September 23, 2003

HERE’S ANOTHER FIRSTHAND REPORT FROM IRAQ featuring a lot of stuff we’re not hearing from the big guys.

UPDATE: Read this, too:

There is a sea change going on, right now, and CNN will be the last place to learn about it.

Remember that story early in the war about the Iraqis attacking an Al-Jazeera van and destroying it and wounding its crew? CNN barely covered it, but the Iraqis I have spoken to recently said they are sick and tired of the “old” Arab media (which strangely enough includes Al-Jazeera to them) reporting only the negatives and ignoring the progress they’ve made and the fact that for many, things are better…they see this as other Arabs trying to stir up trouble in “their” country. And they resent it.

They want Al-Jazeera and Manar out of there, and they want to get on rebuilding their country themselves, thank you very much. They don’t need those guys making it worse by running erroneous and unretracted stories like the one a few weeks back about US soldiers raping Iraqi girls– and thereby bringing even more violence. They want a new country.

And here’s some support here for what he says about Iraqis’ dislike of Al Jazeera.

UPDATE: Reader Elizabeth King emails:

I’m not surprised that the media coverage of Iraq is now being reported as unduly negative. I could tell back in June that this year would be the Summer of the Iraqi Quagmire, much as last year was the Summer of Kidnapped Children, and 2001 was the Summer of Shark Attacks.

Like mad dogs and Englishmen, the media spend too much time in the heat of the day … and it shows.

I think they’re spending too much time in hotel bars with former Baathist minders, actually.

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