The sound of one soldier falling in an otherwise empty forest

jessicalynchfreed.jpgThis week’s Newsweek takes a look at Bush’s new P.R. tactics, including the much-discussed new reliance on local TV reporters as disseminators of the adminstration’s policies. Of note, however, is a mention of a newfound sort of stonewalling of which even the inestimable Ari Fleischer might have proven incapable.
According to the article, on October 9th, one day after 13 American servicemen were injured by an Iraqi grenade attack, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s daily press briefing made no mention of these developments.
“Pushed by reporters, U.S. officials would only say the incident was under investigation. It was as if the ambush, and the casualties, had never happened.
In Baghdad, official control over the news is getting tighter. Journalists used to walk freely into the city’s hospitals and the morgue to keep count of the day’s dead and wounded. Now the hospitals have been declared off-limits and morgue officials turn away reporters who aren’t accompanied by a Coalition escort. Iraqi police refer reporters’ questions to American forces; the Americans refer them back to the Iraqis.”

Here’s hoping for a return to more politically expedient coverage of soldiers’ woes. How is Jessica Lynch doing, anyway? I bet she can’t wait to return to teaching kindergarteners from impoverished families again.