Sunday, March 12, 2006

All bad news, all the time

The continuous stream of bad news about the war on terror continues to dominate the MSM. A good deal of this is distorted, spun and in some cases downright incorrect. Of course there are those that actually believe there is no media bias, likely because what they read and see, concurs with their own world view. Jack Kelly points out some of the media distortions in his column. The fact that this distorted reporting lends aid and comfort to those that want us dead, is lost on many.
""Some lawyers who represent deserters say the war in Iraq is driving more soldiers to question their service and that the Pentagon is cracking down on deserters to discourage antiwar sentiment," wrote reporter Bill Nichols.
'The last thing (Pentagon officials) want is for people to think ... that this is like Vietnam,' said Tod Ensign, head of Citizen Soldier, an antiwar group that offers legal aid to deserters."
Mr. Ensign is full of horse manure, as Mr. Nichols demonstrates in his story. The data show desertions have plunged since 9/11, and are much lower than during the Vietnam war.
The Army, Navy and Air Force reported 7,978 desertions in the 2001 fiscal year, but only 3,456 in 2005, Mr. Nichols noted. In 1971, the Army reported 33,094 desertions, 3.4 percent of its total force. In 2005, desertions represented just 0.24 percent of 1.4 million of active service members."
The headline of the USA Today article would have led one to believe that desertions had increased because of the Iraq War, when in fact they were decreasing from the years prior to the war. The full article did point this out. But too many never bother to read past the headline
"For instance, The Washington Post reported on Feb. 25 that 120 Sunni mosques had been attacked in retaliation for the destruction of the Golden Mosque, holy to the Shiites. In a March 3 news conference, Gen. George Casey, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, said:
We can confirm attacks on about 30 mosques around the country, with less than 10 of those mosques moderately damaged, and only two or three severely damaged. We visited eight mosques (in Baghdad) that were reportedly damaged. We found one broken window in those eight mosques."
Exaggeration and misinformation are hallmarks of chaotic situations, and it is hard for journalists who do most of their reporting from the safety of their hotels to sort fact from fiction. But Secretary Rumsfeld noticed a pattern in the errors:

"Interestingly, all the exaggerations seem to be on one side," he said. "The steady stream of errors all seem to be of a nature to inflame the situation and give heart to the terrorists.""
Mr. Kelly has more and is well worth the time to read. The media seems to be going out of their way to have us believe that Iraq is in a civil war. - Sailor

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