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Media Shocker: Positive Coverage of Iraq War Other articles by this author  

Media Shocker: Positive Coverage On Iraq
Nancy Morgan
July 31, 2007

Victor Davis Hanson once opined that the war in Iraq could be won in 30 days if all media coverage were banned. The chance of that happening is pretty close to zero (unless, of course, Hillary gets elected).
But there are curious rumblings in the mainstream media. After five years of  relentless anti-war reporting, after five years of headlining the mistakes and mis-calculations of the Bush administration, two events last Sunday signaled a possible turnaround in the way the 'mainstream media' covers the war.
First, and most surprising, was an editorial in the New York Times entitled We Just Might Be Winning The War In Iraq which claimed that "We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq," "morale is high," and, as a result, this is "a war we just might win."
For five years now, the New York Times has been relentless in its anti-war message, reporting every civilian death as evidence of misguided American imperialism. Reporting every screw-up made by the Bush administration as evidence of Bush's inferior intellect. The NYT's had all but conceded that the recent 'surge' was a failure, even before it started. Reporting on military success stories was relegated to page 391, if reported at all.
To date, members of the old media have spoken with one voice in condemning America and George Bush for the 'fiasco' in Iraq. Until Sunday. Following on the heels of the surprising New York Times editorial, 'Hardball' with Chris Matthews, featured esteemed pundits from the Washington Post, NBC, Time magazine, etc. who actually debated why America shouldn't withdraw troops from Iraq.
What to make of this 180 degree turnaround? Is Pinch Sulzberger on vacation? Has the media finally seen the light? Doubtful. More likely, they're seeing the handwriting on the wall.
Consider recent headlines reported in the foreign press, Fox News, talk radio and the blogosphere:
Mushareff Risks Civil War As He Invades Al-Qaeda Badlands
U.S. Gains Against Al-Qaeda In Iraq
Armed Group Reconciles With Iraq Government
Iraqi's Lead Coalition To Arms Cache
Tribal Leaders Sign On To Security Agreement
Al-Qaeda Faces Rebellion From The Ranks
U.S. Support For Iraq Invasion Inches Up

The relentless trickle of good news is turning into a torrent. It is becoming harder to ignore the actual reality on the ground in Iraq. But that doesn't explain the abrupt media shift. One scenario is, the 'mainstream media' has finally become patriotic. Another scenario is they've received a heads-up regarding the report currently being written by General Petraeus. Only hindsight will tell.
In the meantime, Speaker Harry Reid, has issued a press release trumpeting his accomplishment in earmarking $400,000 of the taxpayer's money for bark beetle research.
Reid's counterpart in the House, Nancy Pelosi, has issued a press release trumpeting a House vote on 'ethics reform' which states in part, "From the first day of the 110th Congress, we began a new era of honest, open government, returning this House to the American people." (Cold Cash Jefferson and land baron Harry Reid notwithstanding.)
Meanwhile, the left's designated point man, unindicted co-conspirator, John Murtha, is busy as a bee with legislation guaranteed to put a halt to any constructive efforts in Iraq. As chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, he is readying plans to use the $469.6 billion defense appropriations bill, which comes to the floor this week, to short-circuit the current military campaign against jihadists in Iraq and shut down Guantanamo Bay.
If that doesn't work, another Murtha amendment "would implement the Pennsylvania Democrat's 'slow-bleed' strategy for ensuring a U.S. military defeat by conditioning funds for the war upon the military meeting some unattainable standards for training and equipping the troops."
The apparent turnaround of media reporting could be short-lived. It's impossible to predict. What's easier to predict is that should the media decide this is a war worth winning, you can bet our esteemed elected officials will be jumping on board and jostling for position. It doesn't take a top secret intelligence report to predict that.
Here's hoping.
Nancy Morgan is senior editor for and a columnist. She lives in South Carolina.
Article may be reproduced, with attribution.

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