A clueless journey

While the situation in Iraq descends into chaos, possible civil war and an Iranian-backed government, many in the Murdoch press still live in fantasy land. Take the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt. He recently travelled to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East with Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. This should have been enough to stop any legitimate journalist from expecting anything other than sanctioned propaganda, but Bolt seemed not to care. His two reports (here and here) are textbook examples of embedded “reporting”. At least he adds this at the beginning:

I was largely kept behind concrete blocks of tightly guarded security zones and met few Iraqis.”

So what exactly was the point? He receives largely positive accounts from foreign troops, speaks to a couple of Iraqis clearly praising the “Coalition” invasion and salutes the bravery of Australian men and women in the field.

He sees and hears nothing the occupation forces don’t want him to experience. His association with Downer leaves the trip almost meaningless as it seems he wants to enter the vulgarity of Saddam’s palaces and experience the taste of Western occupation. He touches on some problems, but largely ignores them. After all, he isn’t shown anything that may contradict the view that the Iraq war is going swimmingly. Furthermore, I wonder who paid for the trip, the Howard government or his employer? I’ll try and found out.

Bolt either doesn’t realise he’s being used as a useful propagandist or he simply doesn’t care.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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