In a Now Familiar Pattern, U.S. Corporate Media Cheerlead New U.S. War in Iraq and Syria

Posted Oct. 8, 2014

MP3 Interview with Peter Hart, activism director with the media watch group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), conducted by Scott Harris

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After President Obama announced his decision to expand the U.S. war against ISIS from Iraq to Syria on Sept. 22, American and Gulf state warplanes launched dozens of airstrikes targeting the militant Sunni group inside Syria’s borders. But according to Kurdish forces defending the northern Syrian city of Kobani located in a strategic position on the Turkish frontier, the U.S.-led bombing campaign was having little effect on the forward advance of ISIS fighters.

Since ISIS extended their control to wide swaths of territory in Iraq from their strongholds in Syria during the summer, a succession of U.S. politicians and commentators have been featured in corporate media criticizing President Obama for not taking more rapid and aggressive military action to counter the terrorist group. Now that the administration is fully engaged in an air war against ISIS, there is a growing chorus of critics who assert that airstrikes are not enough, and that ground forces must be deployed to accomplish the president’s stated goal of degrading and destroying ISIS.

Public opinion has shifted significantly from last year, when a strong majority of Americans were opposed to President Obama’s plan to bomb Syrian government forces following charges that Bashar al Assad’s regime had used chemical weapons against rebel groups and civilians. The broadcast of a series of gruesome video clips of an ISIS executioner beheading U.S. and British journalists and aid workers undoubtedly played a role in reshaping public sentiment. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Peter Hart, activism director with the media watch group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, or FAIR. Here, Hart takes a critical look at corporate media's coverage of the new U.S. war in Iraq and Syria.

Find more analysis of media coverage of America’s newest war at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, or FAIR's website at fair.org.

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