“News By The Numbers” In Iraq

By Brian 

Sunday’s Reliable Sources tackled the topic of “Iraq fatigue” in the media. CNN correspondent Frank Sesno weighed in:

 SESNO: The story is the daily death toll. It’s what I’m beginning to call news by the numbers. How many are dead. How many bombs there were. How many years before American troops pull out. How many American troops are doing what.

And the problem with that is it sells the story way short, and it only tells a very small shred of the story. Because what people need to know is what is happening in that country. What is happening to the political process? Is there any bang for the buck in terms of the rebuilding? These are the decisions — the information on which people are going to make decisions about whether it’s worth it to stay or not.

KURTZ: If you do it numerically, than 50 killed in a roadside bombing is a big story, and 30 killed is a medium story, and five killed is not such a big story?

SESNO: Yes, and none of them connect with the real people, the real lives and the real significance of the event itself. It’s just a body count.

Here’s the transcript…