Saturday, January 13, 2007

How many more times?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had a rough reception on Capitol Hill as she tried to sell President Bush's new plan for Iraq, left Friday for the Middle East, where the going is likely to be no easier.

So far, so good. It's an Iraq-Mideast tale of some sort -- not a brilliant one, and not one that does a lot in the way of contextual connection, but a workmanlike 10 grafs of largely related information. Until ...

• U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in Miami ordered another delay for the trial of alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla and two others, in part to allow time for a full evaluation of Padilla's mental competency. Cooke set a new trial date of April 16.

OK, stop the tape. What's Mr. Padilla doing at the end of an Iraq story? Or, more to the point, is he going to be followed by the road closings, the afternoon TV listings and the ACC standings?

You wonder how many times we're going to need to repeat this. When you say B is a "development" in A, you've said it's part of the larger story A. Jose Padilla is not a part of the Iraq story. He's part of a different story. When you make them the same thing, you're perpetuating a Big Lie.

Look. The White House has a press office. It has its own television network. It doesn't need your help. The grownup media are supposed to present news developments in a context that gives them meaning. Please try to do better.


Anonymous Denise Covert said...

My second favorite: When the "Fight Against Terrorism" page includes news of anyone fighting Muslims anywhere. . .including Somalia, etc.

12:43 PM, January 15, 2007  

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