The United States is possibly on the verge of war with Iraq, but you’d barely know that based on news coverage in recent weeks. The threat of airstrikes against suspected Iraqi chemical and biological weapons manufacturing sites has been overshadowed by the daily drips of information – and a torrent of speculation – concerning the national political soap opera known as the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Instead of debating the pros and cons of attacking Iraq, the nation still is debating whether President Clinton did or did not lie about whether he did or did not have any inappropriate relations with that woman – Monica Lewinsky.
While the Lewinsky case offers the news media lots of leaks and appealing visuals, the Iraqi crisis does not. While talking heads can speculate rather recklessly about the myriad of personalities involved in the Lewinsky case, it is a formidable task to apply the same type of spectacle analysis to Saddam Hussein and the United Nations.
It is a shame that the news media has chosen to focus such an extraordinary amount of attention on the ongoing Lewinsky saga. In order to find detailed stories concerning Iraq, the public must search through the media for relevant information. The purpose of the media is to act as the provider of information for the public. In this case, the media continues to highlight sordid details of the Lewinsky saga rather than paying substantial attention to matters that may place American lives at risk. That is a shame.