Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Journalists in a dangerous place.

The biggest story today, of course, is about the car bombing in Iraq that killed four people, including two CBS cameramen, an American soldier and an Iraqi translator, and critically wounded CBS foreign correspondent Kimberly Dozier.

This brings to total number of journalists or others working to get the news out of Iraq killed there to just shy of six dozen.

It also clearly exposes the fallacy that some on the right are always repeating about how Iraq is safer than America, because it isn't (the right likes to compare specific American cities to all of Iraq, because that is the only way they can get the numbers to look favorable to them, despite the fact that comparing a whole country to a specific trouble spot is comparing apples to oranges). Journalists are certainly paid to go where the stories are, but let's face it-- you don't hear much about journalists (even local reporters) being killed while reporting on crime in Detroit or New York or Los Angeles. Not saying it's never happened, but it certainly doesn't happen often. For that matter, most national journalists work every day downtown in cities like New York, Washington and Atlanta. And it is very, very rare that you hear about any of them even getting mugged, much less murdered, except when they are specifically targetted (for example, by the zetas, who make a point of killing any reporters who report on them). But random events rarely kill journalists in America.

One could argue of course that for some reason the insurgents are targetting reporters for death (perhaps not wanting any coverage of themselves) but even if that were true, it would not explain cases like this or that of Woodruff-- reporters who are working closesly with U.S. troops (who are unlikely to publish where they will be or when). Either what happened to them is more typical in Iraq than some would have you believe, or journalists have just had an incredible run of bad luck, or we have a major security breach which has allowed the enemy to know exactly where our journalists are and prepare bombs specifically to kill them.

Not believing this third possibility, and with the law of averages starting to make the second less likely as the number of dead journalists in Iraq edges past seventy, I am inclined to believe the first possibility. Those on the right, either wilfully or because they are chronically stuck in the pre-war rose colored glasses that the Bush administration was then handing out, are having trouble even admitting that this war has not gone as planned, and are having even more admitting the plain truth that it is causing more deaths all the time while in effect leading us nowhere.

1 comment:

shrimplate said...

The right-wing noise machine asks "why don't journalists report on the good news coming out of Iraq?"

And the answer is: Because they're getting killed.

71 journalists so far, more than in World War II.

George W. Bush, Worst President Ever.