Assignment due before class, Tuesday Oct. 2 Extra credit attendance, Oct. 2: James Gibson, Judicial Elections, Courtroom, Law School, 4 pm. Midterm Oct. 9 Review questions posted Oct. 2
Normative: What is the appropriate role of media in times of war? Mirror? Watchdog? Lapdog? Empirical: What role do the media play in times of crises and war? How can we explain changing roles?
WWII, Korea Vietnam Grenada (almost no coverage, based on Thatcher’s news management strategy in Malvinas/Falkland Is. Conflict) Censorship in Gulf War I “Embedded” reporters in Iraq War; censorship
▪ Small no. of hand-picked journalists forced to rely on Pentagon briefings; not free to select stories or sources.▪ Barred from filming war dead arriving at Dover Air Force Base.▪ Barred from reporting, interviewing: ▪ soldier in shock ▪ soldier wounded ▪ soldier criticizing the war effort▪ Required to talk to soldiers in presence of public affairs officers
Iraq War: Military Coffins:The Photos Youre Not Supposed to See
The chairman of CNN ordered his staff to “balance” images of civilian devastation in Afghan cities with reminders that the Taliban harbors murderous terrorists
“Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re- examining the claims as new evidence emerged - or failed to emerge” ---The New York Times The New York Times editors say the paper relied too much on reports from Iraqi opponents of Saddam Hussein without challenging their claims. They say that in a number of cases the paper had also relied on US officials who were intent on invading Iraq. The editors say they were not aggressive enough in questioning some of the claims made before the Iraq war about weapons of mass destruction - by Iraqi informants and at times by Bush administration officials. They say some of the articles they published made alarming Judith Miller speaks with the press allegations, that were either discredited or never verified. while Bill Keller, then-Executive Editor The editors say that while the original stories were covered of the New York Times, listens prominently, the follow-up stories that called them into question (Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images) were all too often buried in the back pages. They say they were partly to blame for perhaps being too intent on getting scoops for the paper when they should have been challenging reporters. The executive editor at the time these stories were written, Howell Raines, resigned.
After the invasion of Kuwait, Kuwaitis, with the help of the Bush administration, retained the services of a the large PR firm, Hill and Knowlton, who gave the Kuwaitis the story of how Iraqi soldiers has removed infants from incubators so the machines could be removed to Iraq. Before her congressional testimony, the woman, the daughter of the Kuwait ambassador to US, rehearsed in front of video cameras in the firm’s Washington headquarters. Similar testimony from another woman identified only as a Kuwait refugee who turned out to be the wife of the Kuwaiti minister of planning and was a well- known television personality. Kuwaitis instructed to wear traditional dress vs business suits. Reported after the war.
Jessica Lynch: Media myth-making “Intelligence estimates:” “Sadam can arm a weapon in 12 minutes; “we dont want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
PENTAGON OFFICIALS: PRESS: The media lost the war by Crusading journalists turning the public against it uncovered lies and with hyper-critical distortions of the U.S. govt. coverage and slanted about the failures of the images. war that the government tried to cover up.
Vietnamese Monks Self Immolation Protest Against Diem
Violate military secrets? Diplomatic damage? Domestic front signaled weakened resolve to enemy? Comparing public approval of wars in Korea and Vietnam Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
Neither the Pentagon nor the Press’s view of the news media’s role in Vietnam is accurate. The news media followed official sources’ expressed views of the war.
American journalists “index” the range of voices and viewpoints according to the range of views expressed in government debate Testing the theory: Jonathon Mermin (Debating War and Peace, 1999) examined coverage in NYT, ABC and Lehrer News Hour in 8 post-Vietnam interventions
Jonathon Mermin examined coverage in NYT, ABC and Lehrer News Hour in 8 post-VN interventions to Bosnia, 1974-1993. ▪ Range of debate quite narrow ▪ Criticism never questioned the wisdom of the policy, only strategy and execution and impact on the president’s approval . Concludes: In post-VN, press never made an independent contribution to foreign policy debate in the U.S.
Reliance on official sources makes it very difficult for the press to independently question war policy. At best, the press can cover criticisms voiced by the opposition party. And, under many conditions, criticisms from the opposition party are too little, too late. Presidential control over information makes criticism from the opposition party extremely risky and difficult. ▪ EX: Romney’s criticism over Benghazi: Accusing the president of apologizing for American values and appeasing Islamic extremists. ▪ Obama: “Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later.” Under some conditions the administration can stifle dissent.
December 2001: In response to Democratic plans to question parts of the USA Patriot Act during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, John Ashcroft (Att. Gen.) suggests that people who disagree with the administrations anti-terrorism policies are on the side of the terrorists. “…my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to Americas enemies, and pause to Americas friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil."
February 2002: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle expresses mild disagreement with US anti-terror policies, saying US success in the war on terror "is still somewhat in doubt." In response, Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) says that Daschles "divisive comments have the effect of giving aid and comfort to our enemies by allowing them to exploit divisions in our country.“ May 2002: After the disclosure that President Bush received a general warning about possible Al Qaeda hijackings prior to 9/11, Democrats demand to know what other information the administration had before the attacks. In response, White House communications director Dan Bartlett says that the Democratic statements "are exactly what our opponents, our enemies, want us to do.“ May 2004: After Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) said "the direction [in Iraq] has got be changed or it is unwinnable," Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) said Democrats are "basically giving aid and comfort to the enemy." Similarly, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Bush an "incompetent leader," House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) said Pelosi "apparently is so caught up in partisan hatred for President Bush that her words are putting American lives at risk.“ September 2004: As John Kerry steps up his criticism of the Bush administrations handling of Iraq and the war on terror, Republicans repeatedly suggest that he is emboldening the enemy. Senator Zell Miller (D-GA) says that "while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrats manic obsession to bring down our Commander in Chief." President Bush says, "You can embolden an enemy by sending a mixed message... You send the wrong message to our troops by sending mixed messages." And Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) claims that terrorists "are going to throw everything they can between now and the election to try and elect Kerry," adding that Democrats are "consistently saying things that I think undermine our young men and women who are serving over there.
July 2005: Senator Dick Durbin states that a description of US interrogation procedures at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility sounds like something "done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others." Presidential adviser Karl Rove responds by suggesting that Durbin and other liberals seek to put US troops in danger, saying that "Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.“ November/December 2005: With critics of the war in Iraq growing increasingly vocal, Republicans lash out, suggesting that Democrats are encouraging the enemy and want to surrender to terrorists. President Bush says that "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning Americas will." Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) states that "Many on the Democratic side have revealed their exit strategy: surrender" and Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY) says that "[T]he liberal leadership have put politics ahead of sound fiscal and national security policy. And what they have done is cooperated with our enemies and are emboldening our enemies."
February 12, 2006: GOP chairman Ken Mehlman claims the GOP doesnt question Democrats patriotism "We do not and we never should question these Democrat leaders patriotism, but we do question their judgment and we do question their ability to keep the American people safe," he said. "These are people we know love their country, the question is: Can they protect it?"