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Belmont Club: Now a PajamasXpress Blog!

We are proud to announce the newest member of the in-house Pajamas blogging family — Richard Fernandez, a bold and insightful observer of world affairs. Check out his premiere post on Iraq and the media...

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June 23, 2008 - 12:19 am

“I wish you wouldn’t keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly; you make one quite giddy.”
“All right,” said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.
“Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,” thought Alice; “but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life.”

Lara Logan, the CBS correspondent in Baghdad, had something to say about a war which was vanishing rapidly from the front pages. ““Generally what I say is, ‘I’m holding the armor-piercing R.P.G. It’s aimed at the bureau chief, and if you don’t put my story on the air, I’m going to pull the trigger.’ ” She needed those threats to get her network to print anything about Iraq.

According to data compiled by Andrew Tyndall, a television consultant who monitors the three network evening newscasts, coverage of Iraq has been “massively scaled back this year.” Almost halfway into 2008, the three newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007. The “CBS Evening News” has devoted the fewest minutes to Iraq, 51, versus 55 minutes on ABC’s “World News” and 74 minutes on “NBC Nightly News.”

The Iraq War is vanishing from the front pages. That’s probably because situation on the ground no longer fits any of the narratives that were so confidently projected in 2007. Written off as a morass rapidly descending into chaos, Iraq is threatening to become a regular country. And that’s not the sort of news many newspapers are interested in.

Read the rest at Belmont Club

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