Wednesday, March 26, 2003

In war, truth is the first casuality.

During the first Gulf war, CNN drew a lot of criticism from Pentagon for showing uncensored images from the conflict. This time, CNN is, like the rest of the media, playing ball. It didn't click for me until I read an interview with Robert Fisk, reporter for the British newspaper Independent, in Baghdad. He pointed out that so far, the Iraqi media sems to be just as reliable, providing quicker and more detailed reports, than the western media, drawing upon Pentagon briefings:
When the Iraqis first said they had taken American prisoners, we said, "Oh, more propaganda" - then up comes the film of the prisoners. Then they said they'd shot down a helicopter, and the journalists here in the briefing sort of looked at each other and said, "There's another story", and suddenly we're seeing film of a shot down helicopter - then another film of a shot down helicopter. Then they said they had attacked and destroyed armored personnel carriers belonging to the US armed forces, and we all looked at each other and said, "Here we go again, more propaganda", and then finally we see film on CNN of burning APCs.

It is draining, not to trust the news. Especially if you're used to following them closely. And basing your opinions on their stories.