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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cincy Enquirer: Sucking Sand In Iraq Or Just Sucking

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The bizarre journalistic behavior exhibited of late at the Cincinnati Enquirer -- a major newspaper that seems off its meds -- took another strange twist Sunday with a banner six-column headline splashed across its Editorial Page that declares: "Iraq war belongs in classrooms."

At first blush, that sounds like the metro daily on the Ohio River wanted combat and bloodshed switched from streets to schools.

But, no, the headline was just another example of ineptitude and carelessness with words. What the newspaper, which is owned by Gannett Co. Inc., really was advocating was vigorous discussion of the Iraq war in Ohio's schools. "It is a dangerous thing to ignore the war's messy progression or doubt its enormous relevance. And it is negligent not to teach its lessons to our young," the Enquirer opined. It then went on to not offer any opinions about the lessons the nation has learned about the conduct of the war.


And it closed the editorial this way: "We don't need more apathetic onlookers, and we certainly don't need more ignorance. Certainly getting educated about a region we have largely ignored is our best defense against having to fight more wars there. And being trained to critically analyze American policy and then debate it makes us not just better citizens of our world, but of our city and our classrooms."

Again, nothing about the war's "messy progression."

Some might suspect the newspaper is trying to protect its commercial interests rather than speaking firmly and forcefully about the war -- one way or the other. Would it stoop to weasel rather than take a stand? Would it be afraid to offend somebody in the polarized universe of Iraq policy debate?

Clearly, the studied blandness performs no civic function, and it is disingenuous to proclaim Ohio citizens and students must become better informed, then back off from informing them with well-crafted, well-researched, well-reasoned arguments about U.S. policies in Iraq.

What is especially disheartening about today's Editorial Page bromide is that a few weeks ago the Cincinnati City Council took up a resolution that challenged President Bush's plan to add about 22,000 new troops in Iraq, commonly called the surge or escalation.

The Enquirer dodged, weaved and if it took a position on the city's resolution to oppose the surge -- which was adopted -- nobody seems to know what it is. In other words, it would not jump into the debate, pro or con.

Today's editorial is HERE. And remember it was printed by an Ohio newspaper that says the "Iraq war belongs in classrooms."

1 comment:

  1. At our house, it isn't Sunday unless and until I have my grumble about the Cincy Enquirer. I've lived all over the US and the Enquirer is hands down the worst daily paper I have ever seen. If you don't believe me, read their featured village idiot columnist, Peter Bronson.