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That Liberal Media
Now maybe there's something not evident to the casual observer about this piece (and note to the casual observer -- video includes dead bodies), but it seems odd that CBS is refusing to broadcast it. The piece is by their chief foreign correspondent, and it's about violence on Haifa Street in Baghdad. Rory O'Connor and David Olson write for MediaChannel:

We at MediaChannel believe that an informed citizenry is necessary to keep our democracy viable, and we have been strong advocates of the call for all news outlets -- mainstream or independent -- to produce and distribute accurate stories on the situation in Iraq.

Which brings us to Lara Logan.

One would assume that Ms. Logan, as CBS chief foreign correspondent, has a fair amount of influence as to what stories she gets to cover, and that most of her important stories, once produced and delivered, will be broadcast. But when a story comes out of the mean streets of Baghdad that doesn't fit the officially sanctioned narrative of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers working arm in arm to help protect thankful Iraqi citizens, even chief foreign correspondents sometimes need to ask for help in getting it seen. Imagine our surprise recently when -- over the digital transom -- we received a copy of an email from a frustrated Lara Logan (see below).

In it, Logan asks for help in getting attention to what she calls "a story that is largely being ignored even though this is taking place every single day in Baghdad, two blocks from where our office is located."

The segment in question -- "Battle for Haifa Street" -- is a piece of first-rate journalism but one that appears only on the CBS News website -- and has never been broadcast. It is a gritty, realistic look at life on the very mean streets of Baghdad and includes interviews with civilians who complain that the U.S. military presence is only making their lives worse and the situation more deadly.

"They told us they would bring democracy, they promised life would be better than it was under Saddam," one told Logan. "But they brought us nothing but death and killing. They brought mass destruction to Baghdad."

Several bodies are shown in the two-minute segment, "some with obvious signs of torture," as Logan points out. She also notes that her crew had to flee for their lives when they we were warned of an impending attack. While fleeing, another civilian was killed before their eyes.

Logan's email, with the one-word subject line of "help," was sent to friends and colleagues imploring them to lobby CBS to highlight that people are interested in seeing the piece. In it, Logan argues that the story is "not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore … It should be seen. And people should know about this."

Posted by aalkon at January 27, 2007 11:30 AM

Comments

"But when a story comes out of the mean streets of Baghdad that doesn't fit the officially sanctioned narrative of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers working arm in arm to help protect thankful Iraqi citizens, even chief foreign correspondents sometimes need to ask for help in getting it seen."

Bullshit.

Ask someone who has served there if their story gets told. Killing sells Kleenex and fuels the ambitions of people seeking power. Those things are independent of "liberal" or "conservative" labeling, wrong at best.

If you really want to ask tough questions of yourself about media coverage, just ask yourself why the lead story is nearly always about killing. Then, just try to identify who is killing whom.

Well, time to go to the mall!

Posted by: Radwaste at January 27, 2007 6:11 AM

Bush's magic is so black and powerful, this link closes my broswer. IE, Firefox, and Opera. Seriously. If you were conspiracy minded....

Posted by: Crid at January 27, 2007 7:07 AM

You're funny.

Here's the CBSnews.com link.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/24/iraq/main2392738.shtml?CMP=ILC-SearchStories

Video is on the right.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 27, 2007 7:18 AM

No, Amy, what's funny is, I read Radwaste's post too fast the first time,and thought it said, "AS someone who's served there..." and thought, son of a gun, the guy's always wrong, but at least he signed up to stand behind his beliefs...now can't stop chuckling.
ASK someone who's served there? Will this do?

www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=34538&archive=true

Seventy-two percent of troops on the ground in Iraq think U.S. military forces should get out of the country within a year, according to a Zogby poll released Tuesday.

Posted by: Cat brother at January 27, 2007 8:50 AM

From your link above, listen to this guy shovel the shit. (Somebody bring the guy a backhoe.)

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. and chairman of the Victory in Iraq Caucus, a group of 118 Republican lawmakers, said the poll does not diminish his opinion of the importance of the armed forces role in Iraq.

“Whatever the percentages are, I know 100 percent of our troops want to complete their mission over there,” he said. “My view is, whatever the poll results say, the bottom line is these are troops who will continue their mission, because they would rather fight the enemy overseas than at home.”

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 27, 2007 9:35 AM

> Seventy-two percent of troops on the ground in Iraq think U.S. military forces should

Well, we don 't let soldiers or generals choose which missions they'd like to accept. That's not how their gig works. But I'm starting to agree with them about Baghdad.

The hope of forming participatory democracy there takes a punch every time you see a bumper-car video shot from a Humvee in Baghdad. This is not what we're supposed to be about. The fact that Saddam and his generals almost certainly moved through the city in the same way doesn't mitigate our clumsiness. It's not our city to run any more than it was Saddam's.

Posted by: Crid at January 27, 2007 9:41 AM

OK, finally got it to play. I take back my sarcasm. Bush wouldn't bother to censor such tripe.

Did anyone notice that ALL of that piece --except for the gently-lit footage of our fertile reporter's youthful jawline-- was anonymous or unsourced? The video was "obtained"
by CBS news; not photographed by them. Did they pay for it? Did the pay someone to mock it up?

A man in a mask says "America brought this destruction." It's just not true. And it's probably not what he said. It's certainly not what he'd have said without prompting, or without a mask to hide behind... (even if you're willing to presume that his opinion would mean something to you if you knew who he was.) That line is a corrupt TV producer's pathetic fantasy of what these events mean. (And Hello, Cat Brother!)

Jesus Fucking Christ. There's a really good case to make against this war, but the people who hate the war most don't have the clarity to make it.

Posted by: Crid at January 27, 2007 10:04 AM

"Seventy-two percent of troops on the ground in Iraq think U.S. military forces should get out of the country within a year, according to a Zogby poll released Tuesday.

"Well, we don 't let soldiers or generals choose which missions they'd like to accept. That's not how their gig works.."

Insights from your distinguished military service?
Yeah, no shit they don't get to pick their missions, that wasn't my point. It was that conservatives have for years claimed war opponents to be out of touch with the common grunts on the ground. The grunts' point of view seems to be fairly straightforward. From the same poll -
* 42% of the troops surveyed are unsure of their mission in Iraq
* 72% think U.S. military forces should get out of the country within a year
* 85% believe a major reason they were sent into war was “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the Sept. 11 attacks.”

A very worthwhile interview with Logan at
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0603/26/rs.01.html

"A man in a mask says "America brought this destruction." It's just not true. And it's probably not what he said. It's certainly not what he'd have said without prompting, or without a mask to hide behind...
This opinion comes from what? Your in-depth knowledge of the Iraqi mind? Your keen grasp of regional geopolitics? All those Farsi classes you took? It's certainly not that the vast majority of Iraqis want us out, as polls have consistantly shown, or that 70% of Sunni Iraqis think shooting at Americans is justified, up from 10% in '03.
Crid, you have no idea what the man said, no reason to think that it's anything other than reported.

(even if you're willing to presume that his opinion would mean something to you if you knew who he was.)
Oh, don't worry. We KNOW what the opinion of the average Iraqi means to you, Crid. What was that charming line of yours, on the huge amount of Iraqi civilian death? "I opened my paper, and some Iraqis had died."

That line is a corrupt TV producer's pathetic fantasy of what these events mean.
So, the whole thing is a Conspiracy...dreamed up by who? CBS? The Masons? The Templars? Exactly who stands to win from your imaginary plot? Damn those corrupt TV producers? They Stabbed us, right in the Back!
Hello to you too, Crid. Good to see you finally coming around, at least as to the chances of this war succeeding,

Posted by: Cat brother at January 27, 2007 11:06 AM

http://blog.newstandardnews.net/iraqdispatches/

For another source of info from someone who's actually there. No doubt, to be dismissed as yet another cog in the Liberal Conspiracy.

Posted by: Cat brother at January 27, 2007 11:20 AM

I agree with Crid. I can see why it was left on the CBS site. It was pretty amatuerish stuff. One eyewitness and a person wearing a disguise spouting off some political tirades. Vague shots of the dead bodies with a comment of obvious signs of torture. Okay, what signs of torture? Specifics?

Get more eyewitnesses to back up the doctor and his missing sons' story. Go interview the various Baghdad medical examiners. They keep detailed records of the civilian casualties. I've seen other news reports and documentaries interviewing various Baghdad doctors and m.e.s and showing their records and the bodies. The MSM could blur out the gruesome details.

Posted by: Joe at January 27, 2007 11:43 AM

> It was that conservatives
> have for years claimed

Right, your battle is with conservatism. It's not worth fighting you on, because you're going to lose anyway. There've been too many "Conservative revolutions" in my life to make your attitude worrisome.

> As polls have consistantly
> shown

If there was a referendum on this over there, I missed it. Or was it Zogby doing a survey of journalists sleeping in the Green Zone?

> no reason to think that it's
> anything other than reported.

Or that I'd care, even if he had the conviction to show his face.

> charming line of yours

You're making them up again. It gives you the illusion of participation.

> dreamed up by who?

In this instance, Logan.

> the chances of this
> war succeeding

Genuine advances in human history are rarely crisp and clear-cut. You shoulda seen the civil rights movement. Even if history judges this badly in short the term, I'm glad we tried it. The ones who fought it, and the ones who will pay for it, can be proud.

Because, as always, you didn't really have anything else in mind for Iraq, did you?

Posted by: Crid at January 27, 2007 3:16 PM

Given Iraq never posed any threat to the United States, why should we have had any ideas for Iraq what so ever?

Posted by: lujlp at January 27, 2007 9:48 PM

t was that conservatives
> have for years claimed

Right, your battle is with conservatism. It's not worth fighting you on, because you're going to lose anyway. There've been too many "Conservative revolutions" in my life to make your attitude worrisome.
As usual when you’re out of your depth, your flailings have become mostly incoherent. No, my battle’s not with ‘conservatism,’ as several writers have pointed out, Andrew Sullivan most persuasively, the ideas driving our war on Iraq were hardly ‘conservative.’ In fighting ‘conservatism,’ though, how exactly would I lose? Newt spearheaded one revolution, now he’s a punchline. Bush’s approval rating is below 30%. And, you catch that whole ‘election’ thing this past November?
Anyway, my point was that a certain American political faction painted anyone who opposed them as cowards and terrorist-supporters, and more importantly, as ‘not supporting the troops.’ So now it seems like a majority of troops, don’t support the troops.

As polls have consistantly
> shown
“If there was a referendum on this over there, I missed it.”
Yes, Criddy, there are polls and referendums over there, outside the Green Zone, and you missed them. If you were better informed on the state of Iraqi thought, your opinions might change. Then again, probably not. They’re just a pack of ignorant brown people who don’t know the great favor we’re doing them. The mass refugee exodus from Iraq? The mass civilian deaths? The increase in torture? Oh, it’s just like Selma in the 60’s…

charming line of yours
“You're making them up again. It gives you the illusion of participation.”
See, Crid, you type while you’re eating Ramen, you do things like this. You did indeed brush off the massive Iraqi civilian deaths with just such a line. Not an exact quote? Not off by much. I don’t care enough to wade through your tripe a second time.

dreamed up by who?
In this instance, Logan.
Yes, that’s it. A conspiracy. While all that good, good news from Iraq goes unreported.

“Even if history judges this badly in short the term, “
In both the short and long term (‘short the term’?), it’s being judged badly. But you can take the same refuge your boy George is, ‘we’ll all be dead, maybe several hundred years, before we know if this is REALLY a good idea or not.’ The same can be said of Stalin’s purges.

“I'm glad we tried it.”
Of course you are. You sure didn’t fight in it, and you’re not (yet) paying higher gas prices, and the one trillion (that’s with a ‘T’) dollar price tag is being kicked down the road….It must have been like an afternoon at the movies for you.

“The ones who fought it, and the ones who will pay for it, can be proud.”
The ones who fought it, such as Pat “This war is so fucking illegal’ Tillman, yes. If you think paying for it is something to be proud of, please spread the word to your friends and neighbors when their taxes rocket up.
And when some Iraqi, who left a garden rake standing upright in his backyard which an APC gunner mistook for a gun and so shot up his whole house and killed his family, when that guy comes to the US with destruction on his mind, hey, you’ll get the chance to be even prouder.

Posted by: Cat brother at January 28, 2007 6:03 AM

> how exactly would I lose?

Catch you in '08, Kitten. Or do you think that there's been a broad swing to the left?

> a certain American political faction

Like Amy, you're fascinated by the shiny fringe. They hurt your feeling and you can't take your mind off them. But they're not the ones who made the war happen. A great cross-section of voters supported the enterprise (and were correct).

> there are polls and
> referendums over there

So you're saying there was a popular vote about the American presence, but we didn't read about it in the LAT?

> I don’t care enough to wade
> through your tripe a second time.

Imaginary resentment.

> A conspiracy.

Your word. I'm content to acknowledge that a lot of MSM types are full of shit.

> The same can be said of
> Stalin’s purges.

Love to see your math on that.

> You sure didn’t fight in it

Oh, grow up.

> you’re not (yet) paying
> higher gas prices,

Huh? What? Who said this was ever about gas prices? You can't resist implying that there was another way to go, a plan scratched across the back on an envelope in Gore's suitcoat, where everthing was going to be made to go well across the Middle East and around the world. And you still can't give even a word of how it went.

> yet

Meanwhile, you want to mock Americans for having a pretty good winter. Hillary does that, too.

> when that guy comes to the US
> with destruction on his mind,

After the attacks such fears were no longer novel. And pissing people off was no longer a concern.

> hey, you’ll get the chance
> to be even prouder.

Only of some.

Posted by: Crid at January 28, 2007 7:51 AM

'Logan argues that the story is "not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore … It should be seen. And people should know about this."'

Reminded me of a piece by Amy Goodman...

'Some of you may have heard the hour discussion we had with CNN's Aaron Brown and we were asking him a lot of questions like "Where are the pictures of casualties in the U.S. media"? […] And he said, "well some of them are tasteless". And we said, "well, war is tasteless."

http://www.democracynow.org/static/IMIATOW.shtml

Posted by: Lena did the mall too at January 28, 2007 10:39 PM

Yeah, see you in '08. Looked out that basement window lately? Seen how the political wind's blowing?
A cross-section of Americans supported the war, because they were lied to as to the evidence supporting it, were unaware of the state and history of Iraq, thought it would last 5 weeks, and thought it would decrease terrorism worldwide. Now that none of that has happened, an overwhelming majority no longer support it, and are correct.
Or are the polls showing this also part of your conspiracy.

Childish to point out you're staying home while telling 20-year olds to keep dying for you? Nope, just pointing out exactly how important this enterprise is to you.

"Huh? What? Who said this was ever about gas prices? You can't resist implying that there was another way to go, a plan scratched across the back on an envelope in Gore's suitcoat, where everthing was going to be made to go well across the Middle East and around the world. And you still can't give even a word of how it went."
It's about gas prices in two ways -
1. We went there in large part to grab the oil. You yourself have pointed this out as a good-enough reason to go to war, er, to stay home and send others to war.
2. With the region in flames, gas prices will go up, especially if we go to war with Iran.

I'm happy to mock Americans for a lot of things, but 'for having a good winter?' No, I'm saying what many have pointed out, that Americans, the ones not actually over there or with family over there, are not feeling the effects of this war. Very easy for you to nobly lift your chin(s), declaiming how this war was really for the better, and those stupid Iraqis will know it for a good idea one day. The ones that live, that is.

Here's the other plan for Iraq - Don't invade. Got that? We follow that plan, less terrorism today, more Iraqis alive today, the US still has some moral authority in the world.

Posted by: Cat brother at January 29, 2007 4:50 AM

> Seen how the political
> wind's blowing?

Yes. It's more like a lilting breeze. It's really more of gentle puff. It's like when your cat sneezes.

> because they were lied to

Yes! Yes! Keep going with this! It worked so well in 2004! Voters love it when you condescend, CB! It's like a shitty, oblivious parent explaining a child's own motivations for misbehavior to them with fraudlent, almost-exculpatory scenarios: "You didn't mean to hit Rover with Daddy's favorite golf club, you were just trying to help Puppy get out from behind the couch. Right, Honey? Of course! Just say you're sorry now, so Mommy can get back to her Valium and afternoon Stories...!"

That's fabulous.

> part of your conspiracy.

I've never used the word conspiracy. You're being grandiose on my behalf, which is deranged.

> You yourself have pointed this out

Comical mischaracterization.

> er, to stay home and send others

You've got to get over this. You're not a little boy anymore. Soldiers fight wars overseas for our country and the rest of us don't. If you can't handle that, *move.* Or grow up. But stop pretending something's wrong.

> region in flames, gas prices will go up

Intensely speculative. Let's play the chessboard in front of us. And again, what was your scenario by which prices could fall?

> Don't invade. Got that?

No, I don't. You never did either, or you'd have offered a better path... If only with hindsight.

Posted by: Crid at January 29, 2007 8:43 PM

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