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Ear to the Ground

Reporter Answers Criticism of War Coverage

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Posted on Mar 23, 2006

NBC Baghdad correspondent Richard Engel tells NBC reporter David Gregory that security is still the biggest story in Iraq.

NBC Baghdad correspondent Richard Engel cuts through the chatter about unreported positive stories in Iraq: You can easily get killed reporting them. So how positive can the situation be?

He says, “Most Iraqis I speak to say, ‘Actually most reporters get it wrong—it’s the situation on the ground is actually worse than the images we project on television.’ ”

Crooks and Liars:

NBC covered the many complaints from the right wing noise machine (Laura Ingaham) in their efforts to blame the media for the failures of the Bush administration in Iraq. Richard Engel files a report on what it’s like to be a reporter in Iraq on The “TODAY SHOW,” this morning.                         

Gregory: Do we miss the overall story about what’s going on in Iraq, or does security remain the overall story?

Engel: I think the security problem is the overall story and most Iraqi’s I speak to say-actually most reporters get it wrong-it’s the situation on the ground is actually worse than the images we project on television.

We’ll see more and more reports coming out by the media explaining how they are covering the war and I think the Bush administration overplayed their hand in trying to blame their problems on the media.


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By Squid25, March 23, 2006 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Just follow the money, honey. All the rest of the reasons, excuses, philosophies and grand designs are just freakin’smoke screens. The real driving force? It’s all about the Benjamins, baby. Don’t tell me about spreading democracy, when Lady Liberty is spreading her legs for a well armed rocket merchant. Profiteering is illegal. Who enforces that shit? The same guys taking campaign kickbacks from death-dealers? Who makes money off of torture? Not me and that’s for damn sure! My kids and their kids should pay for this fuckin’ foreign fiasco? How can anyone watch this Bozo on the Tv and not just want to rip their nut-sack off like a goddamned Angel-Dust freak show. When I watch the Douchebag-in-Chief posing like a Love American Style third rate B-list actor. Pretending to be Presidential but everyone can tell he has a skid mark on his tighty-whiteys This Son-of a -bitch is such a fuckin’ pussy that he can’t even tell the truth about his Church-going end of the world belief system. What does this loser stand for anyway? What is even worse is that we elected the bastard twice. (fuck you and your conspiracies, you cyber-geek assholes). A third of the country still believes everything this maniac says. Week after week after week it’s another damn debaucle. Someone stand up and do something. Well anyway I gotta’ go eat some rat poison and saw my pecker off with a claw hammer.

Go fuck yourselves

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By Quicksand, March 23, 2006 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just called Apple Vacations. Shocking, but they are not presently booking holidays in Iraq. Hmmm. Oh is that why Fox news covers it as the “War in Iraq” and not the ‘Holiday in Iraq.”

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By David, March 23, 2006 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If there is so much ‘good news’ in Iraq, why doesn’t the president go to Bagdad and walk the streets and talk to the locals?  Why won’t Rummy and Cheney get out there and glad hand?  Why won’t Condi take a tour of Tikrit in an open car?  If there’s so much good news why won’t the administration go there and point it out?  Huh?

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By Fariborz, March 23, 2006 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Suppose we believe the new media that things are quite bad in Iraq.  What is the purpose of reporting only the unfavorable?  What is it that you are requesting the administration to do? Why don’t you (at the end of each and report) exactly say what you want the the administration do as the result of your reporting? If you thinf it is important to report every single person that dies in Iraq, then it should be as important to say what you want done as the result of that specific report.

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By John Earl, March 23, 2006 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What we need is another serving-the-troops-a-fake-turkey moment!

I heard that W is scared of horses. What about “horse sense”? Are both he and the press a little skittish when it comes to that?

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By felicity smith, March 23, 2006 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Eighty-five journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began.  But journalists are the bad guys according to Bushco so who cares.  Some of the Bushco bunch has started to blame the mess in Iraq on Katrina - maybe they think Katrina’s a woman. I think I’m kidding, but in a convoluted, idiotic exercise in non-reasoning they end up blaming fund/personnel eating Katrina for why things are going to hell in Iraq.

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By Joe Citizen, March 23, 2006 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This “Missing the Good News” GOP talking point is no doubt very popular with Bush’s base, but if anything the media has from the very beginning of this war in Iraq gone out of its way to do just the kind of coverage conservatives say we are not getting enough. (Hint: there could never be enough to satisfy them.) CNN, MSNBC, certainly FOX, all have done many, many positive stories about schools renovated and soccer fields built. The real problem is that all of these stories are outnumbered by the violent incidents in Iraq that have to be reported if the media is to do its job.

There could be more stories which honor the heroism of our soldiers, but of course (for the alleged goal of honoring the wishes of the families of slain soldiers) the Pentagon had banned coverage of military funerals and the arrivals home of caskets and of the wounded.

Btw, I don’t think there has been enough coverage of the lost millions (billions?) in the much flawed reconstruction effort. And I don’t think that screwed up process was inevitable.

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By Susan, March 23, 2006 at 8:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My nephew has just returned to Iraq to complete the second half of his tour with great trepidation. The first half was spent in green zone behind a computer.  He returns to do what the Pentagon coyly refers to as humanitarian duty. To my blockhead Bush adoring brother this means Hershey bars to poor children, and is assured that his son will feel better about returning when he gets away from all the bad news media he heard when home. I have a much more realistic prediction for my nephew and dred the day when he returns after being on the streets of Bahgdad. My nephew knows what he’s in for, but you simply can’t get this thru to the concrete-heads who love Bush.

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By JP, March 23, 2006 at 5:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

D’oh!  I wonder what kind of excuses Fox News will make?

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