May 4, 2008

In LA: Freewayblogger keeps rolling

You can't tell there's a war going on in this country. But if you have one person in every city doing what I do, you wouldn't be able to drive anywhere without seeing protest against the war and the president. - Freewayblogger
A thought has been turning over and over in my mind lately about how invisible the Iraq War has become in this country, about how easy it has become to avoid and ignore it. It's still in the news and on blogs but major media has not made a sustained effort to keep it front and center, as always choosing instead to focus on non-issues like Obama's minister or Hillary's campaign style or the latest sex scandal involving politicians or, of course, celebrities.

Something struck me today in the print edition of the Post-Gazette that was quietly horrifying, a Dr. Strangelove-moment of an unsettling degree. On the weather page, I was reading through the temperature listings by city, a habit of mine, especially when I travel. What I noticed was the listing for Baghdad is in bold type, the only one that appears that way.

I thought of family members of those in the military and serving in Iraq and wondered how they felt each day as they looked at this information. I wondered what brought about the decision to do this at the paper. I didn't know whether to damn the Post-Gazette for reducing it to this or commend them for a quiet nod of empathy, as if they were saying, "We know you are worried" to the families.

The Bushies have succeeded in cowing the press and have made certain that the Iraq War remain their private affair. Media coverage of returning casualties is banned and what coverage there is of war protest is muted, if evident at all, as Jerome Sherman points out today in the Post-Gazette. But when I came across this Freewayblogger clip, it gave me hope that maybe the anti-war movement still has life in it, still has ways to carry their message to the public.

TOTH to Wooster Collective.