(CNSNews.com) - It was the most liberal of times; it was the most conservative of times. The past 12 months saw unprecedented attacks on an incumbent president in some of the most cruel and unusual ways imaginable, while history had a way of catching up with a promising presidential challenger. The media went through painful contortions both in terms of news and entertainment; the basis for war in Iraq was demonstrated and the entire world was exposed to the savage specter of video beheadings via the Internet. But is there any superlative that can rightly be assigned to 2004?
Editorial writers tend to look back at any given year and find some rationale for superlatives to describe it, and 2004 is no exception. Between Janet Jackson's much heralded wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl to liberal conspiracy theories over the outcome of the presidential election, there was no shortage of significant, frightening and downright weird events to mark the course of this past year. The temptation to apply superlatives and descriptors is strong.
Whether 2004 was any bigger or better or worse or meaner or odder than any year past is simply too subjective a question to answer here. The imagery of the charred and defiled bodies of Americans dangling from bridges in Iraq last summer was breathtaking in its horror. So was the Vietnam-era imagery of the execution of a suspected Viet Cong collaborator. To decide which is worse is not our job.
Our job is to compile and assemble, in some reasonable fashion, a look at some of the issues and events of the year that shaped our lives and culture. It is offered through the lens of the reporters and editors of Cybercast News Service , and while it is not necessarily comprehensive, we hope it is instructive.
Read the 2004 Year in Review