Monday, January 31, 2005

CBC Pushes the Mainstream Media Agenda of Discrediting Iraqi Elections

The CBC’s coverage of the Iraqi election was an all too common example of the mainstream media’s agenda to discredit all that America is doing in that country. Millions of Iraqis turned out to vote in the first election in over 50 years on January 30th. Thousands of Iraqis danced in the streets and celebrated. They proudly showed their blue stained fingers, evidence they voted, to cameras with no fear of reprisal by insurgents. Many Iraqis even shed tears of joy, grateful that democracy and freedom has come to their country. Yet for the CBC, it’s just another chance to point out all the negative of the situation in Iraq.

‘The National’ delivered a documentary report spinning the happy reality of that historic day. Peter Mansbridge led the story with all the doom and gloom predictions of the critics who would downplay this election saying, “The critics of the election have been harsh. They say holding an election in Iraq is a futile effort in a country out of control; a country suffering from shortages of oil, electricity and jobs”. He goes on to say that, “Everyone agrees on one thing; yesterday’s vote was a major step, it’s where it leads that remains in dispute.”

The story was then passed to Brian Stuart. Brain continued with the sentiment of critics even as the video footage of happy Iraqis was shown celebrating the election. It did not take long for the story to turn negative. Dramatic video footage of mortar rounds exploding on a city street was shown. A woman tugs on the arm of a lifeless corpse lying in the street. Other scenes were shown with abandoned corpses lying about. The shrill screams of Arabic women could be heard in the background wailing at the violence.

After a short interview with an expert who talked about some of the positive details of this event, Brian Stuart said, “But these alone will not be enough to pull off the immensely difficult task of building a democracy.” He then went on to detail some of the waypoints in Iraq’s democratic future including the drafting of a constitution, the ratifying of that constitution in a referendum and another vote to elect a constitutional government. At that point he said, “Iraqis must do all this during an insurgency in a country dangerously split.”

The mainstream media’s campaign to highlight sectarian differences were not lost on the CBC as they pointed out that voter turn out was high among Shiite and Kurds, but low among the Sunnis who used to dominate. “And unless brought on side; Sunnis, the chief sponsors of the insurgency could still scuttle progress.”

The negative tone of this piece was constant throughout. The CBC even went so far as to interview an ordinary Iraqi who blamed the government for the long line ups at the gas pump. Speaking through an interpreter the man said he would give the government one year to fix the problems in Iraq. If they do not, he will join the insurgents.

Count on the CBC to show every negative aspect of a happy and historic event

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