The painful costs of media restraint

It’s possible to suffer pain from an injury that you can’t see. The limb that hurts was amputated, and you look for the wound but there’s nothing there. You’re left with an effect without an apparent cause.

Medicine calls it phantom pain, and it’s something like what happened early this month when we got news about spasms of civil violence in Afghanistan. The murderous rioting, it turns out, had been triggered by that fundamentalist pastor in Florida. He finally did what he had threatened to do in September and set a copy of the Koran ablaze.

He did what? The first we heard that the Gainesville preacher, Terry Jones, had carried out his threat was when the media were full of reports that dozens of people had died in riots protesting it.

Continue reading “The painful costs of media restraint”