Lake Ridge, Va.: Hi Howard — I heard a rumor that the U.S. is still fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Can that be true? The media is only talking about Israel and Lebanon. The fact is that more people have died in the past week in Iraq than in Lebanon. Bring the media focus back to what really matters to Americans.
Howard Kurtz: I happen to believe that Iraq has gotten short shrift over the last two weeks. For television, in particular, most of the reporters who were in Iraq are now in Israel and Lebanon. I understand the impulse — the Mideast war is new and novel, while the carnage in Iraq is a three-year-old story that has a certain repetitive quality — but it’s still a place where 130,000 American troops are fighting, and where the outcome is anything but certain.
I wonder if it’s repetitive for each family that loses someone. I wonder if it feels old and boring, same tired old story, ho hum, to them. I wonder if they’ve gotten over the novelty factor yet.
Repetitive quality. Jesus.