TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Control Room (2004)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Control Room (2004)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Control Room (2004)

This documentary takes a look at the start of the war in Iraq from a totally different perspective. A small crew of American film makers decided to go into the control room of Al Jazeera, and see how they operated. The film itself doesn't really take a stance one way or another about the war. All it does is show footage from Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS and compares it to what Al Jazeera was showing at the time. We are left to draw our own conclusions from the material shown.

The film also reinforces that one must look at multiple news sources to get at the real story. When people ask me if I trust Fox, I say yes to a certain extent. Fox has an audience they are trying to please. So does Al Jazeera. I have to be a good consumer of media and filter out what is propaganda and what is real. It's a difficult task, but it can make a difference.

Now, is this worth watching? Yes. I enjoyed it immensely. However, I can totally see why this film wouldn't be for everyone. Also, it's not for kids. There are some really graphic pictures shown through out. Just a little FYI.

NOTE: Sorry I haven't been keeping up on my movies lately. The new series of Battle Star has come out on DVD, and I *have* to keep up. I want to know if they get to Earth. I also need to know who the last of the final five are. I will go back to movie reviews once I'm done.
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Control Room (2004)

This documentary takes a look at the start of the war in Iraq from a totally different perspective. A small crew of American film makers decided to go into the control room of Al Jazeera, and see how they operated. The film itself doesn't really take a stance one way or another about the war. All it does is show footage from Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS and compares it to what Al Jazeera was showing at the time. We are left to draw our own conclusions from the material shown.

The film also reinforces that one must look at multiple news sources to get at the real story. When people ask me if I trust Fox, I say yes to a certain extent. Fox has an audience they are trying to please. So does Al Jazeera. I have to be a good consumer of media and filter out what is propaganda and what is real. It's a difficult task, but it can make a difference.

Now, is this worth watching? Yes. I enjoyed it immensely. However, I can totally see why this film wouldn't be for everyone. Also, it's not for kids. There are some really graphic pictures shown through out. Just a little FYI.

NOTE: Sorry I haven't been keeping up on my movies lately. The new series of Battle Star has come out on DVD, and I *have* to keep up. I want to know if they get to Earth. I also need to know who the last of the final five are. I will go back to movie reviews once I'm done.
nope have not seen it, wont see it. They should lock the film crew up for treason, along with owner and crews for NBC. People wonder why i have no respect for the press. Blood suckers , just like lawyers. ok that being said.

the final season of battlestar is better then last season. But really the final 5 thing is not that good. i think they ran out of real story lines. but still its better then anyother show at that time
post #3 of 21
I saw "Control Room." I thought it was interesting.
post #4 of 21
As an ex-TV journalist, 'Control Room' is one of my favourite films of the last ten years. A brilliant expose of news manipulation by governments and media moguls. I saw it when it first came out and I was sorry the cinema was so empty. Everyone with any political awareness should see it and you will never watch the news with the same complacency again.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson View Post
As an ex-TV journalist, 'Control Room' is one of my favourite films of the last ten years. A brilliant expose of news manipulation by governments and media moguls. I saw it when it first came out and I was sorry the cinema was so empty. Everyone with any political awareness should see it and you will never watch the news with the same complacency again.
I was wondering how a journalist would take this film.

Jenny, you should also pick up the DVD. The commentary is fantastic.
post #6 of 21
I've got it! I show it to media studies students, along with some news clips/press cuttings of the war and aftermath.
post #7 of 21
It's good to keep an open mind. I for one have never trusted the media anyway. They put on whatever spin they want us to believe at that moment. That's also one of the big reasons I hate rag magazines and celebrity gossip nonsense.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
It's good to keep an open mind. I for one have never trusted the media anyway. They put on whatever spin they want us to believe at that moment. That's also one of the big reasons I hate rag magazines and celebrity gossip nonsense.
I find it very educating to watch FreeSpeechTV, World LinkTV and BBC!!..
I have to admit that when I saw footage of Americans in body bags, my sense of grief and outrage was so intense as compared to the response of when I see the flag draped coffins, neatly lined up. It stopped being statistics in boxes, and more like - OMG- that poor soldier- that's somebody's boy in there, dead, dead, dead.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme View Post
I find it very educating to watch FreeSpeechTV, World LinkTV and BBC!!..
I have to admit that when I saw footage of Americans in body bags, my sense of grief and outrage was so intense as compared to the response of when I see the flag draped coffins, neatly lined up. It stopped being statistics in boxes, and more like - OMG- that poor soldier- that's somebody's boy in there, dead, dead, dead.
Having grown up in the Vietnam era, I can really understand your response, and that's one of the reasons why I really resent the Bush/Cheney administration - too much "sanitizing" has been going on.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Having grown up in the Vietnam era, I can really understand your response, and that's one of the reasons why I really resent the Bush/Cheney administration - too much "sanitizing" has been going on.

oh you mean the lies the press used to hand out during the vietnam war also?
The press has no place in a war zone. All they do is get people killed. I have 0 respect for news people anymore.

i can never understand these types of views/ lol unless you have lived in place with STATE news you will never really understand news sanitizing. Its a war. the press has no business there

I have seen Al Jazeera tv.i see no reason to see there view point in a documentary
post #11 of 21
Actually, there's one point on which I'll have to disagree. I think it's a good thing to have press in the war zone. When the war news is filtered through military censors, handed out in press releases to correspondents in hotel lobbies, then the public will never get the truth. I think it was the press in Vietnam and the press in Iraq who are responsible for showing the ugly side of the war. And war is always ugly, and the good citizens safe back at home need to know that. So even if the news that comes from the press is biased, it's still much better than the other way. When the only news you get is what you see on a newsreel accompanied by stirring military band music, then you REALLY ought to not pay any attention to it, because you're only seeing what your government wants you to see, and that's whatever is in their best interest, not yours.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Actually, there's one point on which I'll have to disagree. I think it's a good thing to have press in the war zone. When the war news is filtered through military censors, handed out in press releases to correspondents in hotel lobbies, then the public will never get the truth. .

the press does not care about the truth anymore. Plus they get people killed.
if you have press person in your unit. the first order of business should be a friendly fire mistake, so you can keep your men alive,

that may sound bad. But that is how i feel about the press now. they are only just one step above lawyers on my bottom feeder list.
post #13 of 21
It has been shown over and over that if there are no press around, more people get killed, both civilian and military, and conditions for soldiers are worse. It was the press who alerted people to what was happening to soldiers in the Crimea war, which started the whole profession of prper military hospitals. If press had been allowed near the trenches in WW!, the war would have been over far sooner - no-one would have believed the lies of all governments about the 'glory' of war. If there had been press on hand, My Lai would not have happened in Vietnam. But the press can be manipulated too and I teach students the prpoer way to report from the front. I hate the iddea of 'embedded' reporters as they cannot be looked after properly and they become the mouthpieces of the troops they are travelling with. But good, objective war reporting is an honoured profession and one that is needed to counteract lies aleswhere.

AS for Al Jazeera, unfortunately in America people think of them purely as a mouthpiece for terrorists, while they are much more than that. Their whole policy is to publish all points of view, without making comments. That is why they are the only TV that Bin Laden will send his videos to. Without them, we would hear nothing from him, and his pieces are valuable intelligence. When I was Head of TV and Radio in the British Foreign Office from 1990 to 1997, I ran a daily news service sponsored by the British Government, that gave their point of view on world events, as you would expect. We never pretended it was anything but a Government transmission. Al Jazeera were the only Arab TV station to show it in its entirety, again just announcing what it was without comment. When they first started, I sent a producer to work with them to teach their reporters good reporting and editing and I am full of admiration for them as they have been criticised and persecuted from all sides for years. Not to mention being the direct target for American missiles that killed one of their top reporters, a man of ethics whom I had the pleasure of working with once.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson View Post
It has been shown over and over that if there are no press around, more people get killed, both civilian and military, and conditions for soldiers are worse. It was the press who alerted people to what was happening to soldiers in the Crimea war, which started the whole profession of prper military hospitals. If press had been allowed near the trenches in WW!, the war would have been over far sooner - no-one would have believed the lies of all governments about the 'glory' of war. If there had been press on hand, My Lai would not have happened in Vietnam. But the press can be manipulated too and I teach students the prpoer way to report from the front. I hate the iddea of 'embedded' reporters as they cannot be looked after properly and they become the mouthpieces of the troops they are travelling with. But good, objective war reporting is an honoured profession and one that is needed to counteract lies aleswhere.

AS for Al Jazeera, unfortunately in America people think of them purely as a mouthpiece for terrorists, while they are much more than that. Their whole policy is to publish all points of view, without making comments. That is why they are the only TV that Bin Laden will send his videos to. Without them, we would hear nothing from him, and his pieces are valuable intelligence. When I was Head of TV and Radio in the British Foreign Office from 1990 to 1997, I ran a daily news service sponsored by the British Government, that gave their point of view on world events, as you would expect. We never pretended it was anything but a Government transmission. Al Jazeera were the only Arab TV station to show it in its entirety, again just announcing what it was without comment. When they first started, I sent a producer to work with them to teach their reporters good reporting and editing and I am full of admiration for them as they have been criticised and persecuted from all sides for years. Not to mention being the direct target for American missiles that killed one of their top reporters, a man of ethics whom I had the pleasure of working with once.

sorry i find the first statment to be very hard to believe. the press sits there, tells everyone who watches the news , where the troops are , where they are moving to.. that gets people killed.

your talking about the older press. also. not the 30 second new bite press of today. clinton allowed the sale of several defense company to ex chinese gernerals who then later moved it to china. IT never made the news here.

Also after only having state news and only Al Jazeera to listen to for about year once.They are nothing but a mouthpiece for terrorists.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
sorry i find the first statment to be very hard to believe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson View Post
...... When I was Head of TV and Radio in the British Foreign Office from 1990 to 1997,.....
Sorry, Bruce....I think Jenny's got the cred in this thread.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Sorry, Bruce....I think Jenny's got the cred in this thread.
not really. she is posting from a press person point of view. Which i see as part of the issue

since i am the one that had to deal with Al Jazeera for a year as my only outside news source. I know what they put out.
post #17 of 21
Daar Bruce

We will probably have to agree to disagree in this. But I have never known any pressman let information out that would endanger troops. They are very careful and they know that if that happened they would never be allowed into a press conference again! Many reporters get killed trying to tell the truth - a friend of mine, a Canadian named Clark Todd, died in Lebanon in the 80s. Many have been injured - Martin Bell, another friend, among them, in Sarajevo. Dan Rather and Walter Kronkite risked their lives to tell people what was happening. As did Ernest Hemingway in the Spanish Civil War. All these people influenced the course of events for the good.

I am not saying there are not bad journalists. And I get sick of the 'rooftop' reporting when you know the journalist is miles away and doesn't really know what is going on. And as I said before, it doesn't matter what the person on the ground says if the editors and owners back home slant the stories to their point of view anyway. And that happens all the time.

What is influencing the reporting of news now more than anything else is the rise of the blog, as we have seen especially in Iraq, when amateurs tell what is really happening for people round the world to read instantly. Int he next ten years the whole idea of news reporting will be fundamentally changed. And it will be impossible to hide troop movements or bombing. Sadly, that and the continuation of terrorism will mean that killing will go on, whatever we do.

As for me, yes, I have been a war journalist, reporting from Belfast in the 70s, and Sarajevo in the 90s. But I have also been a government information officer, Head of TV and Radio for the Foreign Office and a senior producer for the Central Office of Information (British equivalent of the US Information Service). I was also Head of Corporate Communications in Tony Blair's Cabinet Office, which I hated as it was nothing but spin and lies, and I went back to Bosnia to train young journalists. What I am saying is that I have seen it both ways and I am as good at leading the press the wrong way as anyone, as well as finding out the truth. Now I teach part of an MA course on war reporting and ethnic conflict. I know what goes on.
post #18 of 21
yep we are going have to disagree, i know to many stories where lives where put a risk, and also about Al Jazeera. I dont want or have any need to see what they have to say.

lol oh well if you always agree with people life gets boring lol
post #19 of 21
I agree! But I have enjoyed the debate. If anyone reading this thread wants to learn more then I recommend ' Muslims and the News Media', edited by Poole and Richardson, which has an interesting chapter on Al Jazeera as well of accounts of pro and anti Muslim feeling in the news media, and 'Embedded' by Katovsky and Carlson, which is a collection of accounts of what it was like to be a reporter travelling with troops in Iraq.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson View Post
I agree! But I have enjoyed the debate. If anyone reading this thread wants to learn more then I recommend ' Muslims and the News Media', edited by Poole and Richardson, which has an interesting chapter on Al Jazeera as well of accounts of pro and anti Muslim feeling in the news media, and 'Embedded' by Katovsky and Carlson, which is a collection of accounts of what it was like to be a reporter travelling with troops in Iraq.
Oh goodness I'd love to hear your stories about Ireland in the 70's. I still have family that lives there, and they've told me about the fighting.

I have a lot of respect for journalists that put their lives on the line to get the story. It's not an easy job, and to stay impartial must be impossible. To quote the great Howard Zinn, "You can't be neutral on a moving train."
post #21 of 21
Fighting, especially ethno-religious conflict when neighbour fights neighbour and often family members find themselves on different sides, is horrific. Not to mention the ethnic cleansing and massacres of people who just happen to have different religious beliefs or a slightly different skin tone. None of that can ever be termed a 'just war', if there is such a thing. And the worst of all is when leaders exploit and whip up fear of anything different and manipulate it cynically for their own political ends. I saw all of that in both Ireland and Bosnia, and then in the Cabinet Office with the whole 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' fiasco. It has left me with a real dislike of people in authority, whatever their political slant, and is much of the reason why I live on my own in isolation with my animals.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Control Room (2004)