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Opening The Files: 08/22/07

Catapulting Phony Ponies

Last month, an op-ed in the New York Times prompted all sorts of media attention. Here we had two so-called "critics" of the Iraq war claiming the surge as actually working. Nevermind that these two "critics" were anything but. Nonetheless, the narrative was propagated far and wide in the mainstream media.

This past weekend, the Times ran another op-ed, this one written by seven soldiers coming off a 15 month tour in Iraq. Now one would think given the "boots on the ground" status of the authors, the media would be just as interested to know what they have to say. But outside of the blogosphere, this op-ed was met with crickets. And when it was finally discussed in the mainstream media, the authors were dismissed as not being credible and were even chastised for supposedly doing harm to their "moral authority".

Some have pointed out, this practice of the media of picking and choosing which stories or narratives will garner mainstream attention has been pervasive for some time now. This is why the need for alternative media has become so paramount. For in allowing the traditional media to choose which stories will be pushed and which ignored, we allow a narrative to be built that does not necessarily the reflect the truth. Indeed, it was how we came to be bogged down in Iraq in the first place.

Catapulting the propaganda is easy. Catapulting the truth takes real courage.

Paul Rieckhoff says he'll believe the grunts on the ground over the think tanks any day.

Robert Scheer says the Real Iraq Progress Report is taking place on the streets and if judged by that criterion, the surge isn't looking so hot.

Quite a few are upset with recent statements from Democrats which suggest they are falling for the dog and phony shows. But I wonder how much of this animosity is misplaced and could be chalked up to the media conflating the questions.

President Bush admits that there is "a certain level of frustration" with the progress of the war. Daniel DiRito wonders if that frustration extends to the Iraqi government. Something tells me that Maliki you may want to start polishing up his résumé.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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