23 Jun 2004 Washington Post Covers South Korean’s Beheading With Four Paragraphs on Abu Ghraib Included
The Washington Post apparently found itself unable to run its page one story on the beheading murder of South Korean Kim Sun Il by terrorists in Iraq without spending four paragraphs of the story on the prisoner abuse that took place in Abu Ghraib.
A well-edited, objective paper would have run the beheading murder and the Abu Ghraib update as separate stories. The story about Kim Sun Il’s beheading belonged on page one. The minor update on judicial proceedings against U.S. soldiers charged in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal belonged deep inside the paper, assuming it belonged in the paper at all.
The same article reported that “Kim’s death appeared almost certain to broaden opposition in South Korea to the country’s already unpopular involvement in Iraq,” but the Post did not explain why it believes this is so. A good editor would have removed the assertion, or required support for it within the text.
Thankfully, the South Korean government appears unwilling to surrender to terrorist extortion. Such a surrender would be likely to encourage the terrorists to kill even more innocent people. South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun is reported saying South Korea will send additional troops to Iraq.