Sunday, January 30, 2005

Iraq Elections: What I Saw and MSM Coverage

Well, the day came and it is only another hour or so before the polls close. I made my self stay up and watch it all. Before I get going though, on what I witnessed, I wanted to remind everyone that our friends at Friends of Democracy has live coverage and will be on CSPAN at 2pm EST Sunday (later this afternoon) with a panel of people to talk about the elections and what the group is trying to accomplish. Go over to their site because they ask for questions to answer during their interview and have a few questions for us as well. Don't wait and don't hesitate. Great way to get involved.

Now, on to the election. At 10 pm CST, I turned to the cable channels and watched the election unfold. I felt a sense of excitement that I felt when I went to vote myself in November. Maybe more so because that excitement was tempered with worry about whether the insurgents would be able to mount any sort of attacks that could truly disrupt the elections. I lit a candle for the Iraqi people and have kept it burning all night. It will stay lit until the polls close in another hour or so.

I noted that CNN spent most of the pre-election coverage doing an "Iraq Timeline" which they attempted to do as "balanced and objective" but of course, turned out to be rather "biased and subjective". I know, what did I expect? Well, I wanted to see how all three channels were treating it so I watched. There was a particularly disturbing episode where they were blatantly playing the emotion string about civilian casualties. Like a "Human Rights Watch Oprah" episode. Let me describe this a bit before I go on with the election coverage in main. They were talking about the retaking of Samarawa. A US General gave a statement saying there were no Iraqi civilian casualties. The reporter, Jane Arraf and her other female side kick said they were "shocked" because they had just been to the hospital and there were body bags everywhere. They proceeded to show pictures of these body bags. Then one of them states, without showing any video, that she asked a national guard soldier from the US how he felt about civilian deaths and he allegedly comments, "Civilians? Insurgents? Who can tell?" This juxtaposed against film of some body bags.

Of course, what they don't show you is who exactly is in these body bags. As in, what is the gender and condition of the bodies. I'll give you an idea of who was probably in the body bags and that is probably men between the ages of 18 and 40. That is something they wouldn't show you because of our "delicate" sensibilities, but they have no problem telling you what you should believe about them when you can't see them. As for the soldiers out of context supposedly calous remark, I can clearly see that he is talking about insurgents not being in uniform and fighting from civilian positions. That is a no brainer. Secondly, what did they ask him and what was the rest of his comments? This is like bad tabloid TV or Jerry Springer Journalism. Sadly, some nimrod out there probably watched this and got their opinion about the war from it.

For this, CNN gets a big FAT "F" for crappy, activist journalism. They get a big FAT "F" because, contrary to what they believe (ie, that they can help show the horrors of war and maybe make it stop), they have just recruited at least a hundred, if not a thousand, more jihadists somewhere in the Arab/Muslim world who will now run off to Iraq like these "martyrs" to protect their endagered Iraqi brethern. These same men will then engage in terrorist activities that will kill more Iraqis than the entire US army has done since it first Gulf War. Pacifists my ass. These ladies are killers. These are the same people that claim "AMERICA" is the cause of the spreading jihadist/terrorism phenomenom. Well, they are partially correct, but it's not the American administration, it's the American media and they should be charged for their complicity in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and soldiers.

CNN gets a big FAT "F" for showing this piece.

The only thing I can say about CNN now is that they did have a good number of people around at different polling stations in Iraq and showed many good pictures. However, they get a "C-" for this effort because every single one of their reporters opened up their commentary with the words, "despite the violence" or "despite the deaths already this morning" or "Polling stations are opened, BUT 29 people have been killed". However, they get the "C" part for this because they showed the Iraqis lining up at the polls, singing, clapping and dancing although, the same Arraf character was reporting from there and she seemed kind of annoyed that she couldn't hear herself talking to the anchor, whoever the hell that was. But the camera did stay on the people so kudos to the cameraman. Probably a hired Iraqi anyway.

Fox on the other hand, only had a few correspondents in the field, one of which was Geraldo Rivera. However, Geraldo was the man of the hour. He told the insurgents to "go to hell". He was excited for the Iraqis and he only mentioned the violence (so damned limited, 5 attacks when there were 5,600 polling stations) at the end and still said that the violence was a story but it was not the most important story. The important story was the historical vote itself. Geraldo and Fox get a big FAT "A++" for keeping it in perspective and not raining on the Iraqi's parade.

He interviewed a man at the polling station, only a few miles from Baghdad. His name was Ahmed. Geraldo asked him if he was scared of the insurgents. Ahmed replied:

"I don't care what Zarqawi or the terrorists say. They threaten to kill me and my family. I don't care, because I have voted an I am free."

That was pretty much the sentiment of most of the voters.

MSNBC was fairly balanced with a couple of reporters at different polling stations and had good pictures. While they mentioned the violence and did so first in the same sentence with "elections", they did it sparingly enough that I will award the a "B" for their effort. They also did an amazing thing. They had three whole segments on about Iraqi blogs and they plugged the brothers and Iraq the Model, Ali at Free Iraqi, Husayn at Democracy in Iraq, the Neurotic Iraqi Wife and Kurdistan Bloggers Union to name a few. They also have links to all these blogs at the official MSNBC blog on blogs.

Gotta give MSNBC some kudos for being one of the MSM to give blogs their due. Of course, it could be because they are hoping for a little bloggy respect, one citizen journalist to another, just in case they goof and their story gets ripped to shred someday. Just a little advice to them, it won't save them. However, they could open up comments on their blog and it might give them a chance to get a tiny bit of respect if they do goof and people get a chance to tell them. But, that's something for later. Let me add that at 6:55 AM CST they have now plugged the blogs four times.

Right now, I am going to switch to my "recap of live blogging" during the Iraq elections which will include my own observations and some of others during the opening hours of the historic elections:

Today, the blood of patriots is paid back in paper and ink and the ballot box.The price was steep but worth it.God bless all those who fight for freedom. Give them strength to carry on, even in the darkest hour. We have lit a candle for freedom. It is the fire burning in the minds of men. My candle is lit and burning in my window.

kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.29.05 - 11:51 pm |

I'm noticing that most of the men I've seen vote over there are in suits. They take it serious.
Zac | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:01 am

Lydia | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:03 am | #

CNN's Website says "steady stream of voters in Iraq" That translates to: the lines are a mile long. Go Iraq

Sarah | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:07 am |

Iraqi Security forces are voting first apparently, but Mosul actually showed a woman voting.

kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:13 am |

Cnn...Kurds are voting by the hundreds already.Polling center looking very busy. The Kurds know how to do this thing the right way. Of course, they have the peshmerga to protect them. can't ask for more than that.

kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:15 am |

FoxNews justed showed the military tape of the terrorists that fired the rocket today. Spycam showing the scumbags scurrying for cover after they fired the rocket! Way cool!!
thewiz | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:17 am |

As a critic of the war.I sincerely wish the best for elections in Iraq and pray that nobody is harmed.
ponte | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:27 am |

explosion at a couple of polling news
gvmeabrk | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:29 am |

On Ali's blog, he says he is off to vote now - 7:46 posting, so God keep him safe.
Joanne | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:31 am |

MSNBC just said that there were three more explosions in the last five minutes.
thewiz | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:39 am |

Right on time and as noted...midnight our time, 8:00 AM, insurgents blow up a vehicle at a check point. Far away from the polling places of course because they couldn't get near it.One IP killed, 2 ING and 2 civilians injured.
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:45 am |

Friends of Democracy site says they have buses in Kirkuk picking up the voters who are walking toward their polling station. Go Kirkuk
Sarah | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:53 am |

CNN, of all places, just showed some long lines for voting in Sadar city.
Zac | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:56 am | #

CNN just showed a line of people at the downtown baghdad polling're a moron. I'm sure that millions of voters will not please you.Guess what...the line looked like at least 50 people from the camera panning around with more walking up.Go Iraq, go.
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 12:57 am |

CNN showed interview with Iraqi translater from st louis who pulled Saddam from the hole in tikrit. He voted on Saturday in Nashville, TN.He was like a rock star with people shaking his hand and getting autographs. Says he is going back and loves America for giving him the opportunity to get the man that killed his family in the 91 uprising.That is a brave man.
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:00 am | #

Other cable stations are showing long lines at other polling stations..
gvmeabrk | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:04 am |

Its starting..they are coming out yesssss
gvmeabrk | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:06 am |

But Geraldo on Fox says voters are turing out in droves where he is and he is overjoyed. Says they're all heros!
Christina, Montana, USA | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:09 am |

Fox showing east of Baghdad...droves of people walking to the polling stationsGeraldo just interviewed Ahmed, common man on the street, who said "I don't care what Zarqawi or the terrorists say. They threaten to kill me and my family. I don't care, because I have voted an I am free." Damn...I think I'm going to cry. the guy was so happy, he started to cry.go Iraq, go!
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:10 am

Neat picture of Yawer voting in Iraq, he looks like an happy men.Bless Iraq!
Diane | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:10 am |

Geraldo reporting a suicide car bomb did not detonate and the people in town walked up and started beating on the car with their shoes. PRobably beat the guy, too..LOL
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:13 am

My heart swells with pride for the brave people of Iraq who have risked their lives today to make their country a free land. May the terrorists rot in hell for all eternity. What a giant blast you land on each of them with every ballot you cast today. God bless you. I love you. America will not abandon our friends in the Middle East... EVER! ~APP
Andrew P. Peck | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:20 am |

I just realized why so many Iraqis are slow to turn up to the polls. They all had to get dressed in their suits and Friday going to mosque clothes. Not like Americans in jeans and sweatshirts. They are all dressed up like they are going to a wedding.LOL Takes awhile to get your clothes pressed and dressed in your finest.
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:30 am |

Have you seen those big smiles? The thumbs up in celebration while waiting in line?How many Americans would turn out to vote if we had to walk, let alone were threaten. The Iraqi people are taking back their town.I bet the Iraq and coalition forces are beaming.
Sarah | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:33 am |

Long lines in Baquba..they are singing and clapping in the lines. Very joyful still going on.Go Iraq...
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:37 am |

CNN reports heavy turn out in Sadr City.
Bridget | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:41 am |

CNN showing long lines of people..hundreds Sadr city but talking about the "violence" because one guy set off a bomb and a few mortars going off as if that wasn't a daily occurance. They aren't reporting that the guys with the mortars are getting spotted and rounded up almost instantly.Guess these guys didn't watch fox news. LOL
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:41 am |

Allawi is casting his vote!
Sleepless in Chicago | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:46 am |

Today every Arab in the ME is glued to their TV. The people of Iraq are the stars. The event is a superbowl with the lovers of freedom facing off against the Islamofascists. In the early hours the people of Iraq are raining touchdowns on the terrorists. After today the terrorism may not end, but no sane person will still doubt that it is the forces of democracy that will win in the end.
Tilo | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 1:52 am |

iT IS NOW ELECTION DAY!!!! Can you hear the drums of freedom beating loudly? Can you not see the jubliant faces as they vote in a legitimate election for the first time? STAND ON THE ROOF TOPS, AND SHOUT OUT LOUD! Give praises to God For this a new day in the very long history of Iraq! For the first time yourdestiny is in your hands! What you do with this oportunity is your choice. Will you once more go under the fist of tyriny? Or will you take this chance and run with it?
Xerxes | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 2:08 am

Baquba polling station is crazy busy with people. Must have been twenty people in the room talking all at once, pointing to the ballots and getting their fingers inked.
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 2:26 am |

Watching the Iraqi Election commission briefing. Some reporter.. must have been from Al Jaz or affiliate, just asked if "political prisoners" would be allowed to vote.LOLThe commissioner said something like, "We set our rules by the international standards set by the UN which states that prisoners do not have the right to vote."I think the funnies part was "political prisoners". Ummm..wanted to smack the chick. Really, terrorists blowing people up, conspiring to blow people up or kidnapping people or supplying terrorists do not have any rights to jack, not even in the country she comes from I'm sure.Asses everywhere.
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 2:42 am |

Baghdad Mayor Al Tamimi is so excited, he can hardly talk. Says hundreds are coming to the polls.It is for freedom. No more oppressin.He keeps saying "freedom" over and over again.
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 2:53 am |

Dr. Kadhim, advisor to the interior minister says:"Terrorism does not matter. We had terrorism yesterday, we have it today and we will have it tomorrw. The difference is, today we vote and tomorrow we have a new government. That is all that matters."
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 3:04 am |

Showing images of voting in London today. Crowds of people waited until today to vote on the same day as their Iraqi brothers in Iraq.Dancing and singing. Drums are banging. It's beautiful.MSNBC reporting Kurdish in Kirkuk coming dressed up in evening clothes almost ball gowns to vote. It is like a party they say.They report a 90 year old man walked with the help of his friends for 1 mile to the polling station. His son was killed by Saddam in the 90's. He was going to vote even if it killed him. That's the spirit of a patriot boys and girls.
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 3:22 am

Iraqi man in Jordan says "this is the first time that I can change my government with a piece of paper. I don't need a gun. I don't need a tank. Just a piece of paper and some ink. Today, it is my Birthday."
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 3:28 am |

Skynews reporting from Basra...hundreds of people lined up. Whole families and it is very festive.Silly sunni boycotters just messed up on having their day. Fox reporting that one of the suiciders that blew himself was actually stopped outside the polling station in Baghdad by an Iraqi police officer and he set himself off before he could get in. Killed himself and the police officer.All hail to the true martyrs for democracy. Peace be upon the officer's family and hope they love him and his sacrifice for democracy.
kat-in pajamas/missouri | Email | Homepage | 01.30.05 - 3:50 am |

Some final thoughts before I close. A few things made me cry tonight. A few made me laugh. Some made me angry enough to gnash my teeth. Others just seemed bizarre.

For instance, why does the MSM continue to call Zarqawi a "master mind"? What mind is he the master of? Seriously, do you have to be a genius to figure out how to kill people? I could do that by stepping out of my front door. He is no master mind, just a serial killer that hasn't been caught yet.

I have pictures that I will post later of people in sequined gowns and suits showing up to the Iraqi polls. There were pictures of people in wheelchairs and being carried by their friends and family to vote. A picture of a 93 year old woman who walked a mile to vote for the first time in her life. A blind woman being led to the polls by the nice police officer (in Iraq? She was probably shocked back into being able to see).

Can you believe that? Here in America people cry about a little bit of snow and yet old and infirm people walk forever under the threat of death to vote. Who are the true patriots?

There is only one hour of official voting time left as I close this blog. I suspicion that the blogs may remain open for awhile longer as there are many people still lined up to vote. Places like Baghdad are reporting incredible voter turn out while places like Ramadi, the hot bed of insurgents in the Sunni triangle are reporting limited turn out. However, the reporter from Ramadi notes that many have asked for special treatment to be able to vote without being seen by the terrorists. These folks know who it is. Wish they would be a little less afraid and just report them. Unfortunately, it may be half of their neighborhood.

The Sunnis that boycotted the election will find that the only losers are them.

As we say here in America, "If you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain."

Going now, but don't forget to visit the Friends of Democracy project and their live interview at 2pm EST.

Long live Iraq.

Freedom is the fire burning in the minds of men. It is a dragon, a friend of mine says and I believe it. Today, the Iraqis rode the dragon to their first Independence Day.

Thank the good Lord above for brave American and Coalition soldiers, the equally brave, if not more heroic Iraqi Police and ING who stood their ground today and told the terrorists to "go to hell" in their own way.


Tammi said...

Kat - what a great job you've done!

I too stayed up all night watching - crying, laughing, clapping, gnashing my teeth. But it was something to see, wasn't it?!?

What a day! God Bless the Iraqi's. It's their day!

MichaelH121 said...

Okay Kat you should get one of the media jobs.....

Be one of those "talking heads" at least you are better than Peter Jennings.

There are less and less people who see the media as unbiased. They are like the Dem politicians, they just hate Bush and will report in a way not to give him Credit.

The sad thing about the elections in Iraq is that more people seemed to vote even with threats than here.

The other evening on Air America they were still complaining that in Ohio the lines were so long that some people went home and that those voters were Dems.

I was thinking look you lost get over it already.

The way I have heard the MSM it sounds like they were unhappy that more people were not killed.

Sad. The thing they don't get is after 9-11 Bush looked at the big picture. He is thinking about the future. His critics see only the frame. And they think only of the past. Well there is a pic in that frame but to them it is empty.

Tom said...

Nice summary of the cable channels coverage. Unfortunately I'm not surprised by CNN. I didn't have time to see as much media so I linked to your post if that's ok.