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Guess what? Good mothers and blue-ribbon apple pie aren't news

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The media are often criticized for being so skeptical, so don't be surprised if we're skeptical of such criticism.


RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 1/22/2006

By RICHARD AMRHINE

continued

Second, the magazine's editors had to know the cover would sell some extra copies and raise a ruckus that the daily press would cover, creating an early example of the media covering the media. Time magazine became part of the story. For that it would merit some criticism.

Once you've questioned God, is anything sacred? Perhaps it was less treacherous journalistically to scrutinize the president six years later during Watergate, considering that the media had already put God himself under the microscope.

Suffice it to say we are supposed to play the devil's advocate. I can hear the media detractors now, saying it's no surprise to hear we're aligned with the devil.

This evaluation is prompted more or less by the absurd e-mails I get filling me in on all the good news going on in Iraq that the press fails to report. Or how military brass and Cabinet members say media negativity is destroying the troops' morale.

People who suggest that members of the media don't love their country because they question the president or his policies simply don't get it. How are we anti-soldier, or un-American, when we question the decisions that have cost the lives of thousands of U.S. troops? How is that irresponsible?

On the contrary, it would be irresponsible and un-American to accept what comes out of the Pentagon or the White House as gospel. After all the backpedaling on weapons of mass destruction and the so-called intelligence that put us in Iraq in the first place, is anyone really foolish enough to believe George Bush, Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld without seeking some corroboration?

Of course there are good things happening in parts of Iraq--even Baghdad. How wonderful it is that there is reconstruction going on, that kids are happily going to school each day, that the training of Iraqi troops to fight their own war is ongoing.

Consider that with the destruction of two space shuttles and their crews, criticism rained down on NASA, and deservedly so. But no one is forgetting or ignoring that NASA put Americans on the moon, or has undertaken scores of successful missions.

Everyone knows that surgeons perform miracles every day, but they make news when they leave a scalpel inside a patient, or amputate the wrong leg.


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