Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The War Photos that Reconfigure our Brains

I've written before about the subtle and not so subtle methods this administration uses to control the media. These methods also extend to their supporters in the right-wing radio and cable world. They will use any and all means at their disposal to not only push their message, but to prevent other messages from getting traction.

They co-opt the media by including them in the process and, when they can't include them, they intimidate them. They don't do just one one side of the equation. They use both big sticks and big candy bars ('cause nobody wants a carrot)

Big Stick: If you go against us you might die
Candy Bar: If you go with us you will get protection AND the story/photo

Which would you rather have?

1) Candy Bar: "You will have total access to our troops in the field, living along side them day to day as they try and bring democracy to a troubled nation." or

2) Big Stick: "You are on your own in Iraq, we can't guarantee your safety, you will be shot at, terrorists will think you are one of us even if you aren't and all the good photos/interviews will be given to the embedded folks from the 'real media' who have access."

So the media can "chose" to be vulnerable and get killed or can get embedded with the troops, get the story, get the photo and come home alive--their decision.

Heck, when you put it that way, who won't go for the embedded option? Probably crazy people who hate America! And for the brave people who DO go it alone? I honor you. Hope aren't one of the 33 journalists or media workers killed so far this year.

Jurassicpork over at Welcome to Pottersville has a sharp essay on the topic titled:

Matthew Brady is Dead and Gone: Check it out

One of the lessons, perhaps the only one, that the Bush administration successfully learned from the Vietnam war was to not give the media a free hand. Lyndon Johnson, with a naivety that still seems astonishing, thought that he could count on the complicity of the press and allowed them free reign in Vietnam. What LBJ didn’t count on was all the images that were regularly packaged and beamed into our living rooms by 6 o’clock every night as we sat in front of our TV’s eating off our dinner trays, images of dead, mutilated and grievously wounded American troops to accompany the daily casualty statistics. For the first time in American history, we were given an up close and personal account of the Vietnam war practically in real time.

Click on the warning image above to see a horrific photo from www.afterdowningstreet.org.

Is the kind of photo Matthew Brady would have taken?


jurassicpork said...

I think I'll pass, Spocko. I have enough nightmares, as it is, especially after watching the news. But thanks for the link and excerpt.

6:46 PM  
ellroon said...

There have been worse I've come across. That poor man was someone's son, brother, husband. And now he's dead.

What a waste. What a crime. What a sorrow.

7:38 PM  
Ron Davison said...

There is so much going on in the world and so little that can be presented by the media and politicians. And by definition, that filtering, consolidating, and distorting process lies below the surface of what is reported. The real news is how the news is made. And it is mostly made to meet demand – demand from a society that wants its view of the world reinforced and not challenged – we quickly weary of news sources that too much disrupt, jolt, or defy our view of the world.

10:49 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home