16 March 2012

An Inaccurate "Debate" About Iran?

Stephen M. Walt has an excellent article about the top ten media failures in the debate about a 'war' with Iran. I've excerpted the list here, but there supporting paragraphs are outstanding and well worth the read. In short, Walt's point is that the information we are being fed through virtually every news source is filtered through a group of assumptions that inherently skew the coverage.

The interview got me thinking about the issue of media coverage of this whole business, and I'm sorry to say that most mainstream news organizations have let us down again. Although failures haven't been as egregious as the New York Times and Washington Post's wholesale swallowing of the Bush administration's sales pitch for war in 2002, on the whole the high-end media coverage has been disappointing. Here are my Top Ten Media Failures in the 2012 Iran War Scare.

#1: Mainstreaming the war.

#2: Loose talk about Iran's "nuclear [weapons] program."

#3: Obsessing about Ahmadinejad.

#4: Ignoring Iranian weakness.

#5: Failing to ask why Iran might want a bomb.

#6: Failing to consider why Iran might NOT want a bomb.

#7: Exaggerating Israel's capabilities.

#8: Letting spinmeisters play fast and loose with facts.

9. What about the human beings?

10. Could diplomacy work?

h/t SO over at Defence & Freedom for the link to the article.

By: Brant


Jack Nastyface said...

Excellent read...really puts things in perspective. FP continues to provide top-notch analsyis.

S O said...

Today they featured an article by Mr. Hanlon who's got a many years long track record of getting attention as a serious commentator while blathering complete nonsense and making wrong predictions all the time.