Friday, February 17, 2012

Thanks, liberal media!

Setting aside for a moment the unusual delight of seeing international news on the front pages of the regional press, let's consider where this piece* sits in the great scheme of things.

In US press-and-policy terms, the hed at top is the extreme left: a McClatchy Washburo story in a college-town paper, containing a few reasonably informed voices that actually put the "defiance" into context, sorta, but no immediate demands that Tehran be turned into a pile of rubble with a permanent night-light on top. The center and the right, you can figure out for yourselves.

That's the early 2012 edition of why the American press remains a realism-free zone. There's simply no room for the idea that being thuggish (and Iran is, to the extent we can see through the opacity) isn't the same thing as being childish or insane, or the related idea that if we want a regime to stop doing something, the first step is figuring out why the regime thought it was a good idea in the first place. I don't expect the mullahs' feelings are hurt by the random jingoism of American headlines, and I really wouldn't care if they were. I do think the reading public would be better off if it had regular access to news that had less "defiance" and more "compared to what."

The smaller hed at right is --surprise! -- from the notionally liberal partner in the local JOA. Dear cousins downtown: If you're ready to demonstrate to your readership that Iran has "nukes," you sort of owe that information a spot on the front page. If not, you might want to avoid casual fabrications like the one here. People might take it seriously.

* Heds aren't, we should note, written by reporters

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Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

I'm not sure the mullahs' feelings are hurt, but I sure don't like the ramp-up-to-Iraq feeling I'm getting. Also, the whole "Iran threatens to strike back if attacked" - I mean, since when is "I'll defend myself" a threat?

10:00 AM, February 20, 2012  

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