The Taylors Explain Negative Iraq War Media Bias To CNN’s Anderson Cooper

Gayle Taylor – the woman at Wednesday’s town hall meeting in West Virginia who asked President Bush how to get more positive news stories out of Iraq – and her husband Kent – a military journalist just back from a year of first-hand coverage of the incursion – were on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees” Wednesday evening. They gave Cooper quite a lesson in how most media coverage of the Iraq war is extremely negative and unrepresentative of what is really going on there on a daily basis (hat tip to Expose the Left with video link to follow). Gayle started the segment off smartly:

“I felt it so important because it seems that every time we turn on the TV, we just see something negative. We see someone else who's been killed. We see another car bomb. We see something that I know is happening and needs to be reported, but I don't see that balance with all the good that's going on.”

Anderson asked her how she thought the media could accomplish such a balance. As you would imagine, Gayle had an answer:

“I would make that balance by making sure and going out, and again finding out the things that are going on that are good. There are schools being built. There are children that are being educated and fed and clothed -- and not just in the major cities. It's out in the outlying areas. Places where my husband was that they just don't seem to get that kind of coverage. It doesn't seem to draw an audience for some reason.”

Anderson asked Kent: “Now, Kent, why do you think -- I mean, do you think the coverage that people see here focuses too much on the negative? And if so, why do you think that is?"

Kent responded:

“I do think that. I agree with my wife on that issue. I was there and I know that a lot of the reasons that -- or some of the reasons are politically motivated. Perhaps an agenda might be one to be pushed. I know it's easier to say that bombs and death and destruction and failure draw ratings better than a young boy getting shoes for the first time ever in his life, courtesy of an American soldier paying for them out of his own pocket.”

Kent then marvelously concluded:

“I can't say why the media decides that death, destruction and failure and bombs and all that stuff is more important. But obviously 2,000 people in the civic center over at West Virginia today agreed with us that there's too much of it. There's not a good balance of what the good things are happening.”

America needs more Gayle and Kent Taylors. What follows is a full transcript of this segment, and a video link courtesy of Expose the Left.

ANDERSON COOPER: Well, the question on how the war is being reported came today from Gayle Taylor, whose husband just returned from more than a year in Iraq where he covered stories for the U.S. military.

Gayle and Kent Taylor join us now from Columbus, Ohio.

We are happy to have both of you on.

Gayle, you got a lot of applause today when you asked the president how to get more of the positive stories out of Iraq out there.

Why did you feel that was so important to talk about?

GAYLE TAYLOR, WIFE OF MILITARY JOURNALIST: I felt it so important because it seems that every time we turn on the TV, we just see something negative. We see someone else who's been killed. We see another car bomb. We see something that I know is happening and needs to be reported, but I don't see that balance with all the good that's going on.

COOPER: How would you -- on any given day, how would you balance? I mean, if there is a bridge being built in one town and a bomb blast in another town, where do you see -- where do you make that balance? I mean, these are the questions all of us face every day.

G. TAYLOR: I would make that balance by making sure and going out, and again finding out the things that are going on that are good. There are schools being built. There are children that are being educated and fed and clothed -- and not just in the major cities. It's out in the outlying areas. Places where my husband was that they just don't seem to get that kind of coverage. It doesn't seem to draw an audience for some reason.

COOPER: Kent, you worked in Iraq as a broadcast journalist for the Army.

KENT TAYLOR, MILITARY JOURNALIST: Yes, sir.

COOPER: And we have some of the video of some of the stories that you shot that we're going to be showing as we talk about the rebuilding of a bridge in Tikrit. Tell us about that.

K. TAYLOR: That was a joint effort with the Ohio Army National Guard, one of the engineer units and Marine reserve engineer unit. The bridge had been destroyed earlier during the war. And they had put up some Mabey Johnson bridges to span the gaps.

Well, they had contracted with Iraqi officials to repair the bridge and it was time to move the temporary spans to the other side of the road, so that they could continue using the bridge across the Tigris River and then get back into rebuilding the bridge to very safe operation.

It was a good operation. It was a good mission with the soldiers and the Marines that worked very well together. It's hot on the bridge, but they got in and did their job.

COOPER: Now, Kent, why do you think -- I mean, do you think the coverage that people see here focuses too much on the negative? And if so, why do you think that is?

K. TAYLOR: I do think that. I agree with my wife on that issue. I was there and I know that a lot of the reasons that -- or some of the reasons are politically motivated. Perhaps an agenda might be one to be pushed. I know it's easier to say that bombs and death and destruction and failure draw ratings better than a young boy getting shoes for the first time ever in his life, courtesy of an American soldier paying for them out of his own pocket.

I can't say why the media decides that death, destruction and failure and bombs and all that stuff is more important. But obviously 2,000 people in the civic center over at West Virginia today agreed with us that there's too much of it. There's not a good balance of what the good things are happening.

COOPER: Kent and Gayle, we appreciate you being on the program tonight. Appreciate you speaking up today. And Kent, appreciate your service. Thank you very much.

G. TAYLOR: Thank you.

K. TAYLOR: You are certainly welcome. Thank you.

Video Link

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.