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Lying by omission

I'm constantly shaking my head at the press services' coverage of Iraq. The incessant negative tone is reinforcing the terrorists' aims of undermining the emerging Iraqi democracy and demoralizing the American forces. I don't want the press to tell lies about what's happening, but it would be helpful if they managed to report on the remarkable progress that has been made in only two and a half years.

Most of the press bias is pretty subtle. One method they use frequently is to write a news piece about some recent event, then pad the rest of the story with a litany of all the bad news of the last few weeks. The effect on the reader is of general despair.

But occasionally -- and unfortunately not rarely -- they just ignore the facts and write what they want people to hear. And there's no better example than this, where the NY Times took the words of a dead soldier and edited them to make their point. Here's part of the Times' piece:

But he died in a firefight in Ramadi on April 30 during his third tour in Iraq. He was 22.

Sifting through Corporal Starr's laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the marine's girlfriend. ''I kind of predicted this,'' Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. ''A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances."

Get it? Pessimism. Fatalism. Futility. Damn that George Bush! But here's the full text of the letter:
Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.
During the Second World War, propagandists for the enemy like Lord Haw Haw and Tokyo Rose were based in enemy territory. In the War on Terror, they're working just a few miles from Ground Zero.

UPDATE: More on the relentlessnessly negative mainstream media -- in the Boston Globe of all places (via NealeNews):

Hostile to the war and to the administration conducting it, the nation's leading news outlets harp on the negative and pessimistic, consistently underplaying all that is going right in Iraq. Their fixation on the number of troops who have died outweighs their interest in the cause for which those fallen heroes fought -- a cause that advanced with the ratification of the new constitution.


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