The effects of media interpretations (in Debates)

AdminNightStrike April 13 2010 10:49 AM EDT

So recently, I came across an episode of Colbert describing the site "wikileaks", which is currently very popular because of its recently released video of American forces killing unarmed men, reporters, and children.

Wait, what?

Yup, that's right. It's a video of American forces seeking out and destroying innocent people, including two journalists from Reuters, and two children. How can stuff like this go on? It's crazy, isn't it?


Let's look.

You can go to and watch the 17 minute video, like I did. Or, as I later found out, you can go to to watch both that same 17 minute **EDITED** video, along with the untouched 39 minute video. Edited? Interesting. WikiLeaks didn't highlight the fact that they had cut out big pieces of the video. I wonder what's missing.

39 minutes later...

So this why I watch CSPAN.

In short, the guy DID have an RPG, and with a live round. They found him laying on top of the live round (dead), and they recovered it. And survivors from the original group they attacked did also enter a different building, and if I could clearly see a gun on him, then I'm guessing the people doing this daily could.

As for this sentence:
"The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers."

Yeah. "Clearly." The pixelated black and white aerial gun camera is just like watching a 1080p blu ray in Ranger's home theatre, right? Right.

Yes, this is me venting. I don't like how so many people pretend to know so much about war, and to know how things need to be done. This is far far worse than being an arm chair quarterback. With that, you're just a lazy failure that thinks a TV is a two way device. With this, however, you have the power of votes, and that power results in weak politicians bending to the will of ill-informed idiots that shout too loudly regarding topics into which they have zero insight. Ugh.

QBRanger April 13 2010 11:02 AM EDT

War is bad.

What the army did at that time was total justified. Including shooting of the van that pulled up after the initial contact.

Anyone can edit a video to try to get their point across. Even making nice notations about the reporters who were imbeded with the enemy.

Just like some of the Acorn videos were heavily edited.

NS, I agree with your OP 100%.

AdminTal Destra April 13 2010 11:07 AM EDT

kinda like guam tipping over because of over-population?

AdminNightStrike April 13 2010 11:16 AM EDT



I never watched the full episode of the colbert report on this. I just watched it now, and Colbert actually slammed the guy that made this stuff for exactly the reasons I stated. I find that massively surprising, given the kind of reports he usually does. I don't know how to link to the segment, but here's the full episode:

Edit: The dude actually states that only 1 in 10 find their way to the full video, and Colbert actually talks about the fact that they did find the RPG. I'm kind of tickled pink about this :)

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] April 13 2010 11:27 AM EDT

As much as I'm a huge fan of inflammatory media as a tool, this stuff really hurts legitimate portrayals of the real ugliness of war.

TheHatchetman April 13 2010 12:26 PM EDT

Colbert is a nutjob intentionally :P He agrees with the stupidest things, but in the most sarcastic of ways ^_^

AdminNightStrike April 13 2010 12:37 PM EDT

Hatch - agreed, but usually his shtick is to be a phony republican, to agree with some outlandish right wing thing in a sarcastic way so as to appeal to his more moderate to left audience.

In this case, he took a portion and was very serious for about 30 seconds in pointing out the absurdity before quickly moving back to typical humor. It was uncharacteristic.

Lochnivar April 13 2010 2:20 PM EDT

I know what you mean NS.... Colbert actually seemed to have had is journalistic integrity affronted.

At least there is still journalistic integrity (albeit on the comedy network).

I think Colbert did an excellent job in that interview, certainly it aroused my curiosity.

QBRanger April 13 2010 4:04 PM EDT

Video of Colbert's interview:

QBRanger April 13 2010 4:10 PM EDT

After watching the interview, this guy Julian Assange is just a tool of the worst sort.

Anyone can take footage, add their own notations, edit it and make anything look bad.

And the worst thing is that he actually believes his lies. He refuses to see the RPG, the machine guns, and the hostility that occurred nearby.

AdminNightStrike April 13 2010 4:15 PM EDT

Not only does he believe the conjectures he makes, but he actually affirmed the things Colbert was saying as a joke. That is, things like (paraphrased) "you set people up by calling it collateral murder before having them look at *objective* data," and others. He smiled and concluded that it is in fact what he does. Did he not realize that Colbert was mocking him?

Lochnivar April 13 2010 5:52 PM EDT

Anyone can take footage, add their own notations, edit it and make anything look bad.

This has been the stock and trade of MSNBC and FoxNews for years now... I guess we can hope that having the full video available is some minor moral victory? (very minor)
And the worst thing is that he actually believes his lies. He refuses to see the RPG, the machine guns, and the hostility that occurred nearby.

To be fair, he never flat out denies any of this. He argues the difference between 'small arms fire' and 'firefight' which is admittedly weak hair splitting. He also says that they 'don't know' that there was an RPG. He might not know (or have been able to independently confirm) this. He doesn't say there 'wasn't an RPG' though.

I did find it odd that the Hotair article felt necessary to wonder if Colbert was being serious... the questions asked were good and insightful and benefited the discourse... more so than many 'mainstream' reports on the matter.

AdminNightStrike April 13 2010 6:09 PM EDT

I did find it odd that the Hotair article felt necessary to wonder if Colbert was being serious

Well, I did a double take on it, myself, as it was very out of character for that stretch of half a minute or so.

Cube April 13 2010 8:01 PM EDT

I hope Wikileaks learns from this fiasco and becomes the impartial source they say they want to be. I would much rather they had just posted the complete video and left it up to interpretation. That way it would actually be a site just for leaks rather than opinion. I feel like they sensationalized it to get their website better recognized. Still, I hope it proves to be a valuable resource to the world, though if they make more mistakes like this it could cost them their credibility.

As for the military, I feel like they should have released the video themselves. I feel like they tend to hide more than is necessary. While it may have made sense to keep it classified while they investigated.. I see no reason the video shouldn't have been released once they made their conclusions, and there was no strategic danger. Reuters had been asking for the video since 2007.

I'm not sure what the rules of engagement are so I'll leave that up to someone else's interpretation especially since the video is incredibly hard to see anything in anyway. The only part that concerns me is when they fired on the van, but I think even that could be justified depending on the circumstances.

As for Reuters, it seems like the journalists were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I have to commend them for not reporting on the video as it would have seemed to be a conflict of interest.

QBRanger April 13 2010 11:15 PM EDT

I hope Wikileaks learns from this fiasco and becomes the impartial source they say they want to be.

I have to believe Wikileaks is in no way interested in being impartial. At least not according to the interview I watched.

He purposely edited the video to make the American troops look like they were murdering innocent people.

He even stated only 5% or so of people have watched the whole unedited video.

Wikileaks is as biased as they come.

Cube April 14 2010 2:44 AM EDT

I merely mean their stated purpose. They've leaked other items in the past. I think the way they handled this one was out of line.

Remember they leaked those emails between climate scientists that you so often quote...

It can definitely be a valuable service. From their track record though.. they definitely need to get their act together. Better quality/bias control.

I watched some clips of that guy speaking on other shows also. I don't like him either.
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