Blackfive has posted an article from Lieutenant Colonel Tim Ryan - a Task Force (Battalion +) Commander in Iraq - which explains what the main stream media is doing to aid and abet the enemy in Iraq.
Aiding and Abetting the Enemy: the Media in Iraq
By LTC Tim Ryan, CO, 2/12 Cav, 1st Cav Div
Colonel Ryan has written a detailed and revealing essay. This excerpt should give you a better idea of how mainstream media reporters are manipulated by the terrorists.
I believe one of the reasons for this shallow and subjective reporting is that many reporters never actually cover the events they report on. This is a point of growing concern within the Coalition. It appears many members of the media are hesitant to venture beyond the relative safety of the so-called "International Zone" in downtown Baghdad, or similar "safe havens" in other large cities. Because terrorists and other thugs wisely target western media members and others for kidnappings or attacks, the westerners stay close to their quarters. This has the effect of holding the media captive in cities and keeps them away from the broader truth that lies outside their view. With the press thus cornered, the terrorists easily feed their unwitting captives a thin gruel of anarchy, one spoonful each day. A car bomb at the entry point to the International Zone one day, a few mortars the next, maybe a kidnapping or two thrown in. All delivered to the doorsteps of those who will gladly accept it without having to leave their hotel rooms -- how convenient.
The scene is repeated all too often: an attack takes place in Baghdad and the morning sounds are punctuated by a large explosion and a rising cloud of smoke. Sirens wail in the distance and photographers dash to the scene a few miles away. Within the hour, stern-faced reporters confidently stare into the camera while standing on the balcony of their tenth-floor Baghdad hotel room, their back to the city and a distant smoke plume rising behind them. More mayhem in Gotham City they intone, and just in time for the morning news. There is a transparent reason why the majority of car bombings and other major events take place before noon Baghdad-time; any later and the event would miss the start of the morning news cycle on the U.S. east coast. These terrorists aren't stupid; they know just what to do to scare the masses and when to do it. An important key to their plan is manipulation of the news media.
As I have noted before, it is vital that you go to the source when you are reading conflicting data from faraway places. You can read some of the Iraqi blogs to corroborate what he says.
Main Stream Media is following in Rather's footsteps. A once proud profession has degenerated into the sleaziest kind of sideshow. This has got to hurt the good people who have spent their lives building a good reputation by honest reporting. Oh well, perhaps they will follow Dan Gillmor into blogging.