Our media today seem absolutely allergic to good news, especially when it comes to Iraq.
In the early morning of June 8, the story broke that American forces had killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, our most infamous terrorist enemy in Iraq. This was terrific news, a time for rejoicing in America. A man who viciously caused the death of thousands, and killed Americans like Nicholas Berg by personally sawing off their heads, would kill no more.
This should have been a time for national euphoria, and for most, it was. But the media's hearts clearly weren't in it. Within just a few minutes of the "Today" show announcement, a viewer could draw the clear sense that the poor-mouthing had begun. Matt Lauer began by noting the "timing" was certainly right for a Pentagon dragged down by allegations of a Marine massacre at Haditha. NBC invited Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) to describe how President Bush has been "basically crippled at home and abroad because of the incompetence of the way his administration has operated at home and abroad." We're going to discuss Bush incompetence -- minutes after we learn Zarqawi was located and eliminated?
Tim Russert sealed it as NBC ran a "special report" allowing Bush a stern-faced we-got-him speech laced with warnings that the war effort continues. The special didn't end until Russert was interviewed to pour some salt on the victory by declaring that "this is very, very good news today, but as we have learned over the last three years things can turn dramatically worse in Iraq within a moment's notice."
It's at moments like these when millions of Americans want to throw their TVs out the living-room window. When the news is bad, we get bad news for hours, day, weeks, months on end. When the news is good, within 15 minutes, we have these partisans in the media speculating that things will go bad again "within a moment's notice." Well, good news just happened this moment. Can we have a stinking moment? Can we have 15 minutes to feel good about our troops and their achievements?
NBC expects viewers to endure three obsequious hours of glorious tributes to Katie Couric for successfully handling cooking segments, but we can't get five minutes of praise for American soldiers risking their lives to keep us all safe from terrorism.