The worse the Iraq war gets, the less US media attention

This video from the USA is called Jeremy Scahill on Media Coverage of Iraq War.

From Think Progress in the USA:

The media’s Iraq drawdown

Eric Alterman and George Zornick document the evidence of the media’s declining coverage of the Iraq war. They note:

– A study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that in all of 2007, the topic of the Iraq war occupied an average of 15.5 percent of the “newshole” in the media; in the last quarter it fell to nine percent, and then to 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2008.

– The broadcast networks’ nightly shows devoted more than 4,100 minutes to Iraq in 2003 and 3,000 in 2004, before going down to 2,000 a year, according to Andrew Tyndall, who monitors the broadcasts and posts.

Only two newspapers noted the 4,000th combat death of a U.S. soldier in Iraq.

When George W. Bush did his Mission Accomplished speech in 2003, Iraq got lots of attention from the Bushist and/or self-censoring US corporate media.

After that, when over 97% of the US soldier casualties of the war, and the overwhelming majority of the over a million Iraqi casualties, died, the mainstream media shifted their attention to Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton … sporadically interrupted by regurgitation of Bush administration “the surge is working” type lies about Iraq.

Sean Hannity of Fox News: here.

5 thoughts on “The worse the Iraq war gets, the less US media attention

  1. Hi Kitty, I went to the Federal Building yesterday and stood with the little group of Quakers who hold a vigil against the war every Thursday. A few years ago it was a popular event, with lots of attendees and public figures, like the Episcopal Bishop, getting arrested for civil disobedience. Now it is a very small group of mostly old people. People usually ignore us, but this week lots of people smiled at us, waved, honked their horns and gave the thumbs up or peace sign. I don’t know if that means anything, but it seemed like a small improvement.


  2. Hi, Jon thanks for your reaction, and good luck with the vigil!

    It seems that the problem is not the number of people in the USA who oppose the Iraq war; which is bigger than ever before. It seems problems are rather channeling that opposition into long term mass activism against the war. And media coverage.



    March 29, 2008

    U.S. Planes Attack Militia Strongholds in Basra Fighting

    BAGHDAD — American military forces conducted air strikes on targets in Basra late Thursday, joining for the first time an onslaught by Iraqi security forces intended to oust Shiite militias in the southern port city.

    Two American war planes shelled two targets in Basra, entering the battle at the request of the Iraqi Army, which asked the American and British forces to make the strikes, according to Maj. Tom Holloway, a spokesman for the British Army in Basra.

    The air strikes are the clearest sign yet that the coalition forces have been drawn into the fighting in Basra. Up until Thursday night, the American and British air forces insisted that the Iraqis had taken the lead, though they acknowledged surveillance support for the Iraqi Army.

    The assault on militia forces in Basra has been presented by President Bush and others as an important test for the American-trained Iraqi forces, to show that they can carry out a major ground operation against insurgents largely on their own.

    But the air strikes suggest that the Iraqi military has been unable to successfully rout the militias, despite repeated assurances by American and Iraqi officials that their fighting capabilities have vastly improved.

    A failure by the Iraqi forces to secure the port city of Basra would be a serious embarrassment for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and for the Iraqi Army, as well as for American forces who are eager to demonstrate that the Iraqi units they have trained can fight effectively.

    However, Major Holloway said that coalition forces only took part because Iraqi security forces did not have aircraft that could conduct such strikes. “I think the point here is actually that Iraq’s army is capable, they are strong and they have been engaging successfully,” Major Holloway said.

    He said the first target of the American strikes was a militia stronghold in the city and the second target was a mortar team that was targeting Iraqi Army forces.

    The fighting this week in Basra against the Mahdi Army, the armed wing of the political movement led by the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, has set off clashes in cities throughout Iraq, and raised tensions. Major demonstrations have been staged this week in a number of Shiite areas of Baghdad, including Sadr City, the huge neighborhood that is Mr. Sadr’s base of power.

    Although President Bush praised the Iraqi government on Thursday for leading the fighting, the Iraqi government has also appeared to pursue its own agenda, calling the battles a fight against “criminal” elements but seeking to marginalize the Mahdi Army.

    On Wednesday, Mr. Maliki set a 72-hour deadline for Shiite militia fighters in Basra to lay down their arms or else face harsh repercussions. While that deadline still holds, on Thursday he offered an additional cash reward to any residents of Basra who turn in heavy weapons or artillery.

    After fierce clashes on Thursday in Basra, the streets of the city were quiet Friday morning before Friday prayers, according to Iraqi police officials on the scene.

    However, fighting continued in the Qurna district, 40 miles northwest of Basra, with three civilians reported injured.

    In Baghdad, the Green Zone office of one of Iraq’s two vice presidents, Tariq al-Hashimi, was hit by two rockets or mortar shells on Friday afternoon, killing one person, according to Mr. Hashimi’s daughter and chief secretary, Lubna al-Hashimi. Mr. Hashimi’s office later said a security guard was the person killed.

    Ms. Hashimi, weeping, said in a telephone interview that at least three Iraqis were also wounded. There was no immediate information available about whether Mr. Hashimi was in his office at the time, or whether he was hurt in the attack.

    An American official in the Green Zone confirmed the attack on the vice president’s office and said that the wounded had been taken to the combat support hospital there.

    The attacks, which resounded with sharp cracks about an hour after the finish of Friday prayers, put a violent end to a morning of relative calm in the capital, which is under a strict curfew. Later, in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad gunfire was heard Friday and American helicopters were flying low to the ground.

    The Americans share the Iraqi government’s hostility toward what they call rogue elements of the Mahdi Army, but will also be faced with the consequences if the battles among Shiite factions erupt into more widespread unrest.

    The violence underscored the fragile nature of the security improvements partly credited to the American troop increase that began last year. Officials have acknowledged that a cease-fire called by Mr. Sadr last August has contributed to the improvements. Should the cease-fire collapse entirely, those gains could be in serious jeopardy, making it far more difficult to begin bringing substantial numbers of American troops back to the United States.

    Although Sadr officials insisted on Thursday that the cease-fire was still in effect, Mr. Sadr has authorized his forces to fight in self-defense, and the battles in Basra appear to be eroding the cease-fire.

    During a lengthy speech on Thursday at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, Mr. Bush praised Iraq’s government for ordering the assault in Basra and portrayed the battle as evidence that his strategy of increasing troop strength was bearing fruit.

    “This offensive builds on the security gains of the surge and demonstrates to the Iraqi people that their government is committed to protecting them,” he said.

    “There’s a strong commitment by the central government of Iraq to say that no one is above the law.”

    Mr. Bush also accused Iran of arming, training and financing the militias fighting against the Iraqi forces.

    Mr. Bush spoke after three days of briefings with senior advisers and military commanders on the situation in Iraq and the options for reducing the number of American troops there beyond the withdrawals already announced. It was one in a series of speeches he has been giving to build support for his policy before Gen. David H. Petraeus, the senior commander in Iraq, testifies before Congress next month.

    In a videoconference with the president on Monday, General Petraeus recommended taking up to two months to evaluate security in Iraq before considering additional withdrawals, officials said Monday.

    On Thursday, medical officials in Basra said the toll in the fighting there had risen to about 100 dead and 500 wounded, including civilians, militiamen and members of the security forces. An Iraqi employee of The New York Times, driving on the main road between Basra and Nasiriya, observed numerous civilian cars with coffins strapped to the roofs, apparently heading to Shiite cemeteries to the north.

    Violence also broke out in Kut, Hilla, Amara, Kirkuk, Baquba and other cities. In Baghdad, where explosions shook the city throughout the day on Thursday, American officials said 11 rockets struck the Green Zone, killing an unidentified American government worker, the second this week.

    Another American, Paul Converse of Corvallis, Ore., an analyst with a federal oversight agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, died of wounds suffered in a rocket attack on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the agency said Thursday.

    The Iraqi government imposed a citywide curfew in Baghdad until Sunday.

    Thousands of demonstrators in Sadr City on Thursday denounced Mr. Maliki, who has personally directed the Basra operation, and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the Shiite cleric who leads the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a political party that is a crucial member of the coalition keeping Mr. Maliki in power.

    The Supreme Council’s armed wing, the Badr Organization, is one of the most powerful rivals of the Mahdi Army in Basra, where Shiite militias have been fighting among themselves for years to control neighborhoods, oil revenues, electricity access, the ports and even the local universities.

    Contributing reporting were James Glanz from Baghdad; Steven Lee Myers from Ohio; Graham Bowley from New York; and Qais Mizher, Ahmad Fadam, Mudhafer al-Husaini, Hosham Hussein, Karim al-Hilmi, and other employees of The New York Times from Basra, Kut, Baghdad, Hilla, Kirkuk and Diyala Province.


  4. Dear IVAW Supporter,

    For months, IVAW members, staff and volunteers prepared for Winter Soldier. We gathered, with members of Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and, for a short few days, on a small campus outside Washington DC, we spoke about what we have experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Our voices, amplified
    From there, news traveled far and wide. Dozens of active duty service members contacted us from bases around the world, including in Iraq, asking how they could join IVAW and help spread the word. Winter Soldier was covered by Stars & Stripes, Military Times, MTV, BBC, the Washington Post and many other outlets around the world. And over 100 screenings were organized where people watched the event live online and by satellite.

    These testimonies are not just individual experiences – taken together, they tell the story of what has happened, and what is still happening, in these occupations. They make clear what a growing number of veterans and service members are saying: we must stop expecting our military to accomplish the impossible, we must stop expecting them to win an occupation. The time to withdraw our military is now.

    Winter Soldier carries on
    One woman who called our office from California after Winter Soldier said it clearly – these are the stories that Americans need to hear. And so, using our online archives, she downloaded audio files of Winter Soldier testimony, strapped speakers on her bike, and brought our voices into her community. As we add more and more of the video from Winter Soldier to our website, we invite you to do the same – grab your friends and family, organize a house party, or just take some time to listen to these stories.

    A flood of new members
    IVAW has grown from less than 400 to over 900 members in the past year, and over 200 of our members attended Winter Soldier. Two weeks before the event, as articles about Winter Soldier began to circulate, we set a record of 15 new members in one week. During Winter Soldier weekend, we received another 50, and the volume of new applications has risen steadily since then. If you know a veteran or active duty servicemember who would like to join, our online application is now available at

    Not just numbers
    There’s another number that has been in the news this week – the 4000th US service member killed in Iraq. IVAW member Justin Cliburn (who liveblogged the Winter Soldier event) wrote about what that number means to him – you can read his essay on our site.

    As IVAW member Jon Turner said at Winter Soldier during his testimony, “The reason I am doing this today is not only for myself, it’s for all those who can’t be here to talk about the things that we went through, to talk about the things that we did.” IVAW will continue the work started at Winter Soldier in the coming months. We’ll keep telling these stories, and we’ll keep building a movement of veterans and service members.

    You can help us grow
    We’re growing fast, and we need your help to sustain that growth. While our staff, regional coordinators and chapters contact the dozens of new members who’ve joined in the last few weeks, we need your help too. Please take a minute to make a donation to help us grow. Your donations will help pay for postage for new member packets, a new web server to handle the increased traffic to our website, and cell phone minutes and travel expenses for organizers and staff. Your help means that we can keep growing, so make a contribution today.

    Kelly Dougherty
    Former Sergeant, Army National Guard
    Executive Director
    Iraq Veterans Against the War

    P.S. We want to thank everyone who participated in Winter Soldier – literally hundreds of people and dozens of organizations made this event happen, and we appreciate all your support.


  5. Pingback: US musician Laurie Anderson and the Iraq war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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