John Tierney is getting a lot of criticism for his suggestion that the press should give less coverage than it does now to suicide bombings -- but, you know, he's right when he says it would have an effect on perceptions. He writes that when he was a war correspondent, he and his colleagues
wondered morosely if we could have done a service to everyone - victims, mourners, readers - by reducing the story to a box score.
Well, that's pretty much what his paper, and many other papers, have done with the deaths and injuries of U.S. servicemembers -- literally put them in a box. (In today's print Times, this appears in a box on page A8.) This isn't a new development, of course -- see this Bill Berkowitz column from last August, which noted that even then the press had lost interest in U.S. casualties.
It worked, didn't it? Bush won in November, didn't he? And even though he's doing next to nothing right, he's still near 50% approval in the polls, isn't he?