Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Good news from Paris

Wednesday's Wall Street Journal Europe editorial page (subs req'd) is upset with the French public TV networks for not showing all the mayhem in the suburbs:

Pictures of the worst urban violence in France since World War II are capturing the world's imagination. Only the French themselves aren't necessarily watching the same thing as the rest of the planet.

The country's largest private television network, TF1, refrains from airing footage of burning cars or buildings. "We know that it's the type of thing that provokes contagion," Robert Namias, the head of the station's news division, told the Journal yesterday ... Pretending otherwise [no emergency] won't help France understand or come to grips with the problems in the burning banlieues that have caught most of France -- certainly, consumers of its television news -- by surprise.

Yet this same editorial page has for the last two years claimed that the problem in Iraq is media coverage of the bad stuff, and hosted a "Good News from Iraq" spot on their website -- assembled by a blogger on the frontline (Australia):

... no escaping the continuing negativity of the mainstream media coverage ... Experts might debate exactly how much water there is in the Iraqi glass, but there is little doubt that--yet again--while the cameras and microphones were pointing toward the carnage, violence and corruption, Iraq has continued its slow and steady march out of its three-decade-long nightmare into a much more normal tomorrow ... It's a pity because the story of "Iraq, the phoenix rising from the ashes" is in many ways a lot more interesting, not to say consequential, than the usual steady media diet of "Iraq, the Wild East."

We're off now to get a number on how many French children attend school today -- something the relentlessly negative media have failed to report.

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