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The ‘Private Jessica Lynch’ Spectacle

Karlin posts a good story on the whole ‘rescue of Private Jessica Lynch’ story. Great quote:

Further, British military Group Captain Al Lockwood, the British Army spokesman at central command in Iraq, says that the British could not believe the pandering way in which the US military dealt with the US media, culminating in the Lynch episode, and the gushing, unquestioning acceptance of same by the US media. ‘In reality we had two different styles of news media management,’ said Lockwood. ‘I feel fortunate to have been part of the UK one.’

Guardian story here:

The American strategy was to concentrate on the visuals and to get a broad message out. Details – where helpful – followed behind. The key was to ensure the right television footage. The embedded reporters could do some of that. On other missions, the military used their own cameras, editing the film themselves and presenting it to broadcasters as ready-to-go packages. The Pentagon had been influenced by Hollywood producers of reality TV and action movies.

One interesting result is that, while the US media (or TV at least) is happy to spew this pabulum, for some reason, these days, most other media outlets world-wide are a bit more likely to apply a critical eye, suspecting spin.

No matter whether it’s true or not, excessive media management (or filming of action movies ;) over flimsy stories is quickly exposed. This promulgates the impression world-wide that the wool is being pulled over the viewers’ eyes, and that the source of the news is fundamentally telling fibs.

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