The Poynter Institute, the world center for journalistic navel-gazing, has an interview with Ted Koppel about his reading of
the dead list tonight. Koppel expresses surprise at the reaction to the
show, and insists there’s nothing political about it: "I don’t want it
to make a political statement. Quite the contrary." Later he goes on to
contradict himself, apparently unconsciously:
"Why, in heaven’s name, should one not be able to look at the faces and
hear the names and see the ages of those young people who are not
coming back alive and feel somehow ennobled by the fact that they were
willing to give up their lives for something that is in the national
interest of all of us?" (Emphasis added.)
OK — so he’s on board that the whole deal is in the national interest.
That’s an improvement on the insistence that there’s nothing political
in this and that the show is just acting as a means of venerating the
dead because, well, they died. Although it would be a lot more fitting
to have an open discussion on the merits of the idea that the operation
really has been in the interest of all of us.