The Poynter Institute, the world center for journalistic navel-gazing, has an interview with Ted Koppel about his reading of the dead list tonight. Koppel expresses surprise at the reaction to the show, and insists there's nothing political about it: "I don't want it to make a political statement. Quite the contrary." Later he goes on to contradict himself, apparently unconsciously:
"Why, in heaven's name, should one not be able to look at the faces and hear the names and see the ages of those young people who are not coming back alive and feel somehow ennobled by the fact that they were willing to give up their lives for something that is in the national interest of all of us?" (Emphasis added.)
OK -- so he's on board that the whole deal is in the national interest. That's an improvement on the insistence that there's nothing political in this and that the show is just acting as a means of venerating the dead because, well, they died. Although it would be a lot more fitting to have an open discussion on the merits of the idea that the operation really has been in the interest of all of us.