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Rich Lowery Turns On Eye-Rack

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Rich Lowery rightly mocks Laura Bush's recent attacks against the media concerning their coverage of Eye-Rack in a new syndicated column:

First Lady Laura Bush spoke for many conservatives when she excoriated the media’s coverage of Iraq the other day. She complained that “the drumbeat in the country from the media ... is discouraging,? and said “there are a lot of good things happening that aren’t covered.?

What are those things, one wonders? One can only imagine how Mrs. Bush can figure that they outweigh the horrors in Iraq. The U.N.’s High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that more than 1.6 million Iraqis have fled the country, about 7 percent of the population. But that means that an overwhelming 93 percent haven’t left. Why doesn’t the liberal media ever report that? About 120 Iraqis are killed per day, nearly 4,000 a month. But most are still living. Couldn’t one of the morning shows do a soft feature on this heartwarming fact?

Then he finally joins those among us who has bought a clue:

In Iraq, the media’s biases happen to fit the circumstances. Being primed to consider any military conflict a quagmire and another Vietnam is a drawback when covering a successful U.S. military intervention, but not necessarily in Iraq. Most of the pessimistic warnings from the mainstream media have turned out to be right — that the initial invasion would be the easy part, that seeming turning points (the capture of Saddam, the elections, the killing of Zarqawi) were illusory, that the country was dissolving into a civil war.

. . .The “good news? that conservatives have accused the media of not reporting has generally been pretty weak. The Iraqi elections were indeed major accomplishments. But the opening of schools and hospitals is not particularly newsworthy, at least not compared with American casualties and with sectarian attacks meant to bring Iraq down around everyone’s heads in a full-scale civil war. An old conservative chestnut has it that only four of Iraq’s 18 provinces are beset by violence. True, but those provinces include 40 percent of the population, as well as the capital city, where the battle over the country’s future is being waged.

In their distrust of the mainstream media, their defensiveness over President Bush and the war, and their understandable urge to buck up the nation’s will, many conservatives lost touch with reality on Iraq. They thought that they were contributing to our success, but they were only helping to forestall a cold look at conditions there and the change in strategy and tactics that would be dictated by it.

We'll see where his newfound distaste for rose-colored glasses takes us. But for now it is too little, too late for this draft deferment-in-waiting.