Saturday, May 26, 2007

How much is TOO much Iraq coverage (Or who has the blinders..)?

I was just accused of being too serious. Of not understanding, or caring, about a co-worker's story about the crazy love lives of her friends.

I was accused of not liking funny (stupid) stories in newscasts because all I care about are "serious" stories "like Iraq".

Copy editors have complained about too many Iraq stories.

Some anchors think a good shift is one that doesn't involve stories about Iraq.

I think an entire newscast devoted to Iraq is appropriate. I would watch it. Or listen to it. I think millions of other Americans care, too.

A TV network program recently tried to lighten the news. It's ratings went through the floorboards. I thought that was a good lesson for every newsroom.

But no one in the business seemed to get it, or they just won't admit it.

There is so much pressure to make things "relatable", lighten the mood, and throw in some funny stories about bees attacking airplanes, or ice cream headaches.

Even in Iraq, I'm sometimes pressured to lighten up. By military types, who wish I did more "good news" stories.

What is it about Americans that they can't except something for what it is (awful) and learn from it? Why do we always "look for the positive"? What's the point when there isn't one?

I've watched Iraqis snicker behind the backs of overly enthusiastic and naive Americans. I've certainly experienced the Europeans' disdain for our puppy dog exuberance in situations where all is surely lost.

But perhaps I'm a pessimist. I don't believe ALL hope is lost in Iraq but I do believe we're not armed to take on a cynical and conniving enemy. We're too busy looking for the "bright spot"....and building schools and hospitals for them to blow up.

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