And now the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Saddam's Son Speaks
An editorial in an Iraqi weekly owned by Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, calls for suicide squads to attack American targets and interests. The editorial, in the Sept. 5 edition of Al Iqtisadi (which means The Economist) says the U.S. "practices international terrorism against the whole world." It urges, "striking their economic interests and establishments, and considering everything American as a military target." It goes on to call for creation of "suicide martyr squads to attack American military and naval bases."
If you have the impression that television and newspaper coverage of a possible military strike against Iraq has been overwhelmingly negative, a new study says you're right. The Center for Media and Public Affairs looked at the coverage on the nightly broadcast network news shows and in the New York Times from the July 1 through the August 25, and found it 72 percent negative. That is, 72 percent of the views quoted and heard in the coverage were opposed to the administration's position. Even among Republicans quoted, the views were 53 percent negative.
Oops, It Should Have Been Somewhere Else?
Remember that Reuters news agency photo of Ground Zero we showed you last week with a caption that contained the sentence, "Human rights around the world have been a casualty of the U.S. ‘war on terror’ since Sept. 11?" Reuters is now saying that the caption was a mistake, because it took a sentence from an accompanying news story "out of context." In fact, however, that language was the lead paragraph of the accompanying news story — stated without attribution, as Reuter's own conclusion. Reuters, of course, refuses to apply the word "terrorist or terrorism," even to the 9/11 hijackers.
Phones Will Be Quiet During Dinner!
Finally, the nation's telemarketers will apparently do their part to commemorate the anniversary of last year's terrorist atrocities. Kevin Brosnahan of the American Teleservices Association says his group's members will treat Sept. 11 as "a day to not really press for marketing." And Perry Young, director of a telemarketing center in Omaha, Neb., says he personally would be offended to get a call at home tomorrow by someone trying to sell him something.