Sunday, January 23, 2005

Hugh Hewitt back in the LA Times

Click here for AmazonHugh Hewitt is back in the LA Times, at the behest of editors who are, to their credit, offering its critics brickbats and hoping for honest, pointed guidance. Hewitt sensibly partitions the problematic Times coverage into a single, highest-priority concern: covering the GWOT as a war against a bright, motivated, and determined enemy, rather than as disparate, unrelated actions by disorganized groups of nutjobs.

In short, the Times has been as guilty as (or more guilty than) other MSM outlets in failing to paint a comprehensive picture of the threat: the linkages between the Madrid bombings and 9/11, the web of far-flung and clever AQ-affiliated organizations, the lifecycle of violence borne in the madrassas and terminating with catastrophic suicide attacks...

The rest of the MSM needs to follow the example of the Times. Clear the decks and balance coverage with respected, eloquent critics from the right side of the aisle. Britt Hume's show is the template for this sort of forum, but there is no reason that other MSM outlets can't capture the spirit of his show.

Read the whole thing, but here are some highlights of his recommendations:

• Do more to identify and inform the readers on the organization, leadership and capabilities of the Islamist terrorist network, paying more attention to experts who support the war in Iraq and believe... that the battles there will ultimately slow the spread of terrorism elsewhere.

• Start a daily — a daily — feature on the Global War on Terrorism and call it that. Explain the money trail and detail the leadership and do so with the repetition that assures that readers are not overwhelmed with one giant aircraft carrier of a piece. Give them the digestible segments that make for understanding. Where does the support come from and who manages the accounts? Are there names behind the cash that funds the madrasas that churn out the jihadists? What has been done to stop the funding? ...

In short, The Times needs to reorganize to actually cover the war as a war. The last global war was not covered as though the Pacific Theater was independent of the battles in North Africa, or the Russian front disconnected from the D-day invasion. As with that global struggle, so with this one. As it is, unfortunately, readers know less of the terrorist enemy than 1942 readers knew of the geography of North Africa...

Hugh Hewitt in the LA Times: Cover the Terror War as a War

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