WashPost Columnist Tired of 'Bad Old MSM' Label

July 12th, 2006 11:17 AM

During an Opinion Focus live discussion with readers, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson was asked why it was "so difficult for the MSM to label what is going on in Iraq now a civil war?"

Richmond, Va.: I keep asking The Post political chatters to answer this question, but it doesn't get answered. Why is it so difficult for the MSM to label what is going on in Iraq now a civil war? The administration, of course, can't label it a civil war because it profoundly upends every reason we were supposedly were there in the first place, but surely this IS a civil war, and the MSM seems to follow the administration's desire not to label it as such rather than leading with the realities.

Eugene Robinson: Here's your answer. What's the definition of a civil war? I guess you know it when you see it, right? What's happening in Iraq looks like a civil war to me, and I have no problem using that term. But that can't be so, according to your question, because I happen to work for the dreaded MSM. I get more than annoyed about "bad old MSM" questions when they concern Iraq coverage, because if it weren't for large news organizations that are able and willing to spend vast amounts of money covering the war, and brave correspondents willing to literally risk their lives, people who like to dis the MSM wouldn't know about the tragic carnage that is taking place in Baghdad and elsewhere day after day.

If it weren't for those media organizations' spending "vast amounts of money covering the war," we would never know about all the "tragic carnage that is taking place." Robinson sums up perfectly what media organizations feel is their purpose in Iraq: to find out as much "tragic carnage" as possible.