Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Media And Their Meaningless Milestones

The milestone the media has been anxiously awaiting has finally become a reality. The U. S. Military death toll in Iraq has now reached 2,000. A quick Google search using "U. S. Death Toll 2,000" as the criteria, reveals 2,740 entries, so I don't believe it is out of line for me to say the media has been anxiously awaiting this day.

Is the press going nuts over this simply because 2,000 is such a nice, round number? Is it because 2,000 just rolls of the tongue better than 1,997? Did we go from fighting the war on terror to losing it with three additional deaths?

Eric at Classical Values points out this number fascination that has the media beside themselves:

I'm having a problem with numbers. The war in Iraq is said to be on the
verge of being more wrong than it has ever been before, once the number of
American dead rises from 1997 to 2000...

Am I supposed to be more against the war when the number of killed in
action hits 2000 than I was when it was 1997?

If so, why?

The Inquirer says that the number 2000 will be "a sobering
reminder of the human cost of the U.S. presence in that country."


Just as 1997 was just as sobering a reminder, I think 1000 was also a
very sobering number. Except I'm not sure what is meant by sobriety...

But I'm no more sober than I was. At least I don't feel any more

Or is wanting a U.S. victory less than "sober"?

I could be wrong, but I'm getting the distinct impression that
"sobriety" is being used as a synonym for wanting the United States to pull out
of Iraq.

I couldn't agree more! The press treats the death that marks their predetermined "milestone" as much more significant than the deaths that immediately preceded it. I find that absolutely disgraceful. If the press were to talk to the parents of those who died, whether they be number 820, number 1,527, number 2,000 or any number in between, these parents wouldn't refer to any of them as a milestone. They would refer to them as my son or my daughter. They were a part of their lives that can never be replaced, not part of a nice round number in some imaginary milestone.

It seems to me the press wanted this "milestone" to occur precisely when it did so that it could be used to overshadow the real milestone that occurred today: The ratification of the Iraqi Constitution.

Thanks to: Stop the ACLU, Political Teen, Cao's Blog, and Mudville Gazette.

UPDATE(8:09AM): Committees of Correspondence takes us back to the first media "milestone"(1,000) and points out the harassment inflicted on the family of one slain soldier in particular.

Partisan Pundit offers perspective from a Marine's point of view.

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