My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Saddam Is Dead--Media Takes

From the AP: Saddam Hussein, the shotgun-waving dictator who ruled Iraq with a remorseless brutality for a quarter-century and was driven from power by a U.S.-led war that left his country in shambles, was taken to the gallows clutching a Quran and hanged Saturday.

From the NYTimes: Saddam Hussein, the dictator who led Iraq through three decades of brutality, war and bombast before American forces chased him from his capital city and captured him in a filthy pit near his hometown, was hanged just before dawn Saturday during the morning call to prayer.

From the WaPo: Former Iraqi President Hanged Before Dawn in Baghdad to Divided Reaction

Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was hanged in the predawn hours of Saturday for crimes against humanity in the mass murder of Shiite men and boys in the 1980s, sent to the gallows by a government backed by the United States and led by Shiite Muslims who had been oppressed during his rule, Iraqi and American officials said.

From the WashTimes: Saddam Hussein, who ruled Iraq with remorseless brutality for a quarter-century, was hanged early today.

The man who came to a grim end at the end of a rope had vexed three U.S. presidents. The 69-year-old dictator left the United States and a coalition of nations in a fight to quell a stubborn insurgency waged by Saddam loyalists.

From the Comcast News Site: Clutching a Quran and refusing a hood, Saddam Hussein went to the gallows before sunrise Saturday, executed by vengeful countrymen after a quarter-century of remorseless brutality that killed countless thousands and led Iraq into disastrous wars against the United States and Iran.

Seriously, who writes these things?

"Left his country in a shambles?" Couldn't pass the chance to take a swipe at the war, eh?

And who edits the WaPo? Other than being, quite possibly, the worst sentence ever constructed ( I guarantee Mrs. Ghering would've returned that to me with a big red mark in 11th grade), I highly doubt that "Iraqi and American officials" would say "backed by the United States and led by Shiite Muslims who had been oppressed during his rule."

And "executed by vengeful countrymen?" Really? Not "hanged to death in accordance with the sentence handed down by a jury after a full and open trial which was then upheld by Iraq's highest appeal's court?" No, it's "vengeful countrymen."

Actually, you want to know what's funniest about the whole thing? The AP story, the WashTimes story, and the Comcast version were all written by the same guys. Yep, the byline for all three is Christopher Torchia and Qassim Abdul-Zahra.

Just goes to show you what a little editing will do for you. All three, of course, are just a little bit snarky in tone; but you see how the process of getting it into the paper once it hits the editor's desk sort of alters what the reader gets.

And, in a surprise development, the first paragraph of the NYTimes is, by far, the most "uneditorialized" of all those out already tonight. What were the odds, eh? I guess it had to happen sometime.

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