19 December 2009

Commentary on media and casualties

Another good bit of commentary from ThreatsWatch.Org, this one discussing media coverage of casualties.

As the Earth spins, the effect dictates that its inhabitants are driven into the predictable cycle of night and day, day and night. And so too it can be said of the effect of periods between election cycles and American media coverage of war.

Bill Dupray at the Patriot Room notes an article drawing attention to the fact that in Afghanistan "Obama's war casualties nearly double Bush's worst year," and the American media are virtually silent.

Statistical Reference: iCasualties: Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan

Now, I'm no more a fan of calling our fallen "Obama's casualties" any more than I was of calling them "Bush's casualties" over the previous 7+ years. It's ignorant political hackery and a cheapening of their sacrifices. This isn't a criticism of Bill Dupray, as I'm reasonably certain that he sees it much the same way, even in noting the article as it was written.

But the media? Yeah, they're fair game. Their prior conduct makes them so.

From the period of the 2004 Presidential election cycle through about the middle of the Iraq Surge that turned the tide there, it was virtually impossible to drive a car and listen to a radio news break that did not contain a nameless mention of how many Americans were killed in action the previous day. Nor could one watch a single newscast without the same episodic phenomenon even more laden with anti-Bush commentary in context of the casualty figure of the day. It was a daily rolling body count. It was a disgusting display of the demise of journalism in which honoring the fallen by name or personal story simply could not manage a measure of committed air time.

By: Brant

No comments: