. . . Friday May 14, 2004

A + B Equals Whatever My Opinion Is

There are a few things that can, it seems, turn smart to stupid in an instant. Some of these include:

- Crack Cocaine.

- The Desire to Get Laid.

- Partisan Politics

The last item on the list seems to be especially potent. Every event somehow gets manipulated to support the pre-determined opinions of people on one side of the aisle or the other.

I’ve discussed the blinding nature of partisanship before, first in The Hate and later in The Politicization of Pat Tillman.

Let’s examine it again in the coverage of Nick Berg and its relationship to the coverage of Abu Graib. There are plenty of ordinarily smart people who are arguing that the fact the Abu Graib story is getting more ink is a result of a liberal press, against the war, against Bush, and somehow, by extension (and this is always the subtext), with the terrorists.

According to the argument (you can see several examples gathered over at Instapundit’s site), the press has determined that Abu Graib is the important news item even though a large majority of public news seekers believe that Berg is the much bigger story. How does the partisan-thinker come to this conclusion? Simple. Look at the traffic to news sites in the hours following the breaking of the Berg story. And then look at phrases most searched for at the top search engines – which include Nick Berg video, Nick Berg, Berg beheading, etc.

Of course, according to this logic, the liberal press should also be chastised for failing to give enough coverage to Paris Hilton’s sex tape, Britney’s ass, Beyonce’s midriff and the major news that Pam Anderson just became an American citizen (Koppel and the New York Times both ignored that one, the Socialist bastards).

Come on. We know why there was a surge in traffic when the Berg story broke. We understand full well the sick curiosity that brought people by the millions to search and news sites in the hours after the brutal offense was first reported. Anyone who removes the partisan blinders can plainly see that the search for a glimpse of the Nick Berg video is anything but an affirmation that this story deserves more coverage than it’s getting or that it is somehow more important than the Abu Graib story.

A fanatical, violent, brutal, murderous, terror leader beheading an innocent person in Iraq is upsetting and horrible. I have a rage-induced knot in my stomach as I’m writing this. But it’s hardly a man bites dog story. Americans abusing prisoners, many of whom would later be seen as innocent of any charge, is.

Concentration is important!