Should We Yawn Over Islamic Assassination Of US Troops?

Brent Bozell writes: On March 2, two U.S airmen, Nicholas Alden and Zachary Cuddeback, were gunned down at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Two other Americans were wounded. The assailant was a radical Muslim. This was a huge story to most Americans – but, naturally, but not to our news media. If the amount of air time is any measure, the assassination of our troops drew a yawn.

That night, ABC’s “World News” offered a full report, but CBS and NBC each gave it less than 30 seconds. “Troops under attack in Germany, targeted by a gunman shouting in Arabic about jihad,” reported ABC anchor Diane Sawyer. Neither CBS or NBC found room for “jihad” talk, and never found time to ask about the young American lives extinguished.

CBS saved room that night for Mickey Rooney’s testimony about “elder abuse.” NBC needed to save four minutes and 15 seconds for semi-retired Tom Brokaw’s report on the decline in Reading, Pennsylvania, and then devoted another two and half minutes to promoting the Smithsonian’s attempt to find a “Candid Camera in the Wilderness” with animal spycams.

Even after the radical-Muslim motivations were confirmed, the anchors were still downplaying it. On March 3, Katie Couric relayed: “It appears 20-year-old Arid Uka had a grudge against the U.S. military. Sources tell CBS News that when he was arrested, Uka said ‘They are at war with us.’” I’m sure Mark David Chapman had a “grudge” with John Lennon, too. CBS did go to a reporter in Germany on Thursday morning…but the whole story was over in 90 seconds. NBC offered two minutes.

The same yawning thing happened at the newspapers. No one put this story on the front page. USA Today just reprinted the Associated Press on A-5. The New York Times put it on A-4. The Washington Post offered a story on A-6 that day, and then when it discovered over the weekend that one of the assassinated airmen was a Virginia native – Zack Cuddeback, gunned down at the wheel of the bus – they promptly reported it on….B-6.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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