On June 13, the CBS Evening News devoted a story by David Martin to the Afghanistan death count reaching 2,000, as Martin interviewed a mother of a fallen Marine. CBS was alone. There was no story last week on the Afghanistan death “milestone” on ABC, NBC, the PBS NewsHour – or even on the MSNBC programs found in Nexis, including Rachel “Our Military’s In a Perilous Drift” Maddow.
But the networks were all more aggressive when the 2,000 mark arrived in Iraq on October 25, 2005. The Big Three networks devoted 14 morning and evening news stories to the death toll from October 24 through the end of October, and another 24 anchor briefs or mentions. They used the number to spell “disaster for this White House.”
Ted Koppel blasted Bush in this October 27 Nightline summation:
If you’re inclined to get all the bad news in your life out of the way at the same time, consider this week in the life of President Bush. His brother, Jeb, the governor of Florida, had to concede the state government didn’t do all it could have or should have done to prepare for Hurricane Wilma. That can only remind people that this has been a bad hurricane season all-around, when it comes to government response. This was the week, of course, that the death toll of American servicemen and women in Iraq topped 2,000. Statistical markers like that are never a fair way of judging the legitimacy of a war but they seem to have an impact, nevertheless.
They have an impact – unless you just skip them completely when the Democrats are in the White House.
I didn’t think much of the mainstream media. What modicum of legitimacy I lent it evaporated when they covered Obama during his bid for President. The bias and agenda is so blatant that I make an extra effort ignore their broadcasts and publications. The internet has made them obsolete; the slow but sure evisceration of their organizations is all but certain as more and more consumer of real news turn away. Thank you Al Gore for the internet!