AP Wire | 01/18/2006 | Editorial roundup: "Jan. 17
Erie (Pa.) Times-News, on Sen. Santorum and reporting in Iraq:
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum faces a difficult re-election campaign. The Pennsylvania Republican shouldn't make it harder by making it absurd. In a speech Thursday, he attacked the media for reporting the "tragic consequences" of the war in Iraq. Focusing on them was "helping Islamic fascism win the battle."
Of course, the media report far more than tragedy. They report about military operations in the field; American efforts to establish a new Iraqi army; the trial of Saddam Hussein, including how many of its participants are murdered or threatened; political developments, for example the recent Iraqi constitution and elections; Iraqi religious factions; the speeches, interviews and press conferences on the war back home by the president, vice president, the military and gasbag commentators; and, of course, terrorist attacks. Americans aren't blind -- they notice explosions.
But do not report war's "tragic consequences"? Report its nice ones instead? Does Santorum want the American media to forget the bravery and sacrifices of U.S. troops on the ground? The media cannot report them without also reporting "tragic consequences."
Imagine the outcry of grieving families if suddenly those sacrifices were deliberately, cynically forgotten.
We know what Santorum means. Some American politicians and commentators criticize the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq war. Some Americans -- it seems a growing number -- look at standard news reports and question the administration's competence.
Santorum wants no questions.
He asks for the moon, and expects the American media to stick their collective head in the sand."