“Overblown” Operation Needed Context

By Brian 

“The Operation Swamer post from Time Magazine is very interesting,” an e-mailer says. “The cable nets were up with their breaking news, just in, alert banners for most of the afternoon on Thursday. They took a PR statement from the Pentagon and reported it verbatim. The also used DOD video and stills without clearly stating the source.”

But a second e-mailer says “CNN was attributing the Operation Swarmer story the entire time by saying ‘Pentagon officials call it the largest operation…’ and so on.”

Still, why was it hyped so extensively without some independent reporting? Christopher Allbritton calls Swarmer a “media show,” but says: “It’s hard to blame the military, however. Stations like Fox and CNN have really taken this and ran with it, with fancy graphics and theme music, thanks to a relatively slow news day.”

> The Fourth Rail has a different complaint about the media coverage: “The reporting on Operation Swarmer is a microcosm of the sub-par reporting on the Iraq war,” Bill Roggio writes, adding that “operations are viewed as individual events, and not placed in a greater context.”

> Trey Ellis writes on HuffPost: “I was a kid in Vietnam but remember the inflated body counts and all the other tricks our government used to dupe the media into reporting that we were winning that war. It took years for the media to wise up. Wolf Blitzer is a lot older than me. How can he keep falling for their crap?”