IQ: Half the news 

Last week unleashed a nonstop barrage of half-page headlines, horrific photos, treacly sanctimony and endless rehashings of already overplayed film footage. The media churned out a river of sound bytes and interminable talking head commentary all but devoid of content. Some of our readers considered last week to be media at its finest. Others deemed it shallow, patriotic bombast -- especially after the first day or two.

click to enlarge Brian Zable
  • Brian Zable

Brian Zable
Doctor Hood: Skyway

How would you assess last week's media performance? I watched TV coverage for hours and ended up knowing little more than when I started. The reportage was very busy, but it had little meat. I would have liked more information about the suspects and their motives. Was this revenge for U.S. bombings? Was it some sort of personal mania?

How will the events of last week affect you personally in coming weeks and months? I doubt there'll be any significant change in my life. Things will return to normal as memory of the events recedes.

Has the past week increased your awareness of the complexity of terrorism and global politics? The public's understanding of Middle East issues is very shallow, as is mine. This president, in particular, is increasingly isolationist. His read of world affairs is limited mostly to what profits the U.S. The events of last week make it clear that that's a direction we chose at our peril.

click to enlarge Ken Leineweber
  • Ken Leineweber

Ken Leineweber
Retired Air Force Hood: Kissing Camels

How would you rate last week's media coverage? Very good on the whole, but it dwelled too much on the World Trade Towers as a very large tomb. I wish they'd focused more on the engineering complexities of rescue attempts.

How will last week's events affect you? They won't. I'm concerned, though, that people will forget this and move on to the next major news event. If we're going to be a world power, things like last week are going to happen. We have to be more attentive to the philosophical differences behind problems and issues.

What did last week teach you about geopolitical complexities and terrorism? It reaffirmed my belief that Americans don't know history. I've spent considerable time in Europe. People there know their history and they don't forget. The Muslims certainly haven't forgotten the Crusades.

click to enlarge Leilani Zimmerman
  • Leilani Zimmerman

Leilani Zimmerman
CC student Hood: Near North End

How would you rate last week's media coverage? It was rife with repetition and media hype. A couple hours of TV coverage made it clear that further watching would be a waste of time.

Was your awareness of geopolitical complexities heightened by last week? Last week convinced me that we have to pay very close attention to what's happening globally and know a lot more than what we're going to get from mainstream media. A strictly U.S. perspective is no longer adequate. I'm also convinced that our response should focus less on retaliation than on thinking through why this happened. Some countries hate us. Sometimes, it may be for a good reason.


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