Media Manipulation
It has been said the pen is mightier than the sword – and with good reason – especially
when that pen refers to the press.  A few key people managing the wire services distribute
what is subsequently printed throughout the world.  The huge power to choose what is
considered to be news – and what is not – is incalculable because in the end it determines
public opinion.  And ultimately public opinion determines political action.
Let’s consider Iraq as a case in point.  How many news stories are there originating every
day from Iraq?  We have no idea – since we read only those few the wire services choose
to give us.  Without doubt most of those news stories selected are negative.  The reason? 
For one, our press has chosen to be the one main institution which thrives on the negative. 
Bad news sells.
But in the case of Iraq, constant bad news causes negative public opinion with definite
political repercussions.  How much positive press have you read coming out of Iraq? 
Hardly any!  How many of you have read about the Iraq visit late 2004 by seven Armed
Services Committee members?  Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), the committee’s ranking
member observed, “The media stresses the wounds, the injuries, and the deaths, as they
should, but for instance in Northern Iraq, Gen. (Dave) Petraeus has 3,100 projects – from
soccer fields to schools to refineries – all good stuff, and that isn’t being reported.”
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), “We were all like-minded in our conversations, not robotic at
all, but we saw real progress that is being made, that we are not at all mired.”                
Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA), “The good news is not being reported in the conventional
press.”  Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), regarding 6000 reconstruction projects in Iraq, “The
positive nature of that is just not being reported back here.”  Note the bipartisan
agreement.
Are we experiencing media manipulation regarding Iraq?  There is no doubt, and you can
expect it shows up in other areas as well.  You deserve balanced reporting, but don’t hold
your breath.