Commentary and links relating to media coverage of war; both before, during, and after.

William A. Dorman is Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, and has taught a course in War, Peace and the Mass Media since 1970.

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War, Peace, and the Mass Media
Friday, January 28, 2005  
Digging Into Seymour Hersh
You don't have to scratch too deeply to find an enormous reservoir of left-wing bias

Max Boot

The Los Angeles Times
January 27, 2005

Blog editor's note: For a spirited debate over Boot's blistering attack on Hersh, see the letters section of Romenesko on at

It has become a cliche to call Bob Woodward and Seymour Hersh the greatest investigative reporters of their generation — Woodward the consummate insider, Hersh the ultimate outsider. In truth the differences outweigh the similarities.

Though he achieved fame by bringing down a Republican administration, Woodward is no ideologue. His only bias, as far as I can tell, is in favor of his sources. Within those parameters he produces invaluable, if incomplete, accounts of government deliberations.

Hersh, on the other hand, is the journalistic equivalent of Oliver Stone: a hard-left zealot who subscribes to the old counterculture conceit that a deep, dark conspiracy is running the U.S. government. In the 1960s the boogeyman was the "military- industrial complex." Now it's the "neoconservatives." "They overran the bureaucracy, they overran the Congress, they overran the press, and they overran the military!" Hersh ranted at UC Berkeley on Oct. 8, 2004.

To read the full text, see Los Angeles Times

1:55 PM

Sunday, January 23, 2005  
Knight Ridder Analysis Speaks Frankly: U.S. Losing in Iraq

By E&P Staff
January 22, 2005

NEW YORK In a startling new analysis, Knight Ridder reporters Tom Lasseter and Jonathan S. Landay, who have done some of the best reporting on Iraq during the past two years, declare that unless something “dramatic” changes, “the United States is heading toward losing the war in Iraq.”

The lengthy article, distributed Saturday, is based on what the reporters call an analysis of U.S. government statistics, which show the U.S. military “steadily losing ground to the predominantly Sunni Muslim insurgency in Iraq.

"The analysis suggests that, short of a newfound will by Iraqis to reject the insurgency or a large escalation of U.S. troop strength, the United States won't win the war.”

To read the full text, see E&

8:58 AM

"Washington Post Reconsiders 'Post-war' Label"

By E&P Staff
December 05, 2004

Blog editor's note: I'm playing catchup after the holidays and at the beginning of a new semester, thus the late posting of some items from last year. Editor and Publisher is the "bible" of the American newspaper industry. You will need to complete a free registration to view this site's stories.

NEW YORK Mop-up operation or a raging war? Occupation or liberation? The press has long been divided on what to call the current conflict in Iraq. The Washington Post, for one, is re-considering its most prominent label: postwar.

In his Sunday column, Post ombudsman Michael Getler observed that last Saturday the paper published a letter on its Free For All page from a reader objecting to the label that editors has used for many months at the top of pages carrying news about the war in Iraq. The label reads "Postwar Iraq."

Getler noted that "the reader called attention to the 'stupidity' of such a label over stories with headlines such as, 'In Fallujah, Marines Feel Shock of War.'"

To read the full text, see E&

8:51 AM

Abducted In Iraq
 Four Months on Planet bin Laden

By Jody K. Biehl
Spiegel Online
21 January 2005

French journalist George Malbrunot spent 124 days as a hostage of Islamic fundamentalists in Iraq. The experience nearly broke him, but it also offered him stunning insights into the way jihadist groups operate. He returned convinced of one thing: America's policy is doomed.

The two Mercedes came out of nowhere. Within seconds, the car carrying French reporters Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot and their driver skidded to a halt, caged in along the perilous road heading south from Baghdad to Najaf. The men knew this was a dangerous road. They had even warned colleagues not to take it. Now, they were pawns in Iraq's most dangerous game -- abduction.

Immediately, eight men in white hooded robes ripped open the car doors, tied the reporters up and threw them into the Mercedes. Luckily, both speak Arabic, Chesnot more fluently than Malbrunot, so they could talk to their assailants and plead their innocence. Right away, they declared themselves as French, as reporters, and as men who understood the resistance.

To read the rest of this article, in which one of the French hostages advises journalists, "Don't go to Iraq...You will be killed. No story is worth your life," see Spiegel on line

8:13 AM

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