Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The War?

Not to delve to deeply into the political land mine that is the war in Iraq, but has anyone else noticed how the war has disappeared almost completely off the face of the political map?

Not surprisingly then, the news that President Bush plans to withdraw 8,000 troops from Iraq in early 2009 did not provoke electoral rhetoric, nor did the news hit with the force that it probably should have hit with. Vietnam it's not and a mere 5&1/2 years later, perhaps the war is winding down in Iraq.

I suppose I understand why it's not a huge political issue for either candidate. Obama is better off with the war on the back burner and McCain's leadership and military record are far less powerful campaign tools if he were to actually come out and say the war is winding down. What I don't understand is why the story isn't bigger news. Democrats in Congress have been demanding a withdrawal date since 2004 and now that they finally have one, they're still not happy. But whether you're anti-war, for the war, or straight up undecided, the fact that we've reached a measured level of success is certainly a good thing. For those who still want to debate the issue, go for it- Over time, I've become more and more convinced that the effort was not worth the cost in American lives and American dollars, but I'll always listen to arguments either way.

I have a pretty strong feeling however, that history isn't going to vindicate either side of the Iraq war debate. Any success is always going to be weighted down the question of whether or not it was worth it and the loss of lives and poor planning are counterbalanced by the eventual successes. It'd be nice and neat to say one side was right, but I sure as hell don't see that ever happening.


Blogger McMc said...

I've actually been contemplating blogging about what I'm about to talk about, but just haven't gotten around to it. I don't mean to suggest there's a conspiracy or anything like that, but a lot of news outlets sem to lean toward the left. Sometimes it's just a perception, or sometimes it's not. Take, for example, a story Yahoo! had posted as a top headline a day or two after Sarah Palin was picked for VP. The story had four experts claiming the pick was unprecedented and that she lacked the experience needed for the VP position. If you read early on it's posting, that's all you would've read. If you looked a few hours later, you would've noticed a blurb at the bottom from the McCain campaign. Apparently the four experts quoted in the story had donated a lot of money to the Obama campaign, two even maxing out on funds. There's also this idea that nothing is important regarding the war unless it's more troops or troops dying. Not that war is a good thing, but you hear about zero positives in regards to the war. Also, during the primaries you were hard-pressed to find any story regarding the Republican race. For a long, long time it was all Obama-Clinton, to the point that an outsider would've thought they were the two already running for Prez (note: We've seen this before in CT...remember the Lamont-Lieberman race for the Democratic nod? How many people could even name the Republican candidate?) Yes, you could argue that the Democratic race was closer and more interesting, but how many more people were exposed to Obama during that time frame? Even now, I'm looking at NY looking for that story and all I see is a story about how someone at the Pentagon is urging caution with the withdrawl.

This is actually something I've never really pushed before, this idea that a lot of news outlets lean left, but it just seems a lot more evident during a presidential race.

1:43 PM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

I'll offer this to you as an alternative hypothesis: It's not so much that the mainstream media engages in a concerted effort to spin the news in a liberal or Democratic direction, rather, members of the media have certain preconceptions about the world and the way the news is presented can, at times, reflect those preconceptions.

Case-in-point Obama, whom the media has embraced since day one. The Obama story isn't really about politics, it's about the media wanting to be part of the story of the first black president.

To further illustrate, I'll take you back to 2003, when Rush Limbaugh's tenure at ESPN was short lived after some comments about the media's treatment of Donovan McNabb. What Rush said about McNabb wasn't all that big of a deal- just that the Eagles quarterback wasn't quite as good as he had been made out to be. What got people riled up were the accusations that the media was going easy on McNabb because he was a black quarterback and they wanted black quarterbacks to succeed. Rush was accused of racism, but the truth was, Rush's comment wasn't about race but the PC sports media's treatment of race.

This is how the media works- it's part politics and personal beliefs and in truth, it's part dollar signs. In the end, the Obama story sells much better than the McCain story.

3:19 PM  
Blogger McMc said...

I totally agree and that's more of what I wanted to drive at then just spinning toward the left. There's another example I'd like to throw out there that hits on what you suggested at the end. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews were given roles as anchors for MSNBC's election coverage. It was done as a cross-promotional thing to boost ratings. However, Olbermann and Matthews will no longer be anchoring election coverage because they just couldn't restrain their bias. MSNBC corrected their mistake, but that was definitely a money driven decision that ultimately made them look biased and bad. Here's just a classic example of why it failed, courtesy of the NY Times:

Some tensions have spilled out on-screen. On the first night in Denver, as the fellow MSNBC host Joe Scarborough talked about the resurgence of the McCain campaign, Mr. Olbermann dismissed it by saying: “Jesus, Joe, why don’t you get a shovel?”

3:40 PM  
Anonymous rose said...

It is world view, but in cases its an intentional leftist bias no doubt.

Man-made Global Warming has been accepted in very large part due to the media, both print and TVs, worldview. I don't think that was an attempt to push the liberal agenda, but simply as you put it LL, the influence of their worldview.

But at the NYT and MSNBC it is the leadership that promotes the leanings and it is most definitely intentional. The NYT granted special pricing for their "general betrayus" ad. PROOF.

BTW, Petrayus is a true American hero for his work in Iraq and deserves much more credit than he is getting. And that has a lot to do with MSNBC, NYT and the like and it most certainly is intentional.

Allow me to point out that Obama's new criticisms of our withdrawal policy is, in essence, a criticism of Petraeus. It is his plan. You'd think after criticizing Petraeus for implementing his counter-insurgency strategy with out ever speaking to Petraeus or any other military leaders, or visiting Iraq, you'd think Obama wouldn't be so arrogant to do it again.

3:52 PM  

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