Somewhat hypocritically, given the <a href=””target=”_top”>screaming banner headlines</a> that it has been using since the start of hostilities, the New York Times notes the breathless cheerleading fashion in which this war is being reported in the mass media:

… [I]n the opening moments of the war, 24-hour cable news shows and network newscasts seemed almost drunk with their access, filling television screens with astonishing images. The mushroom clouds rising from bombed government buildings in Baghdad were shown over and over, as were the tableaus of a marine tearing down a poster of Saddam Hussein.

The NBC correspondent David Bloom, in helmet, bulletproof vest and sunglasses, delivered reports live on the move from a specially designed armored vehicle. Others hollered updates from the flight decks of aircraft carriers, and even through gas masks.

A few seemed so caught up in the adrenaline of battle and the thrill of access that they sounded like sports reporters on the sidelines of the Super Bowl.

“How do you feel about your performance tonight?” Frank Buckley of CNN, assigned to the aircraft carrier Constellation, asked a pilot who had just returned from a bombing mission over Baghdad. The pilot replied that he was just glad everyone had returned unharmed.

Viewers saw many touching portraits of hard-working reporters and dedicated young military personnel. They saw and heard the relatives of killed servicemen, some expressing anger, others bereft but proud. They heard anchors urging their correspondents to stay safe, and correspondents wishing soldiers well.

What they generally did not see in the first phase of the invasion of Iraq were very many Iraqis.

“When I looked at the news on television, it did not look like anyone had been killed or was in danger of being killed,” Amelie Hastie, a professor of film and digital media at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “It didn’t look like anybody was even living in Iraq.”</blockquote>

Journalism is usually bad at reflexively covering itself. But with the role of propaganda painfully obvious to all, there’s Guardian even has a whole section devoted to meta-journalism.