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Wed Dec 9, 2015, 10:40 PM

Call me jaded. I see propaganda all over the place. Our media is pathetic. [View all]

Last edited Thu Dec 10, 2015, 05:58 PM - Edit history (1)

I don't believe much in our media these days. Remember Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman?

War with ISIS is on the horizon, and the media outlets are already interfering in our political campaigns, pushing candidates to sound more militant. I don't trust much of the reporting, I don't even believe the polls right now.

Just when I think I might be over-reacting, I remember how our media outlets made up stories about Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman. There were other examples but these were the most outrageous. It shows the news spokesmen will say and do anything required to get results desired by their owners.

They needed to glorify and defend a bogged down Iraq war.

Jessica Lynch had her say in a 2007 congressional hearing.

'Little girl Rambo' decries US propaganda

The former US private Jessica Lynch today condemned what she said were Pentagon efforts to turn her into a "little girl Rambo", and accused military chiefs of using "elaborate tales" to try to make her into a hero of the Iraq war.

Speaking at a congressional hearing on the use of misleading information, an emotional Ms Lynch described how she suffered horrific injuries when her vehicle was hit by a rocket near the Iraqi town of Nasiriya in March 2003, killing several of her companions.

She was angry they tried to make her into a hero, she said the real heroes were those who rescued her.

Initial reports also suggested that Ms Lynch had been abused after she came round in the hospital. She said the reports were lies: she had been treated well and the Iraqis had tried to return her to US forces.

"The nurses tried to soothe me and return me," she told the hearing, adding that she objected to the way in which the US military had portrayed her.

"American people don't need to be told elaborate tales" about US forces, she said

So true. We don't need to be told lies about anything.

More about Jessica from journalist Greg Mitchell:

When Media Promoted Jessica Lynch 'Propaganda'

It wasn't until early May 2003 that the story really fell apart, thanks largely to a Toronto Star reporter named Mitch Potter, whose sources told him that actually Lynch had been well cared for at the hospital, that her captors had left up to two days before the raid and that actually fire from U.S. forces had prevented hospital staffers from loading her in an ambulance. The BBC soon confirmed much of this scenario.

The Post corrective appeared a few weeks later. On June 20, 2003, Nicholas Kristof in his New York Times column wrote:

"Pfc. Jessica Lynch did not mow down Iraqis until her ammo ran out, was not shot and apparently was not plucked from behind enemy lines by U.S. commandos braving a firefight. It looks as if the first accounts of the rescue were embellished, like the imminent threat from W.M.D., and like wartime pronouncements about an uprising in Basra and imminent defections of generals. There's a pattern: we were misled...

"Ms. Lynch is still a hero in my book, and it was unnecessary for officials to try to turn her into a Hollywood caricature. As a citizen, I deeply resent my government trying to spin me like a Ping-Pong ball....

And Pat Tillman couldn't speak for himself, but his irate family did so very effectively.

From Mother Jones 2010:

Pat Tillman's War

Pat Tillman's family says "fuck" a lot. And who can blame them? Pat's youngest brother, at the memorial service for the fallen NFL-star-turned-soldier, follows Maria Shriver's "Pat is with God now" rhetoric with, "Pat would want me to say this: He's not with God, he's fucking dead." A year later, Pat Tillman Sr. writes a blistering letter to the military brass who continued to stonewall the investigation into his son's death signed, "Fuck you…and yours." Such is the seething flavor of director Amir Bar-Lev's The Tillman Story (open today at select theaters), which paints a striking portrait of Pat Tillman's devoted and outraged family's search for the truth behind his death in eastern Afghanistan in April 2004.

....The documentary gives us what we the public want when it comes to heroes—a deeper look at someone who was so instantly an icon of war. Though he was deified in death under false pretenses and for political gain—and he specifically told the military he didn't want a military burial or any military involvement in his death—he, and his family, turned out to be exactly what America needed, because they take absolutely no bullshit, from Shriver, Donald Rumsfeld, anyone. And Tillman's last words? The soldier with him at the time poignantly recalls how Tillman saved his life even while his screams couldn't spare his own. To his buddies but 40 yards away who were unloading artillery into his chest and head he screamed, "I'm fucking Pat Tillman, why are you shooting at me? I'm fucking Pat Tillman!"

We don't have to swallow the propaganda, but all too often we do. I found this statement in a report from Stanford.

Propaganda in War Reporting on the U.S. War in Iraq

...A government cannot have power if it does not have the support of the public. In order to gain support of the public propaganda is used to promote the government and the ideals behind it. The issues concerning propaganda are complex and numerous but it is known that propaganda can be one of the main weapons used in psychological warfare and can significantly affect the outcome of a war. Propaganda can influence people to believe a certain ideology whether that ideology is right or wrong...

And I will never forget how we shock and awe bombed Iraq on TV, and yet the only real truth-telling we saw on the impact....was not from our news stations who whitewashed it all.

It was from the courageous and intelligent Iraqi bloggers

I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were- we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night.

On a personal note, we've finally decided to leave. I guess I've known we would be leaving for a while now. We discussed it as a family dozens of times. At first, someone would suggest it tentatively because, it was just a preposterous idea- leaving ones home and extended family- leaving ones country- and to what? To where?

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