Tv News Blasted For Iraq Political Coverage
The editor of the New Republic has taken television news to task for shoddy reporting of the Iraqi political scene. In a column posted on the magazine's website on Tuesday, Peter Beinart observes that the weekend appointment of Ibrahim al-Jaafari to become prime minister, while making front-page news in Monday's New York Times and Washington Post, "almost disappeared on TV, where it received barely a paragraph on ABC's newscast and no mention at all on NBC and CBS. Beinart points out that the appointment is particularly significant since al-Jaafari is increasingly regarded as a puppet for the radical anti-American cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr. Beinart notes that the cable news networks in particular now give trivia precedence over Middle East politics and he faults Fox News for its "jingoism and its isolationism" and CNN for failing to take advantage of its international breadth to nurture "the genuine curiosity about the world that existed, at least for a time, in the aftermath of the [9/11] attacks."