Judging the importance of news by column inch “real estate” on the paper’s front page, the reaction to the Virginia Tech Massacre, which claimed 32 lives, took up (albeit including a large photograph of a British teacher who apparently had warned the police about Cho Seung Hui two years ago) 24 column centimetres.
Among the lesser stories which were brought to our attention was a 38 word long summary (about 2 Column Centimetres) which explained how Arsenal football club was in “turmoil” after its Vice-Chairman had suddenly left the club yesterday.
And just underneath this story was one of the same length which told us that Four bombs had exploded in Baghdad yesterday, killing “nearly 200 people”.
When you follow up these stories inside the paper, you find that the Virginia Tech story is given a further 3¾ full pages, the Arsenal story merits (if that is the right word) around a further 3 full pages, and the story about how “nearly 200 people" were blown to bits in a city I thought we, and the Americans, were supposed to be safeguarding, is given another 2/3 of a page, plus an article commenting on the issue, by Bronwen Maddox.
I’m not even going to bother to work out and compare the Column Centimetres per death figures for the American and the Iraqi disaster, other than to guess that a factor of 10 or more is probably involved.
The really depressing thing to me here, is that the managerial goings on at an English Football club are deemed to be about six times more important to “The Times” that the bloody dismembering of nearly 200 souls in Iraq.
“The more I see of the Human race, the more I love my dogs.” I don’t know who said that, but today, I’m with them.