How the media make travel less safe for Americans

The latest terrorist act in Mumbai (Bombay) is getting a lot of press coverage. And the coverage is over-wrought, emotional and with no sense of history. Bombay (and India) have been here before. The monsters the western world created to fight the Russians in Afghanistan have always bled across the border into India. Thus, terrorists have attacked the Indian parliament, bombed a train in Gujarat, bombed commuter trains in Bombay and hijacked planes and kidnapped children. Almost once a year, Bombay itself is a target.  But both Bombay, and India, endure.  This time will be no different.

Why is the coverage this time so overwhelming? Maybe because the terrorists carried out a publicity coup by singling out Americans and British citizens and by choosing a Jewish center (yes, there are Jews in India; there have been Jews in India for centuries) as one of the places to attack. By focusing on the USA, UK and Israel, the terrorists are trying to align themselves against our highly unpopular (in the Muslim world) policies in Iraq and towards Israel.  And by immediately jumping in with wall-to-wall coverage when this happens (as compared to more cerebral coverage when American lives were not at stake), the American media is only serving the interests of the terrorists.

A little perspective served with a little less emotion would do wonders to reduce the incidence of terrorism.  It would, incidentally, also serve to keep Americans safer when they travel.

1 comment:

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