Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fauxtography - my thoughts Fauxtography - my thoughts

In my previous post, I cited an article by Michelle Malking and the Charles Johnson's LGF site concerning what Johnson has termed "fauxtography". What was really troubling to me were Michelle's quotes of CNN's Anderson Coooper. If you watch CNN, his is one of those faces that you recognize - in short, not a stringer like Adnan Hajj (the Photoshop guy fired by al Reuters after his Photoshopping was disclosed). I had heard the interview earlier, but had forgotten who it was being interviewed.

What is troubling to me is the complicity of the MSM in this. Cooper admits that these shots of ambulances were staged, but then goes on to defend the practice apparently on the grounds that Hezbollah doesn't have as effective PR machine as does Israel, and, thus, the MSM had to help them out here in order to level the playing field.

So, as a result, we have a constant barrage of gruesome pictures arriving on the front pages of our papers or on our TV sets depicting Israeli brutality - but then come to find out that a large number of those pictures were staged (or even faked) for effect by Hezbollah with the active complicity of those taking the pictures. Hezbollah staged them, and the MSM knew that they were fake, but eagerly printed and broadcast them anyway.

The press has come a long way from Earnie Pyle chronicling the tribulations of our GIs in WWII to this point where it is the enemy who is being glorified, and our own soldiers and allies being deominized. Imagine for a minute how WWII might have been different if instead of reporting on the bravery of American soldiers, sailors, and marines, the press of the time had concentrated on, for example, the German bombing campaign. What if the iconic images that the Americans saw had been the fire-bombing of Dresden, instead of the flag raising on Iwo Jima.

Not surprisingly, there seems to be a lot of the RatherGate "Fake but Accurate" philosphy being practiced right now in the MSM. They know who they believe are the villians here (the wicked Isrealis), and the fact that they can't find that many atrocities on their own just means that they have to publish faked atrocities to make up for it. (And part of what is scary there is that Mary Mapes still can't figure out why she was fired by CBS almost two years ago).

This "fake but accurate" reporting wouldn't be bothersome, except that then those doing it pretend that they are intrepid journalists, reporting unbiased reality, when, in truth, they have become advocates for one side of the conflict. Worse, their advocacy is invariably against the U.S. and its allies and towards its enemies.

The one glimmer of hope is that the newspapers, TV stations, etc. doing the agenda journalism here are businesses, mostly with stockholders, and in many cases, the stockholders get to vote. As more and more people discover the sort of advocacy being sold to them as journalism, the level of scepticism rises, and the value of the newspapers, et al., continues to decline. And, eventually, some of them are going to figure out that the way out of their death spiral is to reorient and to fire all those participating in this sort of agenda faux journalism. Demonizing Fox News only works for so long - while everyone on the left screams about their biases, Fox continues to increase market share and make money, while those participating in or condoning the left wing faux journalism lose market share and ever more money.


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Blogger Stephen C. Carlson said...

For one interesting take on this issue, please see Prof. Richard Landes's piece Mediations on Reutersgate: What's Going On in the MSM?.

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