'Star Wars' Finale Getting More News Coverage Than Iraq War

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 14, 2005 | Go to article overview

'Star Wars' Finale Getting More News Coverage Than Iraq War


Byline: Burt Constable

The killing of six or seven U.S. Marines, while shocking to the victims and their families, generally rates somewhere after three dead zoo monkeys in news coverage.

It's as if we in the media now consider these soldiers as fungible as Donald Rumsfeld once proclaimed. For those of you scoring at home, our body count in the Iraq war has topped 1,600, with more than 12,000 wounded. To see their names, visit http://web1.whs.osd.mil/mmid/casualty/castop.htm, which is a few dead heroes behind.

After months of identical stories about a roadside bomb or an ambush killing a handful of U.S. military personnel, the news value wanes. That old news can't compete with the new news about Macaulay Culkin being home alone in the same bed with Michael Jackson for a little boy/grown man water balloon fight/sleepover.

In a world that craves "Star Wars" entertainment, Abu Ghraib can't grab the public's attention in the way Obi-Wan Kenobi can.

Perhaps we are so jaded about any news coming out of Iraq that we are incapable of showing outrage. That explains the giant media yawn about the leaked minutes of a 2003 meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's close advisers explaining how President Bush's administration "fixed" the facts to justify the war they wanted with Iraq.

"Military action was now seen as inevitable," the minutes read. "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

The story charging our nation with cooking the facts to justify our pre-emptive attack of Iraq broke May 1 in the London Times. While a few U.S. news sources tried to bring it to Americans' attention (thank you, Molly Ivins), we apparently don't want to hear it. On Friday, the so-called liberal Washington Post finally stuck the story on page 18.

Evidence that the Bush administration started a war on false pretenses is so 2004. …

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