No ‘Shock and Awe’ Five Years Later
March 19, 2008 12:17 PM
Today marks the five-year anniversary of the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. TV coverage of the war then was nonstop and so were appearances from Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clark, who described it as a “shock and awe” attack.
Those of us in cable could not take our eyes off the screen, as we remembered her mostly as the former head of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s communications department. And there she was standing at the side of then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, explaining the role of “embedded” journalists, another contribution to the language from spin-mistress Clark.
Five years have now elapsed and the war wages on. We no longer hear about “shock and awe” or “embedded” journalists. And Clark is out of the Pentagon, having returned to the corporate world, now consulting for the nation’s largest multiple system operator, Comcast Communications.
A lot has changed in five years, with the economy, not the war, now the No. 1 issue for Americans, with the war coming in second. And that’s showing up on TV news—even today, on the five-year anniversary of a war that was supposed to be over in one year.
Today, far more airtime was devoted today to the Fed’s 75-basis-point cut in the interest rate, its bailout of Bear Sterns, the shrinking dollar and high gas prices. And that’s a mistake on the part of newsgathering organizations. After all, the price tag for this war that has killed more than 3,900 Americans is at the root of America’s economic woes.