Why make such a big deal out of problems in Iraq?

Question: The media runs the country. Bush screams about thugs, assassians and murders in Iraq. A rape every six minutes in this country, 12,000 murders a year, then all the kidnappings and other terrible crimes. Why is this acceptable in the U.S. but not in Iraq? Why does not the media make this an issue? Everyone intimidated? -- Hank Kuhlman

Answer: I find it difficult to imagine that anyone in the United States, including those who work in the media, find the rate of murder, rape and kidnappings here to be, in your words, "acceptable." We do our best to report on acts of violence, the pain and suffering endured by victims and family members, and the cost of violence on our society as a whole. In recent months we have published extensive stories in The Spokesman-Review about domestic violence, for instance.

True, we are intently focused on the ongoing cycle of violence in Iraq. It happens to be the dominant international story of the year and is likely to remain so for quite some time. I donít think most reporters and editors for most media outlets, including newspapers, television, the Internet and others, feel intimidated by anyone when it comes to reporting on stories about violence in America. However, I would say, that because violence is so prevalent in our society, all of us have become somewhat hardened by it and accustomed to its rate of occurrence. -- Gary Graham, managing editor

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