John Tierney's new column: Bombs Bursting in Air If a man-bites-dog story is news and dog-bites-man isn't, why are journalists still so interested in
May 9, 2005

John Tierney's new column: Bombs Bursting in Air

If a man-bites-dog story is news and dog-bites-man isn't, why are journalists still so interested in man-blows-up-self stories?

Is he talking about Rick "man on dog" Santorum?

I realize that we have a duty to report suicide bombings in the Middle East, especially when there's a spate as bad as in recent weeks. And I know the old rule of television news: if it bleeds, it leads. But I'm still puzzled by our zeal in frantically competing to get gruesome pictures and details for broadcasts and front pages.

Over 300 people have been killed very recently, so I think that would be called news, especially after the Bush administration and other righties were proclaiming "mission accomplished" soon after the Iraqi election.

I'm not advocating official censorship, but there's no reason the news media can't reconsider their own fondness for covering suicide bombings. A little restraint would give the public a more realistic view of the world's dangers.

I thought that journalists were supposed to report news, not be restrained in their coverage because it is bloody. There's a war going on and the insurgents are using suicide bombs as the primary method they are employing.

Mr. Giuliani told the police to stop giving out details of daily crime in time for reporters' deadlines, a policy that prompted outrage from the press but not many complaints from the public. With the lessening of the daily media barrage, New Yorkers began to be less scared and more realistic about the risks on their streets.

The suggestion of treating the Iraqi war like Giuliani's crime statistics is ludicrous. Last I checked Giuliani didn't have to reduce the number of attacks during a war in New York.

Just as New Yorkers came to be guided by crime statistics instead of the mayhem on the evening news, people might begin to believe the statistics showing that their odds of being killed by a terrorist are minuscule in Iraq or anywhere else.

If its so safe in Iraq, lets ask the many reporters how really comfortable they feel walking around the green zone without the military guarding them. They wouldn't be there.

Terrorists know the numbers are against them and realize that daily bombings will not win the war. All along, their hope has been to inspire recruits and spread general fear with another tactic, the bombing as photo opportunity. For some reason, their media strategy still works
So it’s the media's fault because they are accurately reporting the news coming out of Iraq. It sounds like he believes the Power line story that an AP photographer might have been in cahoots with the terrorists to get some Pulitzer Prize winning shot.


Tbogg says: 9/12/2001. Dateline New York City: Yesterday sucked. But to talk about it only encourages the bad guys" Believe it or not, I'm starting to miss William Safire. As Media Matters points out, John Tierney seems to share a brain with David Brooks (which explains so much), so why both of them? read on

Attaturk says: Some might say -- WANKER! John Tierney, ladies and gentlemen, or as the New York Times should just advertise, "Two Bobos at Twice the Price!" on

Steve Gilliard says: Don't show the car bombs: Mr. Giuliani was an accomplished liar, who also released Patrick Dorismond's juvenile criminal record, defends the Diallo murderers and humiliated his wife in public on Mother's Day.... The fact is that car bombs reflect a lack of security. The media can't really cover Iraq because they might get kidnapped and have their heads cut off.

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