Author: Dauber, Cori Source: Armed Forces & Society 27, no. 2 (Winter 2001): p. 205-229 issn: 0095-327x number: 71712726 Copyright: Copyright Transaction Publishers Winter 2001

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3. Noted one source, regarding Desert Storm, "[General] Schwarzkopf ... needed a big
enough force to avoid getting `bogged down in a land battle of attrition with mounting casualties.' As a Vietnam veteran he was well aware of the potential impact of the `body-bag' factor on American public opinion." Ben Brown and David Shukman, All Necessary Means: Inside the Gulf War (London: BBC Books, 1991), 17.
4. Steven Livingston, "Clarifying the CNN Effect: An Examination of Media Effects According to Type of Military Intervention," (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, June 1997), 13, makes the point: ". . . the more fragile the peace the peacekeepers are there to protect, the greater will be the media and public interest. If the situation appears unstable, and political leaders have not made the case that American national interests are involved in preserving the peace, media coverage of casualties may quickly undermine support for the mission." Thus while the experts may be "hard," the public is "soft."
5. In fact, photographs of combat casualties had been widely distributed during World
War II. The difference (aside from the obvious lack of television news) is that that impact was positive, reinforcing the public's willingness to sacrifice for the war effort. Susan D. Moeller, Shooting War: Photography and the American Experience of Combat (New York: Basic Books, 1989), 207.
6. Moeller, Shooting War, 6: "Over time a greater explicitness in the photography of combat prompted a greater sensitivity to American casualties, a greater reluctance to engage in certain kinds of exceptionally bloody warfare, and, ultimately, a greater reliance on military technology. Visual portrayals of death and destruction began to
outweigh the rhetorical arguments in favor of the wars. Although other elements were also significant, there is at least an indirect causal link between the increasingly graphic portrayal of dead Americans and, for example, the growing hesitancy of the government and the military to engage in the dramatic frontal assaults, casualties be damned, that were so much a part of the Civil War. . . ."
7. Ronald Brownstein, "Crisis in Yugoslavia; Public Seen as More Hawkish Than Leaders," Los Angeles Times, 8 April 1999, 14, 8. Note that during the Gulf War, Dover itself was off-limits to journalists.
9. This requirement stems from the Weinberger Doctrine, which calls for an assurance of public support before taking troops into combat. Although Weinberger does not specifically deal with the link between support and casualties, it is so widely assumed to exist that it is fair to interpret such a requirement as a part of contemporary notions of appropriate mission planning.
10. There is not much difference in any event. For most of the kinds of stories I address here, the print outlets increasingly use "frame grabbing," a technique by which the stills used are taken from single frames of already released videotape, and where it is left obvious through a variety of techniques that that is the original source of the image. Widespread use of this approach began with the Rodney King episode, where the video, of course, was the story. It is a way, I believe, for print outlets to subtly convey to consumers that they realize that audiences already have a familiarity with a story, that the print outlet recognizes that fact, and has written the story accordingly-making it worth reading (buying) even by audiences who already know the general outline. It marks the print story as recognizing the sophistication of the reader and the material inside as still worth reading. This is a function of the print outlets' need to adapt to the ubiquitousness of around-the-clock cable news services that, for many stories, pressure network news outlets to either go "wall to wall" (as they did during the Gulf War) or at least to expand coverage.
11. The phrasing is intentional. Within the study of visual imagery and visual communication, it is argued that visual texts are "read," although obviously in ways that differ from the reading of linguistic signs.
12. As Moeller notes, "the importance of editorial decisions in the makeup and layout of a photo-essay cannot be overstated." Moeller, Shooting War, 388.
13. Moeller references a series of particularly powerful photographs from Vietnam that were published with the right side cropped out because there was a photographer standing there carrying several cameras. "Life (but no more so than the other photomagazines or newspapers) had an investment in making it look as if the photographs of war that the press published every day, every week, or however often were taken by an omniscient observer .... Moeller, Shooting War, 395.
14. Moeller, Shooting War, 18.
15. John Weispfennig, "The Routinization of News Production," in Desert Storm and the Mass Media, ed. Bradley S. Greenberg and Walter Grantz, (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, Inc., 1993), 52.
16. Weispfennig, "Routinization," 55.
17. Maria Puente, "POW Images Poignant Reminders of Past Pain," USA Today, 2 April 1999, 4A,
18. Hence increasing calls for the teaching of "visual literacy." See Paul Messaris, Visual Literacy: Image, Mind, & Reality (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994).
19. Graham Clarke, The Photograph (New York: Oxford University Press, Oxford History of Art Series, 1997), 27.
20. For a detailed presentation of a system designed to literally read images-although for the most part focused on nonphotographic imagery-see Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen, Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design (New York: Routledge, 1996).
21. Camera angle alters the "point of view" of the reader of the image. It is a truism within this field, for example, that using a low angle "(shooting from below) [makes] the persons) in the shot appear more powerful, menacing, threatening. . and, conversely, using a high camera angle (shooting from above) [makes] the persons) in the shot appear weaker, and so on." Messaris, Visual Literacy, 7.
22. Moeller, Shooting War, 12.
23. Clarke, The Photograph, 23. In context the author is discussing the fact that, for documentary photography, black and white imagery is perceived as more authentic, color as suspect. While this may be true for print photography (although technical innovations permitting newspapers to move to color images may be changing this) and is true for the imagery of specific periods (note the decision to make Schindler's List in black and white precisely because our images of World War II are dominated by black and white), it is doubtful that this remains true for video journalism. "In the 1980s the stiffest competition was electronic. favoring viewing over reading... To grow or merely survive, local newspapers tested new ways of packaging information, and the fledgling Society for Newspaper Design stressed the importance of readable typography, informative illustrations, designed pages. . ." Mark Monmonier, Maps With the News: The Development of American Journalistic Cartography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989, 1999 ), ix.
24. Moeller, Shooting War, 15. 25. Clarke, The Photograph, 150. 26. Moeller, Shooting War, 14.
27. Caroline Brothers, War and Photography: A Cultural History (New York: Routledge, 1997), 28.
28. "Umberto Eco [argues] the image and its `framework of cultural reference' are inextricably intertwined, . . .[and constitute] a `patrimony of knowledge' which interacts with the image and determines the selection of codes with which the image is read." Brothers, War and Combat, 20.
29. Clarke, The Photograph, 146.
30. Clarke, The Photograph, 19, "Any photograph is dependent on a series of historical, cultural, social, and technical contexts which establish its meaning as an image and an object. The meaning of a photograph, its efficacy as an image, and its value as an object, are always dependent on the contexts within which we 'read' it."
31. David D. Perlemutter, Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Icons of Outrage in International Crises (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998), discusses the relevant photographs at length. This is the source, also, of the perception, right or wrong, that it was powerful imagery that led us to intervene when we did in Somalia although things were arguably worse at the time in the Sudan. See Joseph Nye Jr., "Redefining the National Interest," Foreign Affairs 78, 4 (July-August 1999): 26.
32. Jonathon Stevenson refers to the intervention as President Bush's "grand finale." Jonathon Stevenson, Losing Mogadishu: Testing US Policy in Somalia (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995), xii.
33. The U.S. military was not shy about resisting, for example, what it saw as pressure to launch military operations in Bosnia. See Michael Gordon, "Powell Delivers a Resounding No on Using Limited Force in Bosnia," The New York Times 28 September 1992, Al, See also, Kenneth Campbell, "Once Burned, Twice Cautious: Explaining the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine," Armed Forces & Society 24, (Spring 1998): 357-374.
34. See Cori Dauber, "If Somalia, Why Not Bosnia? Argument Standards for a New World Order," in, Argument and the Postmodern Challenge: Proceedings of the Eight SCA/AFA Conference on Argumentation, ed. Raymie McKerrow (Annandale, VA: SCA, November, 1993), 283-393.
35. See Terrence Lyons and Ahmed I. Samatar, Somalia: State Collapse, Multilateral Intervention, and Strategies for Political Reconstruction (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, Brookings Occasional Papers, 1995) for a history less focused on the military aspects of intervention.
36. See Elizabeth Drew, On the Edge: The Clinton Presidency (New York: Touchstone Books, 1995) for an excellent history of events leading up to the Battle of Mogadishu. Although she is inaccurate in some minor details (for example, referring to Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant as a member of Delta when he was a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment), the overall flow of the chronology gets the job done.
37. Judging the "accuracy" of reports is never possible until documents are fully declassified. However, the most thorough account of the events of the battle is available in a recently published book based on numerous interviews, despite its journalistic/ novelistic style. See Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modem War (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999).
38. One reporter did a survey of metropolitan dailies, and found that the photograph of the corpse (he does not specify which of the series he is referring to) ran on the front page of 11 of 34 of them, including The New York Times and USA Today. Fifteen put the photograph inside the front section, while another eight, including the Baltimore Sun, and Dallas Morning News, declined to use the image at all. Lou Gelfand, "Paper Normally Avoids Photographs of Corpses, But Last Week It Used Two," Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) 10 October 1993, 39A,
39. Television coverage was researched through the use of the Vanderbilt University Television News Archive,
40. Quoted in "Foreign Policy; In, or Out, or What?" The Economist, 9 October 1993, 22,
41. David Fromkin, "Don't Send in the Marines," The New York Times, 27 February 1994, 36,
42. Livingston, "Clarifying the CNN Effect," 4.
43. Philip M. Taylor, Global Communications, International Affairs and the Media since 1945 (New York: Routledge, 1997), 92-93.
44. Steven Kull and Clay Ramsay, "US Public Attitudes on Involvement in Somalia" (College Park, MD: Program on International Policy Attitudes of the Center for the Study of Policy Attitudes and the School of Public Affairs, October 26, 1993), 3.
45. Kull and Ramsey, "Involvement in Somalia," 5.
46. William Jefferson Clinton, "Address to the Nation on Somalia, October 7, 1993," Public Papers of the Presidents, Administration of William J. Clinton (1993): 1703. 47. Clinton, "Address on Somalia," 1704.
48. Kull and Ramsey, "Involvement in Somalia," 4. 49. Kull and Ramsey, "Involvement in Somalia," 4.
50. Janis L. Edwards and Carol K. Winkler, "Representative Form and the Visual Ideograph: The Iwo Jima Image in Editorial Cartoons," Quarterly Journal of Speech 83 (1997): 296.
51. Nye, "Redefining," 32. Drew, On the Edge, 428. Mark Jurkowitz, "Prisoners' Images Put a Face on American Role," The Boston Globe (April 2, 1999): Al, http://
52. 1 am grateful to Peter Feaver for this argument.
53. One of the critical problems with the use of such recent cases is that to say anything is historically "demonstrable" as fact is a massive overclaim given the sources available. The choice of case dictates a reliance on available sources of news media and a hope for the best.
54. See, as an example, Richard A. Ryan, "Experts: Send in Troops," The Detroit News, 18 April 1999, Al,
55. "Kosovo, Continued," The Economist, 22 May 1999, 20, universe
56. This was regularly done in the Gulf War. See John E. Mueller, Policy and Opinion in the Gulf War (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 92, for a sample of such surveys. His position is that support for military efforts is in fact tied to casualty rates. For examples during the conflict in Kosovo, see Richard Morin and Claudia Deane, "Attitudes Harden Against Milosevic; Public Support Grows for Ground Troops," The Washington Post, 8 April 1999, A26, 57. Mark Thompson, "Boots on the Ground," Newsweek, 28 June 1999, 34.
58. Edward N. Luttwak, "Give War a Chance." Foreign Affairs 78, 4 (July/August 1999): 40.
59. Luttwak, "Give War a Chance," 41.
60. "Casualties of War," Newsweek, 26 April 1999, 26. Peter Berkowitz, "Liberalism and Kosovo. The Good Fight," The New Republic, 10 May 1999, 20.
61. Susan Herbst, Reading Public Opinion: How Political Actors View the Democratic Process (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 2.
62. Herbst, Reading Public Opinion, 8.
63. Jurkowitz, "Prisoners' Images."
64. Jurkowitz, "Prisoners' Images."
65. Both quoted on CNN's "Inside Politics" (April 1, 1999), universe
66. Jurkowitz, "Prisoners' Images."
67. Livingston, "Clarifying CNN Effect," 5. There is some irony in Powell making such a statement.
CORI DAUBER is an associate professor of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Research interests include the role argument strategies play in the development (and defense of) military doctrine. Address for correspondence: Professor Cori E. Dauber, Department of Communication Studies, 115 Bingham Hall, CB 3285, UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3285; e-mail:
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