What is it with these media types who insist on referring to Saddam Hussein as "Saddam" like they hang out at the same happy hour or something? They were not on a first name basis with him and probably never even met the guy.
Such pretension riles Econo-Girl. Do they refer to Andrea Merkel as "Andrea"? Would they even think to refer to the President as "George" while reporting the news?
Econo-Girl can picture it now. The anchor tilts his head in that special way that television anchors do. He looks at the camera with his toupee perfectly in place. "George was working around the ranch today clearing sagebrush and then took a nap."
The inference of intimacy implied by first name usage is very out of place for Total Evil Man Saddam Hussein. Try wearing a t-shirt with "I Hugged Satan Today" around town and see what it gets you.
Aside from that, Econo-Girl cannot profess complete ignorance of this phenomenon. She knows that Saddam Hussein was particularly riled by being referred to by his first name only. The anchors also knew and goaded him with their false familiarity.
But is that really their role? Just report the damn news and keep your toupee on straight. Tilt your head in bizarre affectations and report the news. You are not supposed to be a part of it, tempting as it is.