Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Iraq Worse Than Media Shows- John Roberts Intvw.

KURTZ: So in a nutshell, you're saying that the coverage -- that the situation in Iraq on the ground, as you saw close up, is worse -- is worse than it appears from the television and newspaper coverage.

Why is that? Why are we not capturing the full anarchy there?

ROBERTS: Because television can't -- and even print -- can't fully capture the scope of what's going on in Iraq. And to some degree, too, over the last three-and-a-half years, Howie, it's become the daily traffic report, the daily drumbeat.

When you get there and you see it on a personal level, when you watch somebody die before your eyes, it gives you a much different perspective on it than it does being a half a world away, reading about it or watching it on television. Also, you know, the pictures on television are sanitized compared to what they are on the ground.

KURTZ: But here you have administration officials, as you know, repeatedly, relentlessly criticizing the coverage of this war as too focused on the violence and not paying any attention to what they claim are -- is progress, at least in other areas.

Is that argument now collapsing or fading as the violence apparently continues to get worse there?

ROBERTS: I never thought it was a solid argument to begin with. You know, you could say, hey, why aren't you showing the good news? But when most of the news is bad, it's difficult to show what good things that are happening there.

You know, I did notice that in some of the areas of Old Baghdad, when we were out on patrol with the Stryker units, that there is electricity, there is running water to a greater degree than there was before. There are some things that are getting done.

But you talk to the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, whom I know quite well, and he'll tell you, face-to-face, that the amount of violence in Iraq is absolutely preventing any real progress on the reconstruction front. So until they get a handle on the violence, it's going to be very difficult to see the good news.

KURTZ: So you're saying the violence is the story; everything else is secondary.

ROBERTS: The violence affects everything in Iraq.

Full Article

Bonus Article!

Bonus excerpt:
While it’s the right that led those toxic attacks, the left is also vulnerable to letting ideology trump empiricism. Mr. Filkins notes that while he used to get nasty letters and e-mail primarily from conservatives, much of the fire more recently has come from liberals accusing him of covering up atrocities — all of it from people whose ideological certitude is proportional to their distance from Baghdad.

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