Ed Driscoll

DC's Afghanistan Koran Grandstand: CNN Buries the Lede

As Don Surber writes, “CNN buried its news in Paragraph 13 of this report — ‘Petraeus condemns Quran burning as protests rage on’ — but I dug it out for readers:”

From CNN:

However, President Karzai’s brother denied that the Kandahar protests were a result of the Quran burning.

“The protests in the last two days in Kandahar have no link to the Quran burning in U.S. at all, but were all organized by some people to loot public and government properties,” Ahmad Wali Karzai told CNN, adding that he condemned the desecration of Islam’s holy book.

Also Sunday, demonstrators in the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, protested the Quran-burning, blocking a major road that leads to the capital of Kabul, witnesses said. The Jalalabad protesters included university students.

The national assembly of clerics on Sunday condemned both the Quran-burning and the killings of civilians and United Nations staff members in the demonstrations.

At least nine people were killed and 73 injured in Kandahar on Saturday, and 12 people died Friday — including seven U.N. employees — when angry demonstrators stormed a U.N. compound in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan.

So, after nearly 10 years of U.S./NATO occupation, Afghanistan is still a smoldering cauldron of seething hatred in which after Friday’s prayers a mob goes out and kills 12 people.

This pastor in Florida provides a convenient scapegoat by the military, the administration and the legislative leadership, but the fact remains that the mission is far from over in Afghanistan.

As the Professor asks, did Harry Reid and Lindsey Graham “beclown themselves over nothing?”

But why would CNN bury this information? Perhaps the intense gravity well at work in the network’s institutional infrastructure caused it to fall to the bottom of the story. Similarly, for the past week, I’ve seen segments featuring CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and her new special, “Unwelcome: Muslims Next Door,” about a mosque in Tennessee, on one of the TVs at the gym seemingly every night. Even with no sound and just closed-captioning to go by, O’Brien’s body language in her reaction shots during each of her interviews tells the whole story about who she is and isn’t sympathetic to on this issue.

And between the Rev. Wright-admiring O’Brien, Fareed Zakaria, and former employees such as Octavia Nasr, Christiane Amanpour, and Eason Jordan, the network has a multi-decade narrative at play. No reason now for CNN to admit that the rest of us might have reasonable concerns in the post-9/11 world, even if those concerns might lead to doubleplusungood thoughtcrimes (see also: NPR’s dismissal of Juan Williams). And since most of us have already tuned the network out, it’s that much easier for the network to pick sides.

Or as Nick Cohen writes, “Logistics as much as infantile leftism produced the ideology of Middle Eastern commentary.”