Easing back into the world of TV coverage, from remotest Xinjiang. Re-entry via CNN (after a stint watching TV Monde: just too depressing to see that French, which I have not studied for 35+ years, is still 50x more comprehensible than the Chinese I'm wrestling with now. Same impression with Deutsche TV and RAI Italia, which I've studied only a little. Sigh.)
Ongoing special from Iraq, tied no doubt to the Petraeus-Crocker appearances. And every reference to the adversary in Iraq is to "al Qaeda."
* Michael Gordon, of the NYT, is interviewed and talks about the anti-US troop strategy of "al Qaeda."
* Michael Ware, usually a very, very tough critic of U.S. policy, narrates a perilous drive through Baghdad and refers maybe 50 times to "al Qaeda" threatening to attack him or Iraqi civilians.
* Anderson Cooper himself refers continually to "al Qaeda" as the author of all mayhem in Iraq.
Jeez louise! Even Petraeus's own briefing slides, which I have just seen, refer to "AQI" -- al Qaeda/Iraq, as distinguished from the actual al Qaeda that attacked the American mainland six years ago. Wasn't there a fair amount of fuss a few months ago about the Bush Administration's bait-and-switch trick in pushing the term "al Qaeda in Iraq" as a (bogus) way of stressing a link between Osama bin Laden and whoever is the enemy in Iraq? Why should CNN go along with this -- and improve on it, by dropping the "in Iraq" part? Is it that anxious about shaking its "liberal" image? Just curious.
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