Friday, December 02, 2005

Maddening, maddening

"Ten soldiers killed in Iraq today," crawls across the TV screen. The pundits, too, announce this as a news coup, a significant development. This drives me crazy. In the first place, it's flat wrong. Eleven died. But that's not what drives me crazy. Several days in the last few months ten or more soldiers have died in a single day, but didn't die in a single incident or whose deaths weren't reported in a single dispatch; and on numerous days the death toll has been seven, eight, nine. A brief survey of the above-linked website will demonstrate this.

Another thing: All this hoopla about the Pentagon planting news in Baghdad dailies. Yup, it's a bad thing. But in the face of all the outrages we've been committing in that country--killing civilians, jailing innocents, torturing, destroying cities--how can such a story even get traction in the US?

Because it's about the media, stupid. We are at the mercy of the media in America, and that's the most maddening of all.

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