Monday, April 18, 2005


More Confirmation of Media Failure

Arthur Chrenkoff reports that his correspondent and translator Haider Ajina has translated a recent Iraqi Opinion Poll, published 18 April in the Iraqi Arabic newspaper "Almidhar" (sample size 778 Baghdadis). Results as follows:

"Do you support the pull out of foreign troops?

"At once - 12.56%

"According to a future timetable - 81.80%

"Do not know - 5.64%

"Has the security situation improved since the start of the new government?

"Yes - 55%

"No - 35%

"No change - 10%"

Haider also confirms what I posted, which Powerline reported at the time of the protests, that 200,000 Iraqis were protesting against Saddam, while maybe 10,000 protested against the U.S. presence. (And of course guess which gets reported.)

Chrenkoff's Hariri adds the following additional news, also not reported in western media:

"Most of us read, heard and saw the medias report of the April 9th demonstrations in Baghdad. Most of the U.S. media portrayed it as a massive anti American demonstration in the streets of Iraq. I noticed, however, from Iraqi Arabic newspapers that most the demonstrations were against terrorism & calling for Saddam's trial & hanging (all these signs were in Arabic). I called my father in Baghdad to confirm this and he confirmed it. My father then confirmed that Al Sadr had asked his followers to demonstrate for the withdrawal of foreign troops, he also said that this group was very small and almost insignificant compared to the rest who were calling for Saddam's trial & hanging and those against terrorism. My father said the Iraqi media reported the number like this 'about 200,000 demonstrators of which 8,000-10,000 were Al-Sadr & Sunni supporters' (strange bed fellows). He also said that when he listened to the Iraqi elected officials (on live T.V.) in the assembly, that every one (every one including those Sunnis initially opposed to the elections), every man and woman assembly member, reiterated the importance of foreign and specifically U.S. troops staying in Iraq till Iraq is ready to take over its own security. Most of them expressed their thanks for the troops being there and freeing Iraqis from Saddam. This I did not read, hear or see in any U.S. mainstream media outlet.

"These are the people Iraq elected, asking us to stay and thanking us. The poll shows only 12% want us to leave at once. This makes a complete mockery of the mainstream media coverage of the demonstrations. As my wife told me when she heard the coverage on CNN: 'Haider you are going to get mad when you hear this', and I am still mad. Forgive me for rehashing this point. I feel it really needs pointing out. Iraqis are grateful for what we did and continue to be grateful for us being there."
If you rely on CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times (shudder) or CBS as your major source of news, you will never develop an accurate perception about what is going on in Iraq, let alone the Middle East as a whole. Because to them, the poll, the statements of the Iraqi elected officials, the anecdotal accounts above are not news.

News is what confirms what we already believe to be true, and anything else is, well, inconvenient. Or the CIA. Or the RNC, or Karl Rove, or nasty conservative bloggers, somebody like that. Certainly nothing that needs to concern us. Or change our minds that this war is a quagmire, ghastly mistake, criminal, democracy shoved down their throats...

(yadda yadda yadda)

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