Friday, July 30, 2004

Our Media Suffers From Short-Term Memory Loss

Remember, some three weeks ago, when The New Republic reported that the Bush administration had quietly pressured Pakistani officials to announce the arrest or killing of a high-level Al Qaeda operative during the Democratic National Convention?

Although the story was reported by the major news networks (and I posted it to this blog), no one said boo yesterday when, lo and behold, Pakistani officials announced they had captured Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, one of the United States' 21 most-wanted terrorists.

The announcement was made just hours before John Kerry delivered his acceptance speech.

Amazingly, Ghailani was arrested last Sunday, but word was leaked to the U.S. media only yesterday afternoon.

Is capturing an Al Qaeda operative good news? Of course it is. But the Bush White House -- or the aides or underlings who spoke with the Pakistanis on its behalf -- shouldn't be "politicizing" our national security. The circumstantial evidence -- what happened vs. what The New Republic said would happen -- is disturbing, but sadly not all that surprising.

And wouldn't it be nice to see the cable news geniuses put two and two together once in a while? CNN's Wolf Blitzer read the news of the capture yesterday without thinking twice, even though CNN ran The New Republic story, with several follow-ups, earlier this month. Shouldn't the Wolf Blitzers of the world be paying attention to the news they read?

As another blogger recently suggested, could you imagine a sports reporter showing so little interest or knowledge while covering, say, football? Could you imagine a sports reporter forgetting an accurate prediction of something disturbing -- that had only been made three weeks earlier? I can't either. And yet, this is how the Wolf Blitzers of the world work.

So you have a disturbing policy covered by a disinterested media. Is it any surprise the public is so confused?



Blogger centrist69 said...

if they had released the news of the capture when it happened, liberal would be railing against Bush for releasing it in advance of the convention. a little far as politicizing security, this is an election year and there is virtually nothing that has not or will not be politicized. Anyone who cannot see tha both sides of the spectrum do this is just blinded by ideology. wouldnt it be great if people focused on voting for kerry (or bush) based on the various differences in policy they have rather than based on Michael Moore based contrivances.

1:53 PM  
Blogger David R. Mark said...

The point of the article was not to dismiss the capture, but to remark on CNN's failure to remember The New Republic story from three weeks earlier.

It's lazy journalism.

5:44 PM  

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