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May 12, 2004

THE NATIONAL DEBATE is proclaiming a double standard on graphic images among American media: Publishing images that might inflame Arabs against Americans is responsible journalism. So is not publishing images that might inflame Americans against Arabs. And, TND notes, "media squeamishness has now extended beyond images to the written word."

Well, not everywhere. But there does seem to be a double standard here.

UPDATE: Howard Kurtz thinks the networks broadcast too much of the Berg video:

Suddenly, everything was put into perspective.

(Did the networks have to play the gruesome video, except for the final act, thus handing the terrorists the propaganda victory they wanted? A still shot, a snippet, and a description wouldn't have been enough?)

If this was an old-fashioned propaganda war, this sickening decapitation tape would never have been released, since it trumps a story that was making the United States look very bad. But these killers don't care about that, or apparently about human life itself. So they've succeeded in making the American abuses--for which the president has apologized, and which is being investigated, and courts-martial convened--small by comparison.

Yes. Bush's greatest asset is the tendency of his enemies to overplay their hands at crucial junctures.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Some people are angry. More thoughts here.