Bob Mann, University of Texas & Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis, Media Research Center
"Elements on the far right and the far left generally deplore the US action in Iraq, but the success of the election there has them on the defensive. Liberal editorial pages praise the election ? what else could they do? Only committed leftists like Bob Herbert of the New York Times dared to continue the anti-Bush rhetoric just a day after the President won a major victory. On the right, the Ayn Rand Institute called the election a travesty. But there is no question the election has shifted the momentum away from the dissenters. Iraq continues to be a very dangerous place where Americans are dying, but at least their sacrifice has now been defined. The USA has won a great victory against terrorism because of brave American and coalition forces. Freedom is the ultimate hammer against terror, and the ideologues have to realize that. The Iraqi election is a defining moment in our history, and thank God the good guys came out on top."
Two media observers joined The Factor to discuss whether the successful election will alter the tone of media coverage. Tim Graham of the Media Research Center predicted reporters will continue to stress the bad news. "What has gone on the air in the past few years from Iraq is a lot of negativity," Graham said. "You're going to get two nice days of coverage after the elections, and they're going to go back to saying Iraq is a quagmire like Vietnam." Journalism professor Bob Mann insisted there is no such thing as media bias. "The press sometimes does have a hard time covering good news. But I disagree with this concept of a left-wing media. What I tell my students is that journalism is supposed to print the truth, print the news, and raise hell."