The 30-second press

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003

The peace that remains to be created in Iraq, or the lack thereof, will not fit nicely into a 30-second sound bite. Therefore, if hunger, disorder or discontent should become the story in Iraq, don't expect to see or read about the details in most of the press. The adventure in Iraq, like the previous adventure in Afghanistan (seen or heard much about Afghanistan lately?), is just another confirmation in a growing body of evidence that achieving an end by domineering force (either military or political) is now taken as unquestioned proof of the wisdom of the act, which is then trumpeted by an approving press, which translates into high political poll ratings.

It's a "win-win" situation in the symbiotic relationship between this administration and much of the press. No need for the press to linger on complicated details that require critical thought and which could potentially dull the gilded moment. Anyway, foreign affairs are only newsworthy as long as they're immediately gratifying. Now is the time for the press to return to the domestic tranquility of ignoring things closer to home like a record deficit or just how big of a tax break should the wealthiest 1 percent be given.

Garland Walker


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