Media coverage of Iraq: The Indictment

Karl at Protein Wisdom has a long, detailed indictment of “mainstream” media coverage of Iraq:

Take, for example, the coverage of events in Anbar province.  In September[*2] –November[*3] 2006, the Washington Post ran a series of articles suggesting that the US military was unable to defeat the bloody insurgency in western Iraq “or counter al-Qaeda’s rising popularity there.”  These stories were echoed in the New York Times/International Herald Tribune[*4] , The Christian Science Monitor[*5] , NBC News[*6] , ABC News[*7] , CNN[*8] , the AP[*9] and others, down to local TV[*10] .

But this was not the only picture of events in Anbar.  In “Will the Real Anbar Narrative Please Stand Up?”, [*11] Bill Ardolino juxtaposed the WaPo stories against analysis by bloggers and embedded reporters like the Times of London’s Martin Fletcher[*12] and Michael Fumento[*13] for the Weekly Standard.  Bill Roggio’s military and intelligence sources were angry [*14] over the media’s characterization of the secret reports cited by the WaPo.  Roggio examined how the claims made in the WaPo coverage were taken out of the larger context of events in Anbar.  Roggio[*15] and the Mudville Gazette’s “Greyhawk”[*16] charted the formation and rise of the Anbar Salvation Council — the alliance of 25 of the province’s 31 tribes in the fight against al Qaeda.  Roggio and Greyhawk followed up when the Anbar tribes got US air and artillery support[*17] — a development ignored by the establishment media.

We now know which narrative was more accurate.  Al Qaeda was not increasingly popular in Anbar.  To the contrary, the local tribes were overwhelmingly opposing and increasingly waging war against al Qaeda, with support from the US military.  Bloggers — carefully following and synthesizing information from their own sources, military information, embedded reporters, Arabic media and isolated stories in the establishment media over the course of a year — proved to be better remote journalists than those at the WaPo, NYT, CSM, AP, CNN, NBC and ABC (and any others I have overlooked).

Much, much more.  People who are interested in getting correct and complete information on Iraq will go to Protein Wisdom[*1] and read the entire thing.