Friday, July 11, 2008

I’ve seen several stories about how the MSM is not covering the Iraq war anymore.

I’ve been paying attention, and I think that is true. After I watch Keith Olbermann on Countdown, I usually switch over to the local NBC affiliate and see what stories they are going to be talking about. Usually, Iraq is never mentioned. The times I look in on ABC, it’s the same way. The local television newscasts, when they aren’t talking about the latest local sex scandal (usually involving teachers, students, or elected officials) or a house burning down, probably mention the Iraq war more often than do the national news programs.

Gee, it’s almost like NBC has determined that we, the general public, do not want to be informed about the war! How about that? And right during the campaign season for the upcoming presidential and congressional elections! Whaddayaknow?

Out of sight, out of mind, as the old saying goes. Except, in this case, I am not sure that old saw really holds water. I don’t think that the American public has really forgotten the Iraq war. Sure, the economy has rather supplanted the war as the number one item, but it is still there. It’s more like the national press has decided that they aren’t going to talk about it. After all, we already have several insiders saying just that. There have been, and continue to be, decisions made in the boardrooms of the media giants that relegate news, at least the bad news part, about Iraq to the “not newsworthy” scrap heap.

I can’t really imagine this sort of thing going on during the Vietnam war. That war went pretty badly toward the end, and it was still reported on by the MSM. What is driving the lack of discourse in the national media now? What has changed? Is it media conglomerates now control pretty much 100% of the press, and those conglomerates have a vested stake in having the Republican party in power? That’s no doubt part of it. I also think that our society has changed in some fundamental fashion. We, as a whole, do not really want to be told what the facts are. We are much more happy with our own certitude, our absolute assurance that our worldview is correct and is in no need of any adjustment. Facts are now inconvenient things to be dismissed if they don’t fit in with our version of reality. I think much of our mainstream reporting on the war, and all sorts of other aspects of life in this country, reflect that. For someone like myself who has training in engineering and science, I find that about the most insane way of looking at the universe possible.

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