Frankly, I’d wondered if the Other Charlotte’s brilliant post on the media blackout about the beheading of an American in Iraq (as compared with the 24/7 frenzy on Abu Ghraib) would be behind the curve by this morning. Surely, the press would come to its senses and belatedly jump on the real atrocity story?
While reporting extensively on Abu Ghraib, NBC didn’t even include the beheading of Nick Berg among its top stories last night; CBS briefly toyed with what must have held hope of becoming an anti-Bush angle: the bereaved family blames the administration.
The New York Times has also had its appetite whetted by a potential anti-Bush angle: ‘The Times is leading the mainstream media in turning the United States into the bad guys in Iraq,’ writes John Podhoretz. ‘But it is far from alone.’
It looks like the anti-Bush angle is going to turn out to be a bust. That means that the media will drop its minimal interest in this story.
The media doesn’t care about the news unless it can be used to browbeat the Bush administration. But I think that it is in danger of overplaying its hand. Like the 9/11 commission.
The maverick Washington Times did a story on the perplexed reaction of people in the Philly region from which Berg hailed. Here’s a nice understated sentence: ‘Mr. Eckerd acknowledged that the prison-abuse scandal was an ugly episode in U.S. history but said the atrocities committed against Americans deserve at least equal attention.’
The gulf between our self-abpointed arbiters of right and wrong in the media and the rest of us broadens…