September 23, 2003
JOSH MARSHALL FINDS THAT THE TRUTH HURTS. He's not happy about Democratic Congressman Jim Marshall (whom Josh originally misidentified as a Republican) saying that negative media coverage is getting our troops killed. But Marshall the Congressman, and a Vietnam vet, was there, and thinks negative publicity is encouraging the Baathist holdouts to believe that they can pull a Mogadishu and get the United States to pull out. Marshall the pundit might want to ponder the possibility that reflexive media negativity, counted on by our foes to advance their plans, might actually, you know, advance their plans.
It's not the reporting of criticisms or bad things that's the issue -- the first-person accounts I link below all have criticisms and negative information. It's the lazy Vietnam-templating, the "of course America must be losing" spin, the implicit and sometimes explicit sneer, and the relentless bringing to the fore of every convenient negative fact while suppressing the positive ones that's the issue. It's what the terrorists are counting on, and it's what too many in the media are happy to deliver, because they think it'll hurt Bush.
And it doesn't get any lower than that.
UPDATE: Reader Richard Aubrey emails: "Do you think the journalist Marshall might want to explain what, factually, is wrong with Rep. Marshall's statement?" I hope he will.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Henry Hanks observes:
Jim Marshall could very well run to replace Zell Miller in GA and could also very well decide who controls the Senate in 2004... Democrats would be well advised not to drive him too far away...
Especially when he's, like, right.
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan comments, and praises Howard Dean:
In fact, one of the good things about Dean's campaign has been his clear statement that we need the Iraqi liberation to work.