Friday, June 15, 2007

The Control Room: Media and the Iraq Invasion

THE LEAST YOU NEED TO KNOW: AlJazeera, the CNN of the Middle East, contains a few thoughtful people with useful perspectives Americans blissfully unaware of.

An excellent documentary called The Control Room is a revealing look at all the media covering the first few months of the Iraqi conflict, including perspectives from AlJazeera and the U.S. military press core. All of whom struggled with what they were seeing and tried to make sense of it from their somewhat isolated news outposts.

I think it is an even handed and objective film with lots on insights by, as reviewer Tom Keogh puts it, "well-meaning, Western-educated, pro-democratic Arabs an opportunity to express views on Iraq as they see it--in an international context, and in a way most Americans never hear about."

I think most Americans would be surprised to hear the thoughtful reactions to events like the removal of Saddam's statude in Baghdad or the bombing of AlJazeera positions (See earlier post on this event).

From an reviewer of the film:
"One of the things I really, really liked about this documentary is that it isn't out from the get go to demonize anyone. The vast majority of the people portrayed in the film (US military press core, western news media, arab news media, etc.) come across as basically well intentioned people with very different perspectives of what is going on and what needs to be done, different cultural understandings, etc."

Link to it on Amazon, though I rented my copy from a local Blockbuster.

Directed by Jehane Noujaim (

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