I awoke this morning to a New York Times “Breaking News Alert” on my phone. Subject: “Obama Administration Officials Say Attack in Libya May Have Been Planned.”
Having spent the previous night hidden in the corner of the library working on my thesis, I was slightly out of the loop. Alas, my inbox, twitter, and various online news sources began to fill me in.
I read Romney’s hasty comment. I saw how news website could post things in real-time, creating an ever flowing/changing forum for discussion and fact – the benefits of which are both positive (in that news can be broken instantly and spread widely) and negative (in that said breaking news might not always be accurate, thus causing a hail storm of confusion).
This piece from The Week was a short and sweet recap of what five different news organizations had to say in regards to the “slaying” in Libya: The Boston Globe, BBC News, Commentary, Mother Jones and The Telegraph. Of note, Romney’s comment is not mentioned by The Week, merely some Republican displeasure at the embassy’s “weak initial statement.” Is it at all telling that these five snippets, two of which are international, omit the RNC’s candidate? Has this tragic event given Obama more attention and thus a platform to once again show and discuss his foreign policy stance – something Romney has yet to really do?
It was The Week’s choice to omit an article that gave voice to Romney. The Globe focused on a disrespectful movie, Commentary on the hard road Obama has before him, The Telegraph on why Obama can’t fully retaliate with harsh sanctions, BBC on Libya’s democratic future, and Mother Jones on how Obama is handling the situation similarly to how President Bush handled the cartoon of Mohammed. If my sole news source were The Week, Globe, Telegraph, Mother Jones, or the BBC (solely tunneled through The Week, for of course the greater BBC network etc. included mentions of Romney) would I have heard about Romney’s mistake? How much weight is placed in the hands of journalists trying to find their own individual and unique POV?