Though the story itself is a bit less pathetic than the headline, I thought the headline merited the following letter to the editorial staff of the Chicago Tribune:
Hiram Johnson, governor of California from 1911 to 1916, is credited with saying “the first casualty when war comes is truth.” I suppose that Governor Johnson would be shaking his head and sighing if he were reading the headline on the front page of today’s (April 9, 2003) Chicago Tribune. “U.S. fights off Iraqi attacks”? This creative use of language, sadly indicative of the Tribune’s coverage of this ‘war,’ would make Woodrow Wilson and Joseph Goebbels proud. If Nation A invades Nation B, then Nation A is the attacker, and Nation B is the defender. The only correct use of the word “attack” in reference to Nation B would be as part of the term “counterattack.”
Does the editorial staff of the Tribune not know that the current war is being fought entirely on Iraqi soil? Do they know that the U.S. attacked and invaded a sovereign nation without first having a single shot being fired or aimed at U.S. soil? If the editors of the Tribune wish to maintain a commercially viable level of ‘patriotic’ bias at the expense of journalistic integrity, it is their right as agents of a corporate free-speech entity to do so. However, the least they could do would be to give a reasonably accurate description of the nature of what is occurring in Iraq. Perhaps doing so, however, would place the Tribune in the unenviable position of revealing too much truth in a time of ‘war,’ thus risking alienation (and a loss of circulation) from the bloodthirsty and ignorant majority of their readership.