Great post from Instapundit on the detention of a CBS news staffer in Iraq :
Many Americans see the press as not neutral, but actively opposed to U.S. war efforts. The press doesn’t seem to appreciate the depth of the problem.
He’s right. Journalists have fallen into a trap created by the notion of “objectivity.” In order to be objective, journalists are taught, both sides of the story must be given. But covering the other side shouldn’t include hiring people who know when attacks will occurr. Or covering a terrorist strike after being told where it would happen. The media are helping to advance the terrorist cause by giving these attacks any coverage. They’re not being objective, they’re taking sides. Against the U.S.
This seems pretty logical. The ethical codebook for working in Iraq should be simple: No coverage of any event where the media were forewarned of an attack. Of course, journalists appear to be doing the opposite, under the guise of “objectivity.” The media are so far off base on this one, they’re handing out Pulitzer Prizes to the guilty parties.
The problem seems to be top down. This survey of journalists working in Iraq found 80 percent of the respondents didn’t have any firm guidelines on appropriate coverage. The survey — conducted by the American University School of Communication — didn’t even ask if the news organizations had any rules concerning violence that was created purely for media consumption.
I’m pretty sure I know the answer.