A Growing Peeve

by Jonah Goldberg

This isn’t really a liberal media bias point, though it’s not unrelated.

With the rise in cable news, the “issue environment” is often shaped by the repeated asking of the same questions over and over and over again. For example, I’ve now heard news anchors ask “Is North Korea a bigger threat than Iraq?” about 6 trillion times (yes, yes, I exaggerate for effect). Some people say yes, some say no. But with the exception of the most asinine anti-war liberals, few people make the bald argument that a more dangerous North Korea justifies doing nothing about Iraq. Instead, the answers are more nuanced and complicated.

But the question keeps getting asked over and over again, even though the assumption behind the question is idiotic. The way the question is asked, it sounds as though if the answer were “yes, North Korea is a bigger threat” than the conclusion would necessarily be that we should let Iraq off the hook. But no serious person thinks this. Indeed, it would be disastrous for the US to set the precedent that one nation’s chicanery could cause it to abandon our goals and break our word. And yet, the question, “Is North Korea a greater threat?” keeps getting asked and asked and asked….

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