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Now, Paula Zahn

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As of this moment, 2,376 Americans soldiers have died in Iraq, almost 17,500 have been injured, and thousands of Iraqis have been killed and wounded.

We can discover these numbers by visiting the internet. But this war should be in the consciousness of everyone all the time, not just those who have a loved one serving or the families of the dead and wounded.

It's so maddening that our Mainstream Media are negligent in their responsibility to deliver the truth of war to the American public a public which for the most part seems unfazed by the staggering numbers and the devastation.

In the last sixteen days, more troops have been killed than during the entire month of March. The information continues to run on the crawl rather than from the mouths of reporters.

Last week in my search for real television news out of Iraq, I turned to Paula Zahn because of the impressive description of her show on the CNN website:

'Paula Zahn NOW' brings you the stories that matter the most to you. Every night, we bring you the most dramatic stories: We'll take you inside the news and behind the headlines from across the country and around the globe. Remember, the stories you see tonight on 'Paula Zahn NOW,' you'll be talking about tomorrow.

Would Zahn disappoint? Here's a segment from the show:

Two days ago in Independence, Kansas, a 16-year-old girl disappeared. Her friends put up missing posters, an Amber Alert was issued. The hunt turned frantic when a girl called 911 to say she had been kidnapped. But 16 hours after she vanished, there were hugs and tears of joy. The girl turned up alive and well and said she had gotten away from her kidnapper. But today police announced it was all part of one big lie. The story made us want to delve into one of the "Mysteries of the Mind." What drives people not just to tell white lies, but to tell giant, hurtful ones, the kind that have been in the news and awful lot lately?

There have been many lies in the news lately. The lies of George W. Bush. The lies that took us into war. The lies about 'yellowcake' and 'mushroom clouds.' Certainly, I stayed tuned to see if Zahn would address the lies and liars responsible for the slaughter in Iraq.

But no.

Instead, I heard about the Runaway Bride; the Missouri husband/wife team, claiming that their sextuplets were in intensive care; and a schoolteacher in Massachusetts who said she had stomach cancer and received more than $35,000 in donations.

"What about George W. Bush?" I mentally projected to prod Zahn.

But no.

Instead, the anchor welcomed Stan Walters, author of The Truth about Lying: How to Stop a Lie and Protect Yourself from Deception.

I watched and listened to gain some insight into how to stop our president's lies and to protect myself from his deception. But, really, I heard nothing I didn't already know. Walters said:

One of the things I always tell my corporate clients that I work with is that remember that lying is done for selfish reasons. It's always for the goals and objectives of the individual, and they lie either through hype, to harm or to hide something. In these cases we just profiled, you see there's a lot of hype, there's attempts to harm other individuals or to hide a wrongdoing so that they won't be exposed for the fraud or the crime they've committed.

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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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