Bias and reporting on the war in Iraq

On Michael Krasny's Forum this morning, Martha Teichner, Aly Colon, Peter Sussman, Jack Smith and Robert Wiener discussed the media's coverage of the war in Iraq. One thing I took from this discussion is that the embedded press is essentially serving as a complicit proxy for the American people. Their reports from the front lines, rather than making the action seem more real, or more horrifying, instead have increased our psychological investment in them. It is impossible for us to watch the war, or for them to report it, with an outsider's critical eye, because we are now on the inside, watching things unfold, right alongside the troops on the ground. Its difficult, if not impossible, for us to be objective observers. This might explain, in part, the dramatic shift in public opinion once the war "started." Before March 19, most Americans supported the war only if we had UN support. Once Mr. Bush announced that the "liberation" of Iraq was underway, most Americans expressed their support for the troops, and thus the war itself.

The Bush administration deserves some credit for consistency. First they embarked on a war with global implications without the world's support. Now it appears that Bush won't seek the UN's involvement in rebuilding a post-war Iraqi. "Unlike Mr Blair, the Bush administration has not been convinced of the need for the UN to be involved in setting up a post-war Iraqi government."

On a related note, Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root Services won the estimated $500 million contract to rebuild the Iraqi oil fields after the end of the war. A report by the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, "warns the current administration not to show favoritism for American firms in rebuilding Iraq's oil industry." Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton until his election in 2000.