Go here for Nancy J. Thorner’s 11/15/05 letter to Daily Herald, "Iraq shows progress despite naysayers,” that begins:

The constitutional election held on Oct. 17 in Iraq was an unbelievable historic event, even though many in the major print media seemed to have difficulty giving the Bush administration credit for the successful Iraqi election. Out of a country of 25 million people . . . 9 million voted in a move that will undoubtedly nudge Iraq toward creating a type of democracy that will be appropriate to their background and culture.

If you are a Thorner-letter fan like me and want to read further, however, it costs $2.95, which is a first in my surfing–searching experience.  It costs that much for a Chi Trib or NY Times archived article for which its writer was paid an arguably handsome amount.  The Herald, on the other hand, wants money for a letter to editor.

If you are an insider, however, having received the entire letter from its writer, you can read it all and find this, last paragraph:

The next milestone in Iraq will happen on December 15th when another vote will be held to elect a new parliament.  One hopes that the media will truthfully report on the event with accounts of what the election represents for the people of Iraq and for the world.  Enough of the naysayers, the doubters and the political pundits who sometimes seem to favor a win by the terrorists instead of victory for America and its coalition partners in Iraq.

As for naysayers and doubters, look no further than today’s Chi Trib page-one head, “Iraq’s agony spreads,” which is a gloom-and-doomer of the first water.  And typical, with obligatory eyewitness disaster-story account, "I thought a rocket had hit the mosque," from a man in the washroom when the suicide-bomb went off in the Grand Mosque, etc.

It was the “deadliest attack in weeks.”  It “ came amid rising tensions ahead of December's crucial election” (see above).  And (next paragraph), it happened near where “around 170 ill-treated detainees” were found by American soldiers days earlier.  Gloom, doom, and more gloom.

Rewriting this account, written on deadline by a hard-working reporter who like almost all reporters knows what her editors want and what will appear in print — it becomes second nature — I would have taken “As is so often the case in Iraq, however, although foreigners were targeted, the casualties all were Iraqis,” appearing in story’s middle, and made it the lead!

Elsewhere among the mediums, a network TV news account had this yesterday — flipping, I did not note which of the three, Curly, Larry, or Moe — at the close of a multi-second acount (long for TV) of the day’s disasters, when the reader added as appendix or afterthought something like “Elsewhere, U.S. forces killed 34 insurgents in (such & such town).” 

What about spending half of those seconds on something like “Marines win firefight” or “Rockets find their mark”?  The reader would go along with that, the crazy reasoning in support of it being that there’s a war going on, and 34 to nothing constitutes a win.  It does in the NFL anyhow.  And one less brick would be put in place as support for pulling out.

1 comment:

Jim Bowman said...

From reader Dennis about which of the three nets added the 34-insurgents killed news at the end of a suicide-bombing account:

It was NBC, the guy whose eyebrows give him the appearance of near-
tears as he delivers the latest bad news bulletin.