Friday, August 11, 2006


Media and Iraq in general
and Fallujah, specifically.

5th CAG's Experiences in Iraq!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

We've hosted several media correspondents (print
and TV) out here at the CMOC ... LA Times, NY Times,
Fox News, CNN, Knight-Ridder, AP, UPI, even GRD (German)
TV. I have, to a man/woman, gotten along well on a
personal level with every single correspondent that's
come through here.

However, almost invariably, the "good parts" of the
story get covered up and obscured by the bad news, or
the "facts" are reported in a manner which makes things
appear to be worse than they actually are. For example,
one recent visiting correspondent, in reporting on
reconstruction progress in Fallujah, wrote words to the
effect that "only 60% of the homes in the southern part
of Fallujah have power or water."

Now, reading that, you'd think that we just plumb were
not doing our jobs here, wouldn't ya? Well, the reporter
was technically correct. We do still have some work to do
in the southern part of the city. However, the real story
is that, prior to our arrival, ZERO PERCENT of homes in
the southern part of Fallujah had power or water. Yes, on
our watch, contractors solicited by us and paid for by us
have gone in and put power to poles and water to pipes
where previously there was none!

Your intrepid correspondent chose to report it this way,
despite the fact that he had been shown a brief which
graphically displayed before-and-after status, and he
had been told what I just wrote here. I reckon it just
"reads better" that 40% of Fallujans in the south don't
have power or water, despite our efforts and ongoing plan
to get it there, hm?

I'm not trying to imply that all media are bad or
purposely mis-represent the facts, but just remember to
keep an open mind when you're reading anything: this blog,
mainstream media, DoD press releases. People are naturally
biased one way or the other, and it follows that our passion
about issues seeps into whatever we write or produce, even
though we may try to keep it "fair and balanced" -- to
borrow a phrase.


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