Monday, February 03, 2003

Amazing Spin

At some point in his life Bill Frist dumped his girlfriend of 10 years 2 days before the elaborately planned wedding.

David Brooks makes that out to be a good thing

Now, there are plenty of worse things one can do and it has little nor nothing to do with whether we should think the kitty Doctor is a good senator...but, spinning it into a GOOD thing?

What a bobo.

Somerby also points out the disparate treatment of the Challenger astronauts versus the 4 men killed in a downed helicopter in Afghanistan:

Those others “we will never hear about” include the coming dead in Iraq. It has been remarkable to compare the mourning for the Columbia seven to the all-encompassing lack of interest in the deaths which will soon occur in Iraq. Is war on Iraq a good idea? On that, we don’t express a view. But it has become rather clear that these upcoming deaths play no role in our current calculus. In the press, we have seen almost no attempt to estimate or discuss the impending loss of life. Recent reports about “Shock and Awe” or possible use of American nukes have produced almost no discussion. Do Americans care about Iraqi deaths? There is almost no sign that we do.


The human mind is deeply tribal; the human mind is wired to care about those perceived to be “one’s own.” Over the weekend, that tribalism was put on display. As a people, we can’t even seem to give a fig about the safety of our own soldiers; meanwhile, we wipe out debate about impending war to mourn seven high-profile accident victims. Such utter lack or moral seriousness may not hurt us this time around. In the long run, almost surely, it will. Tomorrow: Does Saddam Hussein really have nukes, and other lightly-limned Iraq questions

I think it's difficult and not particularly productive to compare the two disasters in a meaningful way. In fact, I think there's a stronger point to be made - it isn't that the shuttle disaster knocked our dead soldiers out of the news cycle, it's that the dead soldiers wouldn't have been a major news story even in the absence of the shuttle disaster. The media isn't telling us much about the dead in Afghanistan - theirs or ours. While it's likely difficult to cover up military deaths, it isn't too hard to cover up the deaths of the rent-a-soldiers we have over there and the deaths of the special ops of the intelligence agencies. And, even when we do hear about it we don't HEAR ABOUT IT which means it may as well have never happened.