Tuesday, April 17, 2007

One Does Not Equal the Other

We spent most of the day yesterday watching the Virginia Tech coverage. One of the reporters in our newsroom said, “33 dead…that’s a Tuesday in Iraq”. I had to stop for a moments and think about that. Yes it was true, but it seemed incongruous in some way. No one heads off to college expecting to become that type of statistic, yet soldiers, everyday Iraqis, and by now the world realize that it’s just a fact of life here.

The media likes to draw statistical similarities between losses of life; combat deaths versus road traffic accidents, deaths from heart disease versus global starvation. I think that it serves little purpose to view death in those terms. A child too weak from starvation to even swallow has very little to do with a life-style that lead to high cholesterol and eventually heart disease.