Somebody whom I consider to be a media guru emailed me the other day with this advice.
Trying desperately hard not to throw kerosene upon passengers fleeing a downed aircraft, it seems to me that your commentary - and the comments thereby engendered - on the current war between Israel and Hezbollah is becoming a tad inflammatory. (Apologies for the odd metaphor and bad pun.) I understand and respect your point of view on the issue itself. I don't necessarily agree with it, but that's beside the point.
It might be more useful in your unique position as media observer and commentator to attempt to understand your own cognitive environment, and through that understanding, construct an anti-environment that will enable you to better comment on the issues of the hot media war that parallels the shooting and bombing war. The Middle East conflicts (and now I'm including the wider region) are unique in contemporary history for being as much (or more) about the media war as they are about the actual military action. At the risk of being a scold (again, my apologies) that should be your beat, not the question of Israel's wrongness, rightness, or otherwiseness. (Besides, the back and forth between Jay/Steve on one side and Arthur/Jim/etc. on the other is getting tiresome, I think).
For example, this conflict might be seen as a turning point in the ongoing media war from Israel's perspective because it is the first in which Israel is on top of managing the U.S. mass media (European is another matter). In past conflicts, those opposing Israel (eg. Palestinian spokespeople, with a certain few exceptions - Aaron Brown getting the boot comes to mind) have typically been given sympathetic hearings. Now, my perception is that Israel is getting a lot better coverage than perhaps they deserve. Why this is, is an interesting question, perhaps relating to how the American media has been systematically softened up by the Bush Administration. Among those non- U.S., non-Middle-Eastern media outlets that have played heavily to the anti- terrorism theme, it would be interesting to see if they are following the same hymnal, so to speak.
And so forth. Much more interesting digging and thinking on these themes, I think.
My friend prefers to remain anonymous but said it was okay to post this advice.
I agree with most of it.
What do you think?