Howard Kurtz apparently doesn’t buy liberal or conservative conspiracy theories of Iraq War coverage by news networks…
What was striking to me, in an online chat yesterday, is how quick some folks are to attribute such estimates–flawed as they might be–to ideological bias. A reader in Excelsior Springs, Mo. said: “CNN aired all through the afternoon that war supporters had 20,000 people show up for their [pro-war] rally. This was hours after the actual number of 400-500 people was reported by Associated Press and other news services including The Washington Post. At 3:40 p.m. eastern, Renae San Miguel said on CNN headline news- ‘About 20,000 showed up in Washington today to voice support the Iraq war.’ This was a bold faced lie that mislead anyone watching. My question is how long can the media continue to do the right wing’s bidding before the nation realizes you are a mouthpiece for the administration?”
I didn’t see the newscasts in question, but: right-wing bidding ?
But during the same chat, a Reston, Va. reader wrote: “I am writing about the liberal bias in covering the pro-war demonstrations. It seems like the stories in The Post focus on the ’small crowds’ and how they are essentially insignificant compared to the other demonstrations.”
So which is it? Right-wing propagandists or liberal tools?
The most depressing came from someone in Bethesda, Md., who asked: “What would the networks do without Iraq to cover? Answer: not as well. Isn’t it in their economic interests to play up the pro-war rally, to help prolong it and keep the cash cow coming in?”
Okay, so now television outlets are trying to keep the Iraq war going, at the cost of hundreds or thousands of additional American lives, so they can score higher ratings? Spare me. The irony is that Iraq fatigue is such that the networks haven’t been doing all that much Iraq, and certainly not during hurricane season.