Monday, January 29, 2007

Un-photogenic demonstrators?

We get to see every mass demonstration in every country on this earth - except our own.  You have to wonder whether it's because somehow, American demonstrators are less photogenic than those of other countries...

When I was a rookie journalist at the French News Agency in Rome, I learned one rule of journalism.  It's called the death/kilometer ratio: the farther away an incident is from the public that is going to learn about it, the more deaths there have to be for the story to be newsworthy.

That's a rough rule of thumb everywhere for journalists - or at least it's supposed to be.  But it doesn't apply here.  It's Monday and I still haven't a clue how many people showed up on Saturday in the capital of my country to protest an illegal war. Thanks to Friday's  "Democracy Now", I do know that several legislators, including Maxine Waters, were to be present.

This morning, I endured a couple of hours of CNN without Saturday's event being mentioned.  Then, after dunning presidential candidate John Edwards  with the usual silly questions, Miles O'Brien terminated his interview just after Edwards said he disagreed with Hillary Clinton's position on funding for the war in Iraq.  The look on Edwards' face showed clearly that he was expecting to be asked what his own position was when he was thanked and O'Brien moved on to something else.

I see two possibilities: a boycott of the media, or a fund drive to send our top journalists back to basic training.

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