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Rather not report it

The news of Dan ("Ted Baxter") Rather's impending retirement from the CBS Evening News has been headline news in itself, especially coming so soon after the botched report of GWB's national guard dodge. This coming less than a week before the retirement of Tom ("Ted Baxter") Brokaw from the NBC Nightly News. Peter ("Ted Baxter") Jennings continues to hold the fort at ABC The World Tonight. I hope Walter ("Walter Cronkite") Cronkite is enjoying his retirement.

Anyway, it was good to see Rather's CBS frontline contemporary from the good old days, Marvin Kalb, discussing The Big Dan Rather Story on CNN Newsnight earlier this afternoon.

All of which leads me to two articles published this week discussing the mainstream US media's flagrant ignorance of genuine international news.

"Looking away as a tragedy unfolds" by Dick Rogers appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle last Sunday. Sudan, Rogers writes, has been the subject of 65 reports in the Chronicle this year, 23 of those being briefs. The tragedies of Darfur have made the front page just three times. In contrast, Barry Bonds was the subject of 14 page one stories, the Scott Peterson murder case 36.

As Rogers puts it:

One lesson of Rwanda, site of another African genocide, is that much of
the world was allowed to look away. Newspapers, this one included, should
apply that lesson in Sudan.

Meanwhile, the IPS news agency dumped on the US media's coverage of the Americas' defence ministers' conference in Quito. Jim Lobe's analysis piece published yesterday entitled "U.S. Media Miss Rumsfeld's 'Dirty Wars' Talk" puts us in the picture.

Still, there is always the brilliant and almost unseen Democracy Now!