Media redeploying over the event horizon from Iraq

posted at 11:06 am on December 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

If nothing else tells you that the Iraq War has been won, the exodus of American television media should confirm it.  The broadcast and cable news agencies have stopped staffing regular correspondents in Baghdad, apparently convinced that victory is no news at all (via Instapundit):

Quietly, as the United States presidential election and its aftermath have dominated the news, America’s three broadcast network news divisions have stopped sending full-time correspondents to Iraq.

“The war has gone on longer than a lot of news organizations’ ability or appetite to cover it,” said Jane Arraf, a former Baghdad bureau chief for CNN who has remained in Iraq as a contract reporter for The Christian Science Monitor.

Joseph Angotti, a former vice president of NBC News, said he could not recall any other time when all three major broadcast networks lacked correspondents in an active war zone that involved United States forces.

Except, of course, in Afghanistan, where about 30,000 Americans are stationed, and where until recently no American television network, broadcast or cable, maintained a full-time bureau.

At the same time that news organizations are trimming in Iraq, the television networks are trying to add newspeople in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with expectations that the Obama administration will focus on the conflict there.

This isn’t exactly rocket science.  They followed the news into Iraq, and they’re following the news out of Iraq and into Afghanistan.  For years, the American media shorted the latter theater because little of consequence appeared to be happening, after the free elections and the apparent retreat of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.  Only after an ill-advised truce with Pakistan reinvigorated the terrorist alliance and some NATO blunders on strategy allowed the Taliban to regroup in Helmand did the news media start looking at Afghanistan as a story.

Violence still occurs in Iraq, but on a much smaller scale, and the attacks have much less potency for destabilizing the nation.  Now the story in Iraq won’t bleed as much as it will feature debates on policy and security, as well as electoral issues on national and provincial scales.  That’s news, too, but of apparently less interest to the American media, and in fairness to Americans in general.  We’re rather famously disinterested in the internal politics of friends and foes alike, and when we do get coverage from our own media, it’s usually superficial at best.

However, Iraq will continue to be a major issue in American foreign policy as Barack Obama decides whether, how, and to what extent we should extricate American troops from the nation.  We should have reporters on the ground to inform Americans of the conditions on the ground and the impact our decisions will have.  It’s certainly a more newsworthy place than Rome, London, Paris, Berlin, or Madrid on most days in terms of foreign-policy decisions, but I doubt these same news organizations will be rushing to close down those bureaus.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

as Johnny Drama would say:

“V-I-C-T-O-R-Y !!!!!!!!!

jp on December 29, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Oh there is a cool 150,000 troops there among other assets. Anyway bad news from Iraq would put pressure on Obama, so there really is nothing to be gained from coverage.

rob verdi on December 29, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Without the leftist media we would have won in Vietnam too.

Too bad Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet a tad earlier.

ex-Democrat on December 29, 2008 at 11:14 AM

The MSM turles have gone back into their shells. This is Booosh’s victory, not Barry’s.

kingsjester on December 29, 2008 at 11:14 AM

I guarantee as soon as Obama is sworn in, the media will head back to Iraq, and tell us what a great job Obama has done in Iraq. How he took over a mess from Bush, and gave us victory.

MDWNJ on December 29, 2008 at 11:15 AM

turles-turtles
oops

kingsjester on December 29, 2008 at 11:15 AM

apparently convinced that victory is no news at all

Good riddance to bad trash. Now that there are overwhelming good stories to tell, the MSM has to find another situation for the american bashing. I’m sure they’re thanking God for the Israelis, except they don’t believe in God.

Tommy_G on December 29, 2008 at 11:15 AM

BASTARDS!

sonnyspats1 on December 29, 2008 at 11:16 AM

20 years from now, history will look back and call Bush’s leadership in this most difficult time brave and brilliant.
Mistakes? Sure, isn’t there always “mistakes” when looking back…but what he has done will have a positive effect for freedom for generations.
Like Churchill, Bush was the right man at the right time…and when it was over, they (Bush and Churchill) were cast aside.

right2bright on December 29, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Now that there is no violent for the media to hype, it is safe enough for the U.N. to open up shop there.

TheSitRep on December 29, 2008 at 11:17 AM

… an ill-advised truce with Pakistan reinvigorated the terrorist alliance …

Truce? Why do they need a ‘truce’ with their best allies?

A HotAir MUST read: “Kill Bin Laden” by Delta Force troop leader Dalton Fury.

Tony737 on December 29, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Violence still occurs in Iraq, but on a much smaller scale

Iraq’s murder rate is still 6 times that of the United States. Oh, wait.

BadgerHawk on December 29, 2008 at 11:19 AM

Without the leftist media we would have won in Vietnam too. – x-Dem

We DID win Vietnam, the S.V.A. lost it after we left and the dems cut their funding.

Tony737 on December 29, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Its imperative that the RNC doesn’t let the Left get away with re-writing history on this one.

It would be worse than letting them get away with claiming Reagan didn’t win the Cold War or that Nixon ended Vietnam which they started.

Also not to be let go, the full reasons for removing Saddam from power, including his many terrorist ties, sponsorship and financing.

jp on December 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM

If an American soldier were to accidentally kill a civilian, the press would be back in force, screaming and hollering.

The MSM vultures are heading to Israel to better craft their “The Israeli military is slaughtering Palestinian babies and destroying aspirin factories” story lines.

Bishop on December 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM

BadgerHawk on December 29, 2008 at 11:19 AM

Badger, have you been watching Andrea Mitchell again?
LOL

kingsjester on December 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM

there should also be a full vindication of the marines the Media and Murtha smeared falsely.

jp on December 29, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Bishop on December 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Yet, any brain dead person can go on YouTube and look at what the palistinians are doing, which is crying and whining and taking cam video’s and sitting there. I watched one this weekend where a mom sent her kid (who was around 9) to go get her a pack of smokes, while bombing was going on. Yeah, they are SOOOO worried about their lives and family.

Go Israel.

upinak on December 29, 2008 at 11:30 AM

Jane Arraf was the CNN Baghdad bureau chief when CNN was hiding Saddam’s sadism from its viewers.
So she knows about not having an appetite to cover important news.

MayBee on December 29, 2008 at 11:36 AM

No way the media is going to treat Afghanistan like Iraq.

The Fool has declared it a just war.

Thus it is so.

Our efforts there from here forward will be treated as glorious vitories from the Master Strategist Obama.

Of course, the truth is that there is no way we can ever achieve a victory there as President Bush won in Iraq.

The best we can do is to hold the carnage down and hope that the Taliban attrits itself.

notagool on December 29, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Okay, a little thought-experiment here.

One president steps up and deploys a military surge in Baghdad.

The next president steps up to the plate and deploys an economic stimulus in Detroit.

Which will be the safer place to live after Obama’s first term, Baghdad or Detroit?

We all know the answer, because we know that liberalism fails every time it’s tried.

jeff_from_mpls on December 29, 2008 at 11:39 AM

20 years from now, history will look back and call Bush’s leadership in this most difficult time brave and brilliant.

I’m afraid it’ll probably be more along the lines of 50 to 75 years or so–it’s going to take an entirely new generation of historians untainted by postmodernism and the current poisonous bilge to do justice to President Bush’s tenure.

Matt Helm on December 29, 2008 at 11:40 AM

OT:

Has anyone else seen this: Jamie Lee Curtis personifies Naked Evil at the Puffington Host.

She can hardly wait until “super-sized” Americans are reduced to abject poverty. Wow.

Kalapana on December 29, 2008 at 11:43 AM

“The war has gone on longer than a lot of news organizations’ ability or appetite to cover it,”

Apetite being the key word here. If they can’t lambaste Bush for it, then it’s simply not worth the effort.

drjohn on December 29, 2008 at 11:44 AM

kingsjester on December 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM

I’m always a little unsure when I post comments like that if people will recognize me as a regular poster or if they will just think I’m a libtard.

BadgerHawk on December 29, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Protests are happening at the Israeli embassy in London. Not a surprise there.

becki51758 on December 29, 2008 at 11:51 AM

Are they redeploying to Afghanistan? Does this mean more coverage for the Afghan theater?

Dr Evil on December 29, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Well done U.S. troops. Not only did you defeat the Iraqi Army, AND Saddam, AND his boys, AND the Bathists, AND Mookie, AND Iranian made IEDs, AND AQI, but you ALSO defeated the Press. Again, well done!

Weight of Glory on December 29, 2008 at 12:02 PM

OT:

Has anyone else seen this: Jamie Lee Curtis personifies Naked Evil at the Puffington Host.

She can hardly wait until “super-sized” Americans are reduced to abject poverty. Wow.

Kalapana on December 29, 2008 at 11:43 AM

The only thing wrong with that article is she used too much filler (ironic in an article about fat people, huh?).

Eat less and move more is not a bad way to go. Taxing soda at 25% is insane but encouraging Americans to move away from this acceptance of obesity (especially in children) as part of being American is a great idea.

grdred944 on December 29, 2008 at 12:07 PM

A while back Coulter said in one her columns that the sign that the Iraq war was won would be an end of reporting about it by the MSM.

snaggletoothie on December 29, 2008 at 12:11 PM

I’ll never forget how certain Democrats actually aided and abetted our enemies in Iraq hoping that we would lose. And those Dems, aided by the liberal media, will always remain as disgusting human beings in my mind.
That said, Wishing all a Happy New Year!

Travis1 on December 29, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Iraq’s murder rate is still 6 times that of the United States. Oh, wait.

BadgerHawk on December 29, 2008 at 11:19 AM

Hey BadgerHawk, I know you were being sarcastic, but I wanted to post this anyway so we can all put things in perspective; Venezuela, where I am originally from, is not at war, yet if you compare it to the US or any other country, it is experiencing violence hardly match by any other country in the world even those at war like Iraq. Socialism in action or inaction. By the way, when the article talks about halving the unemployment and poverty, look at the source; they actually have “traditional” and “non-traditional” employment categories, so they count street vendors and everything as non traditional employment to reduce the unemployment rate artificially.

http://www.economist.com/world/americas/displaystory.cfm?STORY_ID=11750858

Now compare that to Iraq -here we learn that it is 1/6 the murder rate of the US for one month, not six times.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjU5MDFhZTI5ZGNhNTkwMjI0ZDE3YWFlMjk5YTMyNjg=

TitleofLiberty on December 29, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Now, to the point of this post, I am disgusted by the MSM, drive by media or dinosaur media whatever you want to call it and their desire to lose a war just so they could pin it on Bush. God bless our troops that in spite of them did their job. Now, let’s go crush those taliban cockroaches and finish the job there! Oh and watch how positive the reporting is going to be on that as soon as the one takes office.

TitleofLiberty on December 29, 2008 at 12:47 PM

what you want them to stay and report good news. I think not.

kanda on December 29, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Has anyone else seen this: Jamie Lee Curtis personifies Naked Evil at the Puffington Host.

She can hardly wait until “super-sized” Americans are reduced to abject poverty. Wow.

Kalapana on December 29, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Never liked him.

err…her.

madne0 on December 29, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Media redeploying over the event horizon from Iraq

To Okinawa?

ThePrez on December 29, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Are you kidding? Victory will be huge news once the right person is in office. The reporters are just taking a vacation while they have the chance. After a few months of Obama’s reign, the coverage of “advances” and “stark improvements” in Iraq will be heavy (I’d say wall-to-wall, but they’ll actually be trumped by coverage of the Messiah’s insightful plans to save our economy from the evils of capitalism).

Blacklake on December 29, 2008 at 4:44 PM

So now we can expect to get daily reports from Afghanistan detailing how we are beat, should get out now, and calls for a court-martial anytime one of our troops farts??

Excellent!!!

BigWyo on December 29, 2008 at 5:07 PM

there should also be a full vindication of the marines the Media and Murtha smeared falsely.

jp on December 29, 2008 at 11:26 AM

That is a story I would sincerely like to see, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for it.

Red State State of Mind on December 29, 2008 at 7:24 PM

One plus … at least terrorists will have a harder time getting publicity with the small (but still sad) activities.

A part of their dissemination tool has been diminished. … I think I just called the MSM a tool, but eloquently.

AeroSpear on December 29, 2008 at 9:46 PM