Friday, July 07, 2006

Media use terrorists and vice versa.

Today is the 1st anniversary of the London bombings which left 52 people dead and hundreds injured, of whom about 100 were sufficiently injured to require at least an overnight stay in hospital.

Last night, on the eve of the anniversary, BBC’s Newsnight programme carried an item which pointed out that this was less than the numbers killed and injured on UK roads in an average month and queried whether the risks posed by terrorist attacks were being exaggerated.

I found this ironic given that it’s actually the 24-hour coverage by broadcast media that makes the biggest meal out of such attacks and, for that reason, this same media has become an essential tool in the terrorist arsenal.

Newsnight also pointed out that the numbers killed and injured in the Madrid bombings of March 2004 were also less than the average monthly casualties on Spanish roads.

It’s worth pointing out that the average annual number of roads deaths in the USA is about 45k pa. This means that since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, about 145k people have died as a result of road accidents in the USA. One can safely extrapolate that over 1m will have been injured in accidents in the same period.

Contrast this with the figures on the website “Iraq Body Count” which, as of today, quote a minimum 38.8k to maximum 43.3k dead since the start of hostilities. This number includes 7-8k killed during the actual invasion. Where is Michael Moore when you really need him - the real scandal is the acceptance of the huge number of road casualties with little or no public or media outrage.

An additional and interesting contrast was offered by the 90th anniversary of the start of the battle of the Somme on 1st July. In 1914 on that day, 20,000 British troops died and 40,000 were wounded on the first day of the battle. In the past 3 weeks, 6 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan and the UK media have been quick to highlight this a as another potential military disaster.

If the media has it’s way, no Government will ever risk a single life abroad, so despots and mass murderers like Saddam can, in future, sleep easy in their beds. God bless the liberal agenda.

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