did you hear about the saudi bombing?
I just left these words in Jeff's comments:
I've been covering this story non-stop over at Command Post since it broke. I've been dismayed at how little play it's getting on both television and in print.
This is a big deal. The targets were American. How does that make it different than a terror attack on our own soil, which would get far more coverage?
I've had a hard time getting updates and casualty numbers. It's hard to even find a good quote besides the usual Colin Powell sound bites.
Have we dismissed al Qaida to the extent that we are shrugging this off as them grasping at straws? Or does the death toll have to reach thousands before the media treats it as major news?
I wondered about this last year - what will it take to get the media hyped up about terror attack now that they've covered the biggest one they've ever witnessed? Even the Bali bombing was in and out of the news quickly (in America), too quickly if you ask me.
So is the overall lack of coverage of yesterday's attack simply because the bar has been raised too high and 90 deaths doesn't seem like big news anymore? Have we become so immune to the tragedy of terror attacks that they don't warrant our seemingly endless film clips and soundbites anymore?
I think that this is a desperate effort by Al Qaeda to show that it can still do something. And the target audience is largely in Saudi Arabia and the Islamic world, not here. But the world has changed to their disadvantage. Against the backdrop of (false) security in the 1990s, stuff like this was big news. Now -- next to the war in Iraq -- this looks like small potatoes by skulking losers.
I disagree. It should still be big news. Just because they were able to only kill ninety people this time does not mean it will not be more the next time. This isn't small potatoes next to Iraq - Glenn is comparing potatoes with corn (or whatever the vegetable equivalent of apples and oranges is). If skulking losers can kill 90 people, imagine what they can accomplish if this emboldens them and they are no longer skulking. We need to take this seriously, to cover it as if it were as important as I think it is. We need to give it all the rage and anger we have given to terrorist attacks in the past so they don't think we have become complacent, because that's sure what this coverage looks like to me.
It troubles me that were this to happen here, on American ground, the reaction would probably be different. Ninety deaths would suddenly seem too signficant to throw under the coverage of SARS.
Even though message of the attacks was clearly one sent to the United States, it seems somehow different, or less of an event, if it didn't happen here. That's not my feeling, of course, just the feeling I'm getting from the media.
Have we really become that blase about terrorism or am I missing something vital here, something that would preclude this story from being a big one?
I think Aimee (in the comments) hit the nail on the head:
If we're not focused on what they're up to, what will they do next time to get our attention?
I don't think, like some people do, if we downplay their attempts at terrorism they will give up and go away. I think they will just try to make it bigger and more attention-grabbing the next time. They are nothing if not publicity hounds.