Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Saddam Statue toppling- a takedown of the international press corps ?
The New Yorker's Peter Maas examines how the media conflated a staged statue toppling moment into a symbol of victory in Iraq. Did events at Firdos Square in 2003 and a photo op that echoed the iconic image of Iwo Jima marines mislead Americans into believing a "victory myth" in Iraq? What started as a notion from a Marine sergeant transmogrified into a media moment of outsized proportions, fed by television imagery. The statute was conveniently located opposite the Palestine Hotel where all the international press corps was camped out. After some Iraqi men began using a US marine's sledgehammer and a rope to try to bring the statue down, a live feed of the effort began airing live on every major network. "You've got all the press out there and everybody is liquored up on the moment. You have this Paris, 1944, feel. I remember thinking, The media is watching the Iraqis trying to topple this icon of Saddam Hussein. Let's give them a hand," Lieutenant Colonel Bryan McCoy told the New Yorker. The fourth estate comes up short on this one.