Monday, June 13, 2005

The glories of a free press
At this moment, the top stories on invclude a missing white woman story ("Aruba 'doing utmost' to find missing teen"), a celebrity trial story ("Jackson jury beginning week 2 of deliberations"), and two celebrity gossip stories ("Destiny's Child announces breakup" and "Katie Holmes embracing Scientology"). It is only when we get down on the lower half of the screen that we find "Report: British doubted postwar plan," a story involving honest-to-god important news.
A staff paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair eight months before the invasion of Iraq concluded that U.S. military officials were not planning adequately for a postwar occupation, The Washington Post reported.

"A postwar occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise," authorities of the briefing memo wrote, according to the Post. "As already made clear, the U.S. military plans are virtually silent on this point. Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden."

The eight-page memo was written in advance of a July 23, 2002, meeting at Blair's Downing Street offices...

This is as fine an example as I could name as to why bloggers hate the professional news media. Here is an organization that still knows how to do real news, even if it just means stealing it from another source. They know it's important enough that they put near the top of their sectioned out news. But their eqivalent to front page is dominated by lowest common denominator tabloid trash.

Flash and glitter leads while news that might affect more than the people actually involved is relegated to the bottom of the page. You have to know where to look for it. The republic is doomed.

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