War in Iraq: The psychological impact from the BBC

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Speedy, May 18, 2005.

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  1. Even those with PTSD concerns are going to be very wary about contributing to a BBC programme!

    How can anyone trust the BBC to produced a balanced view of this topic, without giving it a slant?

    Even without political bias, I'm not even sure any broadcaster has the insight or motivation to explain this complex subject to the ignorant public in a short TV programme. With our "stress injury" culture and 3 million+ on incapacity benefit, there is a real danger of wrecking the credibility of the few PTSD remedies that do work.
  2. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    This is (kinda) related.....rather than starting a new thread. Came across it via a blog called the Mudville gazette.

    Military Blindness in the Media - And Beyond
    by Joe Katzman at June 9, 2004 05:43 AM

    Writing in Reason Online, Chris Bray pens an excellent article full of telling bon mots. From the journalist who is awed by the fact that Army Rangers carry machine guns and grenade launchers, to the Wall St. Journal colleague who asked if the Marines fought in WW2, Bray's article is worthy for its anecdotes alone. But he also has a serious point, and it's one worth paying close attention to:

    They do, often - and it does. Dale Franks of QandO has the links. It seems like a simple problem that could be cured by some basic diligence, research; and professional standards that demand real subject expertise to the same level as, say, sports journalism. But that doesn't seem to be happening, which leads one to wonder why not.
    So it's doubly interesting to note that this problem may extend beyond the media. Former Clinton NSC staffer Heather Hurlburt leveled an eerily similar criticism at the Democratic Party back in November of 2001:
    Or Joe Biden's anecdote (Hat Tip: WSJ Best of the Web, March 15/05):
    These insider's accounts point to chasms of understanding whose common signatures should be a matter of grave concern. Gary Farber's recent "Donkeys in the Desert" article was both a hopeful sign, and a quiet reminder of just how deep the chasms have become. Again, one asks why. What is really going on? How did we get here?
    There is no shortage of answers on offer.
    Are these consistent and similar failures of understanding simply the local manifestations of a global battlefield, where editorial rooms are also a front line of a many-sided conflict and the news process is simply ill-equipped to cope?

    Or are they, perhaps, the natural result of skewed Pew surveys and other indications of a biased liberal media that make one ask if discussing the Democrats, academia, and the media is largely an examination of the same niche population? Even centrist commentator Morton Kondracke is wondering about coverage patterns he's seeing in Iraq, and Pejman is more eloquent still in his plea for reporting all of the news. Is the blindness to military and national security matters more than simple ignorance? But then, how to explain Bray's Wall St. Journal story?

    Or is the divide really about class, and an American white-collar elite steeped in what Victor Davis Hanson calls luxus; a class that increasingly sees the military as something other people's children do, and also sees journalism as the proper preserve of that educated elite?

    There's certainly strong anecdotal support for this idea in some of the links like "My Ivy League Solider" and "My Heart on the Line," both referenced in our April 2003 article "Where They Get Young Men Like This." Donald Sensing also believes that class plays a role in several of the media's prominent disconnects, and he's not alone; American Digest even suggests some interesting avenues for studies along those lines.
    I hope someone takes up the challenge.
    Actually, I hope many people take up this challenge, in many ways and from many different directions. For the custodians of the American Republic in a world beset by war and real threats, the manifestations of similar blind spots and flaws in one half of its political class and far too many of those who tell its stories is a matter for more than casual concern.
    If there is a connection here, it behoves Americans to understand it and fix it as best they can. Human nature has not changed, and the world remains a dangerous place. America need broad, sustained, and informed participation if she wish to direct her own destiny with the skill that survival demands.

    History is not kind to those who believe they can forget this.