Saturday, October 11, 2008

AT LAST--AN IRAQ EXIT STRATEGY SUPPORTED BY THE MEDIA

Western Journalists in Iraq Stage Pullback of Their Own
By Ernesto Londoño and Amit R. Paley Washington Post Foreign Service Saturday, October 11, 2008; A01
BAGHDAD -- The number of foreign journalists in Baghdad is declining sharply, a media withdrawal that reflects Iraq's growing stability and the financial strains faced by some news organizations.
. . . "It remains important and it remains interesting," said Alissa J. Rubin, the New York Times' acting bureau chief in Baghdad. "But what's in front of us now is almost a static situation. There's not a clear narrative line. The stories are more complex."
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Well, we certainly wouldn't want to burden the media with something complex. Bless their little hearts, complexity is an issue that takes more than a sound-bite to explain.
They've shown their preference for 'interesting' by highlighting (and profiting enormously from) campaign attack-ads while (complexly) the candidates' world dissolves into financial chaos.
There must be a few leftover Presidential Medals of Freedom in there somewhere for the members of the fourth estate.
Hawk us into an unjust and stupid war, you media types, milk it to death and then flee the scene when it gets boring. Keeping a journalist in vodka and bourbon is just too damned hard on the bottom-line, as bottom-lines reach for ever new and deeper bottoms--daily, just like the newspapers.
But there are always lessons to be learned, even from news that is sprung on us during a low-readership Saturday. Hidden message:
It's hard to let go a journalist you haven't yet brought home.
The welcome-home lunch will be followed by the breakfast wake-up call. Sorry pal, there are really no foreign positions left to fill at the moment and thanks for the memories, although the blue skies over the white cliffs of Dover will be no more. Security will help you clean out your desk. Is right now convenient?
As in times of yore, the New York Times and Washington Post bravely show the way. With the world in full scale plummet, Pentagon investments in Boeing and McDonnell Douglas just aren't worth what they once were. God help us, even Halliburton has taken a hit. Lets get those kids home in time to wrestle with their own mortgage defaults.
Patriotism falling to capitalism. Who'd a thunk it?