Peterson v. Fallujah

The American Street

When it comes to money, there's no such thing as a free press. News networks charge ad revenues based on viewership, and the event that people will watch is what is on the air. When the Peterson trial is on the air, people watch that instead of Fallujah. So that's where the networks will go.

They'll cover the Fallujah of the moment for a while, but dart back to the latest trial of the century. That's the way a capitalistic press works. The only way you'll get good coverage of Fallujah is if some reporter finds a way to get a career-making Watergate-style story out of it. Otherwise, it's on the back burner.

That's what Dan Rather thought he had with the Killian memos, by the by. Bush's Guard record was always on that back burner, but it needed that extra kick to get onto the front page. The story's subsequent flameout ensured that no reporter will ever make waves unless the proof is 100% solid.

Until then, enjoy your bread and circuses. Without the curiousity of the viewing public, no art or media ever thrives.