Friday, March 11, 2005

Burying the Real News

Thank goodness Cori Dauber at Rantingprofs reads the NY Times and notices these little tidbits--which she points out are buried deep within articles that most people won't bother to read. This article was ostensibly about the recent Shia Mosque suicide bombing:

The attack occurred as senior Shiite and Kurdish officials said in interviews that they had reached an agreement in principle on forming a coalition government, but were still negotiating some sticking points. They have agreed that a transitional basic law approved last spring will be the basis for a new government, and that Sunni Arabs should be given prominent government posts. The transitional law says, in part, that Islam should be a source of legislation rather than the sole source.

You remember that basic law. It took some time to get all parties to agree to that one. It has some aspects, despite the pride of place for Islam, that will sound a bit familiar.

All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect, opinion, belief, nationality, religion, or origin, and they are equal before the law. Discrimination against an Iraqi citizen on the basis of his gender, nationality, religion, or origin is prohibited. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his life or liberty, except in accordance with legal procedures. All are equal before the courts.
There's a good bit more in here updating the status of negotiations, particularly with the Kurds, but the two key points seem like done deals: a continued effort to bring in the Sunnis, and an agreement that Islam will be a basis for the law, not the basis for the law.

Oh, gee whiz, look what else is buried in here.

New details also emerged on Thursday about the shooting on March 4 of an Italian journalist who had been held hostage. A United States Embassy official here said the soldiers who fired on the car carrying the hostage were providing security for John D. Negroponte, the United States ambassador to Iraq.

"The mobile checkpoint was set up to enhance security for Negroponte," the official said. It was not clear whether Mr. Negroponte, whom President Bush has nominated as the first director of national intelligence, had passed through the checkpoint before the shooting

Both of these buried stories deserve their own headline and emphasis. Getting this kind of important information about what is going on in the world is exactly why I used to read the papers; and I subscribed to several major ones so I wouldn't miss it.

This particular tactic described by Cori is one of the reasons why I don't subscribe to the Times any longer.

The first tidbit is rather exciting news about the developing Iraqi democracy. The second story is extremely relevant information regarding the Sgrena incident at the checkpoint.

Wouldn't you have wanted to know about these things independently of a headline that read "Bombing at Shiite Mosque in Mosul Leaves 40 Dead" on page A-8?

My 12 year old could edit a story better than this.

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