The general gist goes like this:
Did you know this?? -
- Did you know that 47 countries' have reestablished their embassies in Iraq ?
- Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 12 million Iraqi people?
- Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series o f polio vaccinations?
- Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?
You can read the whole email here: Did You Know?
The kicker of the email, however is the closing paragraphs:
OF COURSE WE DIDN'T KNOW!
WHY DIDN'T WE KNOW?
OUR MEDIA WOULDN'T TELL US!
Instead of reflecting our love for our country, we get photos of flag burning incidents at Abu Ghraib and people throwing snowballs at the presidential motorcades.
Tragically, the lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two purposes:
1. It is intended to undermine the world's perception of the United States, thus minimizing consequent support, and 2. It is intended to discourage American citizens and keep them off guard.
In response, I tried to envision what the media would be like if we followed the directive to "accentuate the positive".
Here's what I got:
SMITHFEILD- Although the Jones Family Home was burned to the ground last night, all the contents of their tool shed were saved, said Fire Department officials. Garden stakes, tomato cages, and the wheelbarrow came through the blaze unharmed.
"Clearly," said Fire Chief Dalton Duffus, "The saving of the tool shed shows that our policy of defending the outlying buildings before attacking the fire in the main residence is yielding tremendous results."
Yes...I can see how the morning paper would be a more pleasant experience if we followed this advice.
Incidently, there is an excellent response to the "Did You Know?" email here:
Mid-East Analysis Dot Com.
If you want to read more about how newspaper editors tackled this email, check this story out: Editors Ponder How to Present a Broad Picture of Iraq