Eye Off Iraq


Al-Jazeera says that Iraq has expelled one its reporters, and prohibited another (an Iraqi) from doing any reporting. In response, the Qatar-based service says it will suspend live broadcasts from Iraq. Neither Al-Jazeera nor Iraq has offered any explanation about what precipitated the action.

I've been critical of Al-Jazeera's overall war narrative, but on specific beats it can offer useful alternatives to the U.S. media's version of the war. Jazeera is (or was) actually inside Basrah, for example, and its glimpses of daily life there offered an alternative to U.S. speculation about an uprising in the city. Though I believe that Jazeera's version of the war is misleading at best to anyone depending on that news service for coverage, it can play the role of salutary anti-spectacle, especially for viewers outside the Mideast.