Thursday, August 12, 2004


Guardian breaks down the drop in US press coverage of Iraq

Here it is: War? What war? What honestly bothers me the most is how all these TV execs say "Well, people are more concerned with the political scene" or "Of course we still focus plenty on Iraq." But I see easily twice as much coverage on Lori Hacking, Scott Peterson, and Kobe Bryant when I turn on the TV. And when then much of the conversation has turned from what is happening in Iraq to how Iraq is going to effect the outcome of the presidential election. Well, that's a fine debate, but how can we judge how it will effect the election unless we know what the hell is going on there? The Guardian hits it right on the head with this illustrative example:
To be sure, the 24-hour cable shows are the news outlets that have ratcheted down their Iraq reporting the most over the past six weeks. That became glaringly obvious during the Democratic national convention in Boston, where many pundits and producers spent much of the time ignoring the politics and bemoaning how little actual news there was to report.

Yet here's a small sampling of what happened in Iraq that same week, little of which was deemed newsworthy enough to seriously interrupt the endless, repetitive cable TV discussion about swing voters and Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" remark:

· July 26: Attackers shot and killed Iraq's senior interior ministry official and two of his bodyguards in a drive-by shooting.
· July 26: A suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives, mortars and rockets near the gates of a US base in Mosul, killing three.
· July 27: The dead body of a kidnapped Turkish truck driver was found.
· July 27: One Iraqi was killed and 14 coalition soldiers were injured when a mortar hit a Baghdad residential district.
· July 28: A car bomb exploded on a busy boulevard in Baquba, killing 68 people and wounding nearly 100. The attack stood as the deadliest insurgent strike since the US occupation began last year.
· July 28: Seven Iraqi soldiers and 35 insurgents were killed during a firefight in Suwariyah.
· July 29: Reeling from the violence and a wave of kidnappings, Iraqi officials once again postponed a three-day national conference to choose an interim assembly in preparation for the country's first elections.

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