Army Sergeant Back from Iraq Rues Lack of Positive Images on U.S. TV About Iraq

<img vspace="0" hspace="0" border="0" align="right" src="http://newsbusters.org/media/2005-10-07-FNCDAYKayla.jpg" /> Asked this afternoon on FNC's <i>DaySide</i> whether “good things” happening in Iraq are being overlooked by the U.S. media, Kayla Williams, an Arabic interpreter for the U.S. Army who held the rank of Sergeant and appeared on FNC to tout her new book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393060985/104-1991442-3495125?v=glance... My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army</a>, replied: “Absolutely.” She explained that “one of the things that sticks out most clearly in my mind would be driving down the road and we would pass schools where children were getting to go to school for the first time in a generation. They would lean out their windows of their classrooms cheering and waving to us in their little school uniforms. And you don't see the images of soldiers passing out school supplies.&quot;<br /><br />National Guardsman Jason Christopher Hartley, author of<span class="sans"> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060843667/104-1991442-3495125?v=glance... Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq</a>, </span> offered a more generous assessment of media coverage, pointing out that even if you have good news on water treatment plants, voting and schools, but in “the process of those things, three civilians get killed,” then “there's going to be a lot of focus on that” and, therefore, “there is enough horrible things happening that kind of like overshadows maybe all of the great things that might take place there.&quot; Transcripts of the exchanges follow. <p /><p>

<!--break--> Williams and Hartley appeared together late in the hour on the 1pm EDT <i>DaySide</i> show on FNC co-hosted by Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy.<br /><br />First exchange on media coverage:</p><blockquote>Man in audience: “We have a nephew that returned from Baghdad. And he was over there at the start and on an extended tour. I think one of the things that upset him more than anything was the way that the war is reported over here versus what's really going on.”<br /><br />Co-host Mike Jerrick: “We hear that all the time, too.”<br /><br />Man in audience: “Yes, except for Fox. Really, in all seriousness. It was very disturbing to him. Because of all of the good things that are happening, all of the good things that we're doing in that country and what we're trying to establish and it was just really upsetting to him.”<br /><br />Jerrick: “Kayla, do you agree with that? Are there good things happening on over there?”<br /><br />Kayla Williams: “Absolutely. And there are very few times that I've seen those images on television. One of the things that sticks out most clearly in my mind would be driving down the road and we would pass schools where children were getting to go to school for the first time in a generation. They would lean out their windows of their classrooms cheering and waving to us in their little school uniforms. And you don't see the images of soldiers passing out school supplies.”</blockquote><br />Second exchange on media coverage:<br /><blockquote>Juliet Huddy: “How do you feel about the reporting from the media here in the United States. Do you feel it's accurate? That is captures what is really happening there?”<br /><br />Jason Christopher Hartley: “Well, it's a difficult question to answer because, you know, you can say install a water treatment plant, you could have all the schools up and running, you could, you know, have voting taking place. But then maybe in the process of those things, three civilians get killed. You know, there's going to be a lot of focus on that. So, you know, the answer to that question really is like yes and no. There is enough horrible things happening that kind of like overshadows maybe all of the great things that might take place there.”</blockquote>

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center