March 06, 2003
If you're going to strike a blow, be sure you have the right club

I suppose I should be grateful that articles like this even get written. I mean, San Antonio is a military town in the heart of Bush country, so when one of their writers goes off on a screed about how incredibly pro-war the media is, it stands out.

And writer Rod Davis does an excellent job for the most part of making the salient points: the media has consistently described war as inevitable (and in some cases has been outright cheerleading for an invasion), dissenters have been painted as ignorant at best and dangerous kooks at worst, and the utter inability and/or unwillingness of the media to find out and report facts that aren't fed to them by the government.

It's ironic, therefore, that he himself commits the same sin of ignorance that he justly accuses the rest of the media of committing:

Where, then, are the boot camps for covering the voices of dissent? Where are the newsroom reporters assigned the antiwar, not the military beat? Where is the consistent Page-One treatment and discussion of the not just the growth of the antiwar movement which is in the millions and includes people of all class levels, races and creeds but the detailed rationale behind it?

Where are the interviews with Edward Said, Noam Chomsky and other strong critiques of the national security state, and not just the nominal "now is not the time" homilies from the likes of former offiicials such as Madeleine Albright, Gen. Schwarztkopf, or President Clinton?

For all his accuracy in identifying the sins of his media siblings, Davis can't name any dissenters other than Edward Said and Noam Chomsky, two people who speak from one fairly narrow perspective. This in itself is a great disservice to the antiwar movement because there's so much more to it than just a couple of oldtime lefties and the not-terribly-popular views they represent.

And that's the point, isn't it? The voices against the war and Team Bush's imperialism are many and varied. The libertarian Cato Institute (here and here, for example). Justin Raimondo. Liberal mainstreamers like Joe Conanson and Molly Ivins. Conservative mainstreamers like James Pinkerton. Conservative outliers like Lew Rockwell and Pat Buchanan. Pope John Paul II and many, many, many mainstream Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders and congregations. And even a bunch of ordinary folks.

In a way, the fact that Rod Davis didn't take the time to do a quick Google search before he wrote his otherwise worthy rant illustrates his point even better than he could. It's still a shame that he fell down so close to the finish line like he did.

Link to Rod Davis' article via Cursor.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 06, 2003 to Other punditry | TrackBack