L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

18 January 2007 Blog Home : January 2007 : Permalink

Getting The News From The Bills & Michaels

(not to mention Michelle, Bryan...)
As the Instapundit notes there have been a lot of bloggers heading to Iraq and other troublespots. Oddly many of them seem to be called Bill (Roggio, Ardolino) or Michael (Yon, Totten). What is interesting is that they offer very different reports to those produced by the MSM in the same spots. Not that all the MSM reporters are bad or biased, though there seems to be a fair number that are, but that the MSM rarely provides the proper context.

To take an example, during the Israel-Lebanon conflict this summer (or in its aftermath) did any MSM journalist in Lebanon go and interview Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini as Michael Totten did?And did any bother to go into Southern Lebanon and talk to non Shias? as far as I can tell no one has done the former, but I see that Reuters just sent someone down to a Sunni village to report that Hezbollah is rather less than universally loved there.

The same goes for the reporters from Iraq. Even ignoring the fact that the MSM frequently seems to employ stringers who are, how to put it delicately, less than perfectly non-partisan, the problem real problem with the MSM coverage is that they don't explain why Iraqis (and others) do the things they do. They don't seem to talk to people, or if they do they only report short soundbites and they very rarely explain who the people they talk to are and what biases they might have. In other words they omit the critical details that allow the intelligent reader to understand what is going on. They also, demonstrably, seem unable to actually talk to the US military or understand how the Military thinks. Nor do they explain the context between individual attacks, prefering to jam together into one article a laundry list of bombs, IEDs, executions etc. with no surrounding detail. The result is you get the feeling that the whole of Iraq is a terrible mess when clearly that is not the case with large chunks of it being peaceful.

It is reflections on the difference in quality level that makes me realize how limited the MSM is, by pandering to a lowest common denominator in their coverage they fail to provide meaningful coverage for anything. Fortunately it seems like we now have an alternative.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin