Thursday, August 31, 2006

Whose life is more important?

The choices are a.) a soldier in Iraq, b.) a soldier from Cincinnati in Iraq, or c.) a three-year-old victim of child abuse.

The Enquirer's answer is clearly "c", based on their choices for front page stories. It's clearly not "a", because Iraq news has disappeared from the front page of the Enquirer. And it's clearly not "b". The Enquirer gave the death of Marine Cpl. Tyler Warndorf of Burlington, Ky., the small lower right corner of the front page. The story is just 20 paragraphs long, nearly one for every year of Warndorf's life.

The tragic death of three-year-old Marcus Fiesel, however, get's the lion's share of the front page. And, as I write this, there are a dozen more links dated today about this death on the Enquirer's web site.

I'm not arguing that Fiesel's death isn't an important story, not only because of the tragic way he died and the bizarre coverup, but also because of the flaws it exposes in the foster care system. The Enquirer isn't giving much attention to the flaws angle however, choosing instead the more sensational one, with a NY Post-ish headline "They'll get what they deserve".

But clearly, the most important story in the United States is the war in Iraq, but the Enquirer only gives it front-page play when a local soldier dies, and then only grudgingly. The small-minded editors at the Enquirer are clearly bored with this story.


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