Powerful TV image obscures details

By the end of the day’s TV coverage, the symbol’s power had overtaken the hard facts. The tenor of American coverage proclaimed, as MSNBC’s on-screen label had it, the “liberation of Baghdad,” overwhelming more cautious reporters who pointed out that the U.S. forces did not yet control a majority of the capital and much more fighting was likely.

Few of the American news outlets emphasized how small the crowd of Iraqis around the statue really was.

This was burried on p. 8 or something of the Chicago Tribune. The fall of the statue I’d been seeing these last weeks on the CBS camera was plastered pretty prominently. I hope the Iraqis are glad for the regime’s collapse — assuming it has or this event is its herald. Or maybe the Iraqis think they’ve been taken out of a bad frying pan only to be dumped into a nasty fire. Let’s hope they don’t or if they do, they are wrong. The looting, I’m sure, is less than convincing evidence.