Don't Trust John Leo

Across the country this morning, dozens of newspapers -- including, unfortunately, my own Raleigh News & Observer -- were disgraced with an particularly execrable editorial by John Leo. Mostly a re-hash of a piece he peddled in March 2003 (also featured in the N&O), the U.S News & World Report columnist's latest piece hurls criticism at "advocacy groups" -- and the media that offer them coverage -- for using bad numbers in estimating Iraqi casualties.

Let's start with the obvious: on the issue of Iraqi people and families killed in the war, sensationalist, wall-to-wall coverage hasn't exactly been the problem. Maybe I missed a special episode of Nancy Grace where she decided to throw some brown kids into the mix with an hour-long special on "Horrible Crimes Against the Children of Iraq," but overall, the U.S. public has seen and heard frightfully little about those suffering from war.

First, an obvious point. , sensationalist wall-to-wall coverage of destroyed innocent families hasn't exactly been the problem.