Remember all of the 2002 beltway sniper killings committed by John Muhammad and Lee Malvo?
Each one of those deaths garnered loads of front page media attention. That is because human life was sacred and because every preventable death needed to be publicized to prevent further deaths. I remember the media detailing the deaths of each of those victims. Yes, the media described it as “terror” when those guys ran loose killing hundreds of people . . .
What? Only ten people were killed in the beltway sniper killings? I don’t understand that, because 70 U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq in May and 76 more were killed in April, but details of those deaths aren’t on the front page. In fact, those details aren’t anywhere in my local newspaper. Nor have I seen any details about the more than 2000 Iraqis killed in the past two months as part of our effort to save them from Saddam Hussein.
Nor do I see any headlines like this: “Our President is Clueless about Iraq.” Nor do I see any headlines like this: “U.S. MEDIA IS TIRED OF COVERING IRAQ DEATHS. HAS NO INTEREST IN COVERING THE WOUNDED.”
What about those dozens and dozens of injuries in Iraq–you know, the lack of coverage about all those people lucky enough to be wheeled home without legs? Barely a blip. Their families are probably wondering what the deal is. After all their loved one comes home, his or her life shattered by a horrible injury, and the national silence is deafening. Maybe each of those families can point to lists of statistics with some solace: “Look! There were 42 soldiers suffering injuries during the week of May 18, 2006! That statistic includes YOU!”
Nor have I yet seen this headline: “U.S. Media Would Rather Cover Sports and Entertainment — Yankees Trounce Red Sox.” Such a headline would be true, of course. While endless blood is spilled in Iraq, more newsworthy things are happening: The higher-up flashier headlines update us on the results and in-depth coverage of every baseball game played in the U.S. and every tiny detail of the life of every Hollywood celebrity.
I’m tempted to say that we cared more about human life back in 2002, but that conclusion would fail to recognize the widespread corruption of the mainstream media.