Friday, October 20, 2006

War, Blackwell, and war

The Enquirer comes in today with a generous five-paragraph story on Iraq on its front page, a story 400% longer than anything else they've had on the front page about Iraq in October. I think this is the full story from the New York Times, that with deaths rising in Baghdad, the U.S. is considering a new strategy. Even more surprising is that the Enquirer editorial board has something to say, and it's a real show-stopper: "Rising casualties in Iraq raise questions". No kidding! Ya think? The editorial board is expert at figuring out when questions have been raised, but not much good at answering them. Here, the board urges our good generals to come up with a new strategy, which the Times says they're already doing.

Yet again, the Enquirer puts Blackwell in the lead position on the front page, with the headline "Blackwell turns up heat at rally". Heat? You mean, "rhetoric"? Turning up the heat would mean Blackwell is closing Strickland's double-digit lead in the polls, something the story never asserts. (And which is it: were there 200 people at the rally, as the story says? Or 100, as the Enquirer's politics blog says?)

No other Ohio paper I could find put this on its front page. In fact, Columbus, Toledo and Cleveland all had the Dewine-Brown debate on their front pages, something the Enquirer buried at the bottom the Page 2 of the Local section. Going further, the Columbus Dispatch condemned Blackwell's behavior in an editorial Thursday, and the Findlay Courier did something I don't think I've ever seen before -- it withdrew its endorsement of Blackwell, based on his conduct. The slow-witted Enquirer editorial board is still fingering its naval over this one. When the story has been so big on the Enquirer's front page for three days now, why hasn't the editorial page come up with something to say?

Lastly, I don't like to criticize stories about WW II vets, since we can't honor them enough and they're dying off too quickly. But today's "Iwo Jima never forgotten" on the front page was all too predictable and a dull read. The Enquirer asked veterans about Iwo Jima and guess what? It was awful. There were bullets, there were bombs. They saw men die. Some of them were wounded themselves. And most important, they'll never forget it. Reporters are supposed to ask hard questions: Why did you do this? Did you kill anyone? How has that battle changed your life? And since we happen to be at war right now, what are your thoughts about Iraq? Pains are taken to tie the story to Flags of Our Fathers, the new Clint Eastwood movie, but not to a war we happen to be fighting right now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your insights. What's it going to take for the Enquirer to concede that the Republican Party has ruined the country?

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog!

The Republicans have ruined this country with the help of Democrats like Kerry and Clinton. Bi-partisan war, torture and a shredded constitution.

Vote Independent!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Brendan said...

Predictably, the enquirer has endorsed Blackwell for Governor. I actually held out some hope that some measure of sanity had possessed the Fishwrap when they endorsed Pepper. But alas the usual GOP party line has been held and the Enquirer is the only major Ohio paper to endorse that nutjob Blackwell.

2:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the worst part of the Enquirer's Blackwell endorsement was the smarmy way the editors pretended to decry Blackwell's smear of Strickland- and then proceeded to repeat the smear in the editorial!

Over the last week, the rest of the country has reported on Blackwell's campaign by accurately portraying him as part of a lunatic (losing) fringe. But in Cincinnati, where time stands still, they crown him.

8:07 AM  

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