This piece serves as a follow up piece to 33 Dead Americans is a Tragedy, 33 Dead Iraqi’s is a Statistic, which raised the point that while the Virginia Tech tragedy was a tragedy, these death tolls are all too familar to Iraqi’s — including multiple bombs detonated in January that killed 60 at a Baghdad university. In fact, the grand coincidence was 33 Iraqi’s were reported killed the same day that 33 were murdered at Virginia Tech, but obviosly their deaths generated far less publicity.
So a couple of days have past and some significant events have occured, including four bombs in Baghdad that killed over 157 people “as violence climbed toward levels not seen since before the U.S.-Iraqi campaign to pacify the capital began two months ago”. So, there’s some major acts of violence that fly in the face of the US-led troop surge, and what gets reported:
On FoxNews, you get ‘Imminent Danger’ and a picture of the ‘Mad Man’ himself on the front page — so more reporting on the psyche of our deranged Blacksburg shooter:
But where’s the information about the failures of the surge and the worst day of violence experienced in months in Iraq? Not even a text link on the front page, you have to go to the World section:
Conclusion: A tsunami of dead Iraqi’s would have to wash up to Dick Cheney’s underground bunker in Idaho itself for Fox News to report on the ‘progress’ being made in Iraq. Click here for the full front page picture of the FoxNews front page, which interestingly enough includes a large ad for bringing Imus back on the air, how a preachers wife was forced to watch porn, and how a whale was spotted in the New York Harbor. All of these deemed more important than violence that killed over 150 in Iraq.
On MSNBC, it’s more of the same, but they at least acknowledge what’s going on in Iraq under a litany of links providing full coverage of the shooters video tape:
Click here for the link for a full size picture of MSNBC’s front page.
On CNN, things didn’t get much better. Victims, online grief, shootings, video’s of victims, video’s of crazy lone gunmen, but we do get the pleasure of knowing ‘at least 170 died in Baghdad bombings’ (next to, of course, stories about preacher porn wife and ‘Bin Laden’s name used to lure people to polls):
And finally, on BBC (World Edition mind you, not UK or ‘American’ (though there is no such version as American), which still has its feature story on the Virginia gunmen:
Conclusion: While none of the mainstream media can be accused of sinking to Fox “What’s Iraq??” News, most of the American (save for BBC, which is British) did a fairly poor job of reporting on a very large issue. A story larger and more significant, than I would say, playing a video that makes a murderer into a celebrity.
For more commentary on this subject, I suggest you check out the following: CNN’s Sensationalism of the Virginia Tech Video is Disgusting, Bloody Wednesday: Guerrillas, Violence kill Nearly 300 Iraqis, and violence suggests the surge is failing.