A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

life as an ostrich (ii): no news is not necessarily good news

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on February 13, 2007

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I was planning to write a funny piece this morning on fitness in the region, springing from a Kuwait Times article on body-building.

Twenty minutes ago, I noticed a “breaking news” announcement on Jazeera’s website:

مصدر أمني لبناني: 9 قتلى في انفجارين بحافلتين في طريق بكفيا بجبل لبنان

Lebanese security source: 9 killed in two explosions in two buses on the Bikfaya road in Jabal Lubnan.

I turned on al-Manar, the one local tv station I can consistently watch online as streaming video. Approximately the same message appeared on the bottom of the screen; meanwhile, an interview with a young opposition member continued apace.

My two radio standbys, Nour and Orient, were each continuing their scheduled programming: discussions of the weather and a tour of some hospital accompanied by speculation over whether tomorrow will turn violent.

BBC had a “breaking news” alert on its website; CNN, of course, had nothing. Reuters, which Jazeera, Manar, and BBC all identified as the source of their news alert, had nothing on its site.

Finally Manar began covering the explosion, using ANB footage. 9 dead, 45 injured (those numbers will undoubtedly change – estimating casualties is an imprecise art). (Update, 10:19 am: and indeed they have. Orient says 12 dead, 10 injured.)

I understand why CNN isn’t covering the explosions yet, but why the delay on these local news channels? Does no one want to cover another bus explosion in Lebanon?

Orient is just starting to cover the story, half an hour after I first saw the notice on Jazeera.

Those poor people, riding the bus to work on a rainy Tuesday morning with no warning of what was to come. No famous personalities, no “big men”; no justification for this attack.

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