The newspaper is here to tell news - Ed Brock

Perhaps it is time again for me to point out that it is not the job of the media to tell you good news.

We the media are obligated to give you neutral news, like movie schedules and legal ads, but there's no real reason for us to find some warm and fuzzy story to make you feel better. That's what the Disney channel is for.

The newspaper is here to tell you the news, and the news you need to hear the most is often the bad stuff.

You see, it's good that teachers are making more money in Iraq since we dumped Hussein from the top of the hill, but that's not the problem. The problem is that the terrorists are having a field day.

And it's the problem that requires your attention. The most primal, essential purpose of the news media is to inform the public about what requires their attention before we get to the stuff might want to know.

Anyway, the public obviously doesn't read the good news, anyway.

If you did I wouldn't still be hearing about this negative press garbage.

Because if people were reading the good news then people would notice that there is good news in just about every edition of a newspaper and broadcast of television news.

That's on purpose. I know it's there because I have to put it there, and I put it there often. And I see it when I read or watch the news.

Two more Siamese twins joined at the head were separated in Dallas after more than a day of surgery.

Girls are kicking for high school football teams in Stockbridge and Jonesboro.

Shirin Ebadi has become the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel prize.

Israel has nuclear weapons and apparently nobody's going to do anything about it.

Well, that's good news for Israel, right?

But it's quickly forgotten. It's there every day, maybe not at the top of the news but it's there, just to make you happy.

It's there, but that's not really why you should be picking up the paper, is it? You should be picking up the paper or turning on CNN so you can stay alert to the complex, innumerable evils of this world. You should be looking out for the problems.

You should keep track of what's happening in Iraq, and while you do that don't fall for this garbage that the press is ignoring all the good stuff. The good stuff isn't the problem; it doesn't require your attention.

What requires your attention is the fact that more people connected to the Bush administration, namely the President's campaign manager from the 2000 election Joe Allbaugh, are making money in Iraq.

Allbaugh and a few other former Bush family cronies will head the consulting firm New Bridge Strategies that, while it probably won't take any direct contracts from the government, will advise companies seeking to do business in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Research Service recently determined that Dick Cheney does have existing ties to Halliburton in the form of unexercised stock options and a deferred salary account. And Halliburton is making a substantial sum from the occupation of Iraq.

These are the things that should concern you because they are the problem. Highlighting the fact that Iraqi teachers are getting a raise is a perfumed smoke screen that does nothing more than make you feel good about an essentially bad situation.

You don't get to rest easy on this one, folks.

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com.