Ted Koppel's motivations may be upstanding. But given the knee-jerk liberalism of so many traditional news media outlets, you have to wonder exactly what the point is of having used his Nightline program Friday night to read a list of the 500-plus U.S. war dead in Iraq.
Why, for instance, did Koppel not make a similar fuss over this country's fallen troops in Afghanistan?
There is enough suspicion surrounding the ploy that Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., owner of 62 television stations in 39 markets, decided not to air the show on its ABC affiliates.
"Despite the denials by a spokeswoman for the show," said a Sinclair statement, "the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq."
We hope the show was nothing more than what ABC called it: "an expression of respect which simply seeks to honor those who have laid down their lives for this country."
But you do wonder. And it's a shame that such suspicion has attached to a quality news show and a good newsman such as Koppel.
Both should have done a better job guarding their credibility.