Media Ignore Tierney’s Advice, Cover New Suicide Attacks Widely

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By: E&P Staff

Less than 24 hours after New York Times’ columnist John Tierney called on the press to cut back coverage of suicide bombings in Iraq–to give the public ?a respite from gore?–a wave of such attacks struck the country, and the media, including Tierney’s own paper, made it a top story of the day. An account by John F. Burns and Terrene Neilan topped the Times’ own Web site.

Tierney had argued that ?a little restraint? would give the public a more ?realistic? view of the dangers. He also revealed that in the past decade he had only read three stories about suicide bombings to the end, and they were ones he had written himself.

The Times’ Web story today noted that the latest round of attacks brought the death toll in the past two weeks to about 380.

The five suicide attacks in three cities in Iraq killed more than 60 people Wednesday. A man with hidden explosives set them off in a line of people outside a police and army recruitment center in northern Iraq, killing 30 and wounding 35, police said.

In Tikrit, a suicide car bomb exploded in a small market near a police station, killing at least 27 people and wounding 75.
Three car bombs also exploded in Baghdad, killing at least four.

Tierney had suggested that if the media would downplay or ignore suicide bombings then ?people might begin to believe the statistics showing that their odds of being killed by a terrorist are minuscule in Iraq or anywhere else.?

He also asked: “How intrigued are people by murders when the motive, the weapon and the murderer’s fate are never in doubt?”

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