Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Ingraham Effect: "Laying the Smacketh Down on MSM"

"I don't know how you can cover a war and not cover the war, itself; and not all this reconstruction- that's not a news story, is it?"- Chris Matthews
Laura Ingraham made the trip to Iraq in February. This past week, she had gone on the Today Show and broke lances with James Carville and host David Gregory. On The O'Reilly Factor, she discusses her Today Show appearance. It obviously struck a raw nerve with MSM, as all week long, I've been hearing the mantra, "Don't attack the messenger" because we aren't liking the message. Methinks they doth protest too much. What MSM doesn't seem to understand (one of the things they don't get, at any rate), is that we are angry at the messenger not because of the message; but because they are delivering only half the message, and in a language that is mired in quag. What I mean by that is, journalists color their reportings with their own bias. You can tell in many cases, when the frontpage straight news begins sounding like an op-ed piece; when a writer is anti-war or pro-victory by the words and tone he chooses; and the context he puts a news event into. The event itself often doesn't demoralize; it's the gloom-and-doom language of the reporter that can influence a reader to think a certain way. So, then that brings me to this important question: Does the American media have a responsibility to help win the war? What is the moral responsibility here, when impartiality gets lost anyway in subtle and not-so-subtle agenda-driven news-telling?

Since Monday, old media has been scrambling on the defensive, like an anthill that's been kicked over. Keith Olbermann on MSNBC ripped into Laura Ingraham; but Laura herself has been on a tear all week long in her morning radio show: Click once....click twice.

On Tuesday, President Bush rightly made mention of how the insurgents do work the media ("they're capable of blowing up innocent life so it ends up on your tv show") ; in fact, their life expectancy depends upon it! On Wednesday, President Bush himself, was asked by Gayle Taylor about the negative coverage by the media. He talked about how we have a free press to do whatever they want (despite those claiming President Bush is attacking the media); and encouraged people to check out alternative media outlets that do report the good (including a plug for blogs).

The following morning on The Today Show, after the Ingraham appearance, The Today Show tried to save face with Richard Engel in Baghdad doing a piece, "Blaming the Messenger/Missing the Good in Iraq?". Engel actually confirms for the Today Show audience that from his perspective, the insurgents are sophisticated to play the media. He does however feel that the security issue is the story in Iraq.

And then the next day after that....could it be that the Ingraham Effect is taking place? What do we get from The Today Show? Some good news! Coincidence? Maybe. But David Gregory sounded suspiciously like he and Katie Couric were trying too hard.

Wednesday also saw Hugh Hewitt and Michael Yon on CNN, along with Michael Ware (click, and tell me this Aussie embed doesn't have an agenda) and CNN's Nick Robertson. When the they lost the satellite feed to Yon, Hugh laid his cards out bluntly and said, the media is losing this war and getting Americans killed, as the insurgents are "playing the media like a bongo drum" (one of Hugh's catchphrases).

Also blogging:

Hugh Hewitt links to relevant Radioblogger transcripts and audio interviews and others. More and more.

YankeeMom here and here.

Casting Pearls before Swine

SkyePuppy on Hugh Hewitt's CNN appearance.

Marie gives her two cents on the media getting Ingrahammered.

Articles of interest and relevance to this post:

Lorie Byrd's article, The War about more than hurt feelings.

USA Today: Reporters in Iraq under fire there, and from critics

A Soldier's Perspective sees the progress.

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23 Comments:

Blogger Skye said...

Just a quick note:

Well done, Wordsmith!

Sunday, March 26, 2006 8:36:00 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

While I was doing some traveling, I managed to listen to Laura on Sirius radio while she was doing her show from Iraq. It was awe inspiring to listen to our soldiers giving her their thanks for coming there to visit. It was also telling that they were NOT happy about the MSM distorting & not reporting everything that was going on.

I'm glad she had the chance to fry some of the MSM idiots who think they know everything but know nothing.

Sunday, March 26, 2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Gawd I love that woman! I want her to have my children.

Sunday, March 26, 2006 5:30:00 PM  
Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Laura rocks.
And so do you wordsmith!!

Monday, March 27, 2006 5:43:00 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

She was awesome on this. I hear small snippets of her show from time to time. And I heard her and Rush talking about her appearance on the Today Show and clips from it. She did great and I'm w/ CUG that she rocks. Good post!!

Monday, March 27, 2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Rebekah said...

I saw her on the O'Reilly Factor - she was awesome! It's about time someone makes the msm answer for their distorted news.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Great Post Word!!
Laura Ingraham managed to find out more in 8 days than Michael Ware has in YEARS! Then again he admittedly stays drunk most of the time.
Go Laura!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 8:58:00 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

I wouldn't put too much stock in someone who had only been in Iraq for 8 days.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 8:56:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Marty, that's fair; but the majority of us haven't stepped foot in Iraq, let alone spent 8 days, specifically spending every moment talking to Coalition and U.S. soldiers and talking to Iraqi soldiers, and the people themselves. Ingraham herself acknowledged putting into perspective the fact that she spent only a short time there to get a feel. She's relaying back the feelings of the people she talked to, as well as her own perception. By so many accounts, what I hear overwhelmingly, is that the news we are mostly receiving are slanted and biased, and are not painting the entire picture of what's going on. Many of the ones I've heard level criticism at Laura, you can tell don't even listen to her and what she's actually said. Because she's already addressed those talking points.

I heard one person from the media today confuse her for Dr. Laura...another one criticize without even realizing Ingraham had taken that journey to Iraq. It's more than most of us have done who criticize the war, or support it.

Laura is one person out of many other pro-victory supporters who went to Iraq to see for themselves, the situation. Take it for what it's worth, but it lends a bit more weight to what she has to say in speaking on Iraq. It doesn't invalidate others' opinions, for or against, though, simply because they haven't personally visited. Someone could spend his whole life in Iraq, and still have all the wrong-ass opinions. We have idiots like that here in the U.S. who do and say a lot that undermines this country and hurts it. Just because they lived their whole life in the States doesn't mean they know what's good for the country. I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 because Leftists would ask, "How can you criticize what you haven't seen?" But I shouldn't have to eat cowdung to know that cowdung is going to taste bad.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 9:22:00 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

I've just spent the past 2 years talking to a soldier that's been there, my son. His first tour was in Baghdad and he patrolled the streets daily and participated in high profile raids. Now he works in the Tactical Operation Center in Taji. He knows first hand what is going on from a knowledgable perspective. He has spent many many hours talking to Iraqis and seeing things through untainted eyes. I put him on a plane this morning to go back after a 15 day leave. Perhaps it depends on where you are in Iraq and what you do. I don't know. But he paints a much more somber picture of the situation. I trust my son's judgement about the situation over Ms. Ingraham.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 8:38:00 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

Oops, actually my son was first there from Apr 03- July 04. It's been 3 years. And thanks for treating me with respect.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 8:51:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Perhaps it depends on where you are in Iraq and what you do. I don't know. But he paints a much more somber picture of the situation. I trust my son's judgement about the situation over Ms. Ingraham.

Someone close to you, like your son, obviously has more influence on your perception of events they are involved in than some radio talk show pundit. But did you even listen to her program from Iraq? Her program last week, when she touched a nerve with MSM? She acknowledges the difficulties and the hard work. No one is painting Iraq in rosey colors. But your son's opinion is one out of many; and the majority of soldiers appear to be much more optimistic and highly critical of the negative reporting. In the Sheehan video post, I wasn't sure if you and your son were at odds with one another, or in agreement; it was vague, and I didn't want to be rude and nose in.

I respect the opinion of any of these soldiers and what they have to say. I was talking to my Dad last week about his experiences with Vietnam. He said he believes the ones who actually enjoy war are a bit out there, with a screw loose; that the majority of soldiers hate war. In regards to Iraq, how many soldiers are negative toward the war, because they hate war in general? How many because they are against the Iraq war specifically? How many because they are tired, and simply want to come home? How many, because they see things first hand, understand the politics, and see being over there as futile and not worthwhile?

Again, Ingraham is one minor voice, of which there are countless other voices with the same weight as your son's voice and opinion, who disagree with him and agree with her. On her program, she gave her opinions from what she saw, but she interviewed and talked with U.S. soldiers, including the commanders in the field, Coalition soldiers, and Iraqi soldiers and the people there and allowed them to express in their own words, how they feel. I don't have links up to all the milblogs I visit, but many of these soldiers say the same thing that Laura does.

This is an important war for us to win, regardless of what we think about the rationale behind going in, in the first place. We're there now, and it's in the best interest of the U.S. and of the Iraqi people if democracy prevails there, and not the insurgents. Which side has the stronger will? If we lose in Iraq, I think it will be because Osama was right all along about America: we've become a paper tiger, incapable of sustaining loss and sacrifice and doing what needs to be done, because we listen to poll numbers and the quagmirists, the gloom-and-doom scaremongerers and anti-war pessimists. If we lose in Iraq, it will be because we lost the war on the homefront. It's beyond me how anyone cannot see that the terrorists and insurgents are working our media. They've learned the correct lessons of Vietnam. I wish the anti-war Sheehans and Fondas of this country could have done the same.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Forgot to add: What do you say to soldiers such as Buck Sargent, in the previous post?

I'm not here to try and convince you of devaluing your son's opinion. That would be silly. Just wondering what you make of those soldiers who do support the war in Iraq.

And thanks for treating me with respect.

Marty,

It's hard not to be respectful toward the family members of our military enlisted. I pray that your son will arrive permanently home, safe. That all the anxiety and fear you have for your son can come to an end, as soon as possible.

And I thank you for coming to my blog without vitriolic contempt for me. We both want what's best for our nation and for those we care and love.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

Yes I did watch Laura Ingraham. I just don't have the same take on it that you do. Which is fine. We can agree to disagree agreeably.

My son and I agree on more than we disagree. The majority of the soldiers he has served with feel exactly like him.

Ideology and experience colors how one feels.

I am glad that Buck Sargent has had such a positive experience in Iraq. He has put together some very uplifting videos. He is a non-commissioned officer in Mosul and perhaps the people there have reacted in a more friendly manner than the people my son and his buddies encountered. Plus he does state he is a diehard conservative.

I have posted all of my son's letters from Baghdad on my blog:
http://letterfrombaghdad.blogspot.com/

He isn't writing much these days. He says there isn't anything to write about. He sits in a bomb proof building 12 hours a day and stares into space. Ha. For that his mother is very grateful!

He does get to hear the general's briefings. He's not talking though.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 4:44:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Marty,

I wasn't referring to her Today Show appearance, but her radio program when she was in Iraq all week long, to her program all last week, when she addressed the MSM and the criticism leveled her way.

But even so, I'm sure it wouldn't have changed your opinions, as we are just ideologically different.

Buck Sargent is just one soldier's opinion. CJ at One Soldier's Perspective is an independent who is no longer in Iraq, but still communicates to friends over there. If you care to visit his blog, he is very pro-victory in Iraq. I've heard of soldiers who are Democrats who have been pushed to vote Republican, simply because they so disagree with the Democrat Party over the war issue.

I suppose each unit has different experiences that colors their opinions like you said. The insurgency is concentrated within the Sunni Triangle, and the violence mostly in 3 or 4 of the 18 (?) provinces.

I linked your blog under "militant bloggist extremists" (or whatever I titled it) in my sidebar. Even if I'm ideologically opposed, I don't mind having a broader picture of what's going on in the world, and having the diversity of opinions.

But I do think we should all be unified in bringing about a successful "conclusion" in Iraq.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

"militant bloggist
extremists"?....ROTFLMHO...Now that is hilarious Wordsmith...if you knew me you would know just how funny that is. I like you. You're an ok guy. Thanks for linking to my son's letters. I'll have to think up an appropriate title in my sidebar and link to your blog. Return the favor.

Friday, March 31, 2006 8:57:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Well, I had to place you somewhere, and that category is reserved for milbloggers; I figured your son's letters should qualify.

No need to return the favor by going out of your way. I notice that you have no links or a sidebar.

Friday, March 31, 2006 9:41:00 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

Oh but I do...elsewhere...you must not have viewed my profile.

http://martyonthehomefront.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 31, 2006 5:14:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Oh....


Perhaps I should link that up as well.

Friday, March 31, 2006 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

We need good old fashioned war correspondents like Ernie Pyle.

We do not the need a Fourth Estate forming a Fifth Column.

Saturday, April 01, 2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Here's a sampleof a real war correspondent's work.

Saturday, April 01, 2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Marty said...

"Perhaps I should link that up as well."

Awh Geez, Wordmsith, that'd be right nice of ya. Thankya kindly.

Would that be under the bloviating pontificating? :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Unfortunately, probably so. Sorry to throw you in with some moonbats, you don't deserve to be lumped in with.

Monday, April 03, 2006 1:23:00 AM  

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