice. As one Marine put it, it's like if I spent $7.99 for a slice of pizza and the headlines the next day read, "Marine Out Eight Bucks!"

Of particular concern was the way the 2,000th casualty overshadowed the passage of Iraq's constitution, which happened on the same day. One marine just recently back from Iraq called the constitution "a major step toward us getting out of there," yet noted that the media coverage of the event had been astonishingly shallow. One fellow panelist, a former producer for CBS News, said that the 2,000th casualty was a very important story because it was important to know that these were our brothers and fathers that were sacrificing in Iraq. The room sort of exploded with hands in the air and marines arguing that the 2,000th casualty was a meaningless statistic and no different that the 1,999th or the first.

Read more.

From Strategy Page:

If Today's Media Reported the Battle of Midway

Midway Island Demolished. Yorktown, destroyer sunk.

Many US planes lost

June 7, 1942

The United States Navy suffered another blow in its attempt to stem the Japanese juggernaut ravaging the Pacific Ocean. Midway Island, perhaps the most vital U.S. outpost, was pummeled by Japanese Naval aviators. The defending U.S. forces, consisting primarily of antique Buffalo fighters, were competely wiped out while the Japanese attackers suffered few, if any, losses.
In a nearby naval confrontation, the Japanese successfully attacked the Yorktown which was later sunk by a Japanese submarine. A destroyer lashed to the Yorktown was also sunk.

American forces claim to have sunk four Japanese carriers and the cruiser Mogami but those claims were vehemently denied by the Emporer's spokeman.

The American carriers lost an entire squadron of torpedo planes when they failed to link up with fighter escorts. The dive bombers had fighter escort even though they weren't engaged by enemy fighters. The War Dept. refused to answer when asked why the fighters were assigned to the wrong attack groups. The Hornet lost a large number of planes when they couldn't locate the enemy task force. Despite this cavalcade of errors, Admirals Fletcher and Spruance have not been removed.

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