Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The Associated Press (AP) works very, very hard to make sure that worldwide (and particularly US) public opinion remains convinced that
Sure, you can read between the lines to get the real story, but the writers, freelancers, and editors at AP really don’t want you to do that. That’s why they structure their “reporting” the way they do.
First, consider the headline that AP chooses for their report: “
Note that the source for their story, the US Military, did not apply any qualifiers to their statements of fact:
EFPs, or explosively formed penetrators, hurl a molten, fist-sized lump of molten copper capable of piercing armored vehicles.
"We know that they are being in fact manufactured and smuggled into this country, and we know that training does go on in
But for the AP, that means that
Of course, the AP chose to dilute the full magnitude of what MGEN Caldwell conveyed, by burying some additional details far lower in the story:
"There has been training on specialized weapons that are used here in
The general would not say specifically which arm of the Iranian government was doing the training but called the trainers "surrogates" of
That’s quite a bit more of the picture, helpfully deferred by the AP, and placed below an extended discussion on Iraqi domestic politics. (This makes these details more likely to be cut out of abbreviated versions of the story when reprinted by smaller media outlets.)
But that’s just post-history journalistic practice for the AP, and only part of the way they distort the “news” they choose to “report.” And boy, do they have allies in that effort.
The AP reaches for some of that allied support in the paragraph immediately following the two skeptical graphs above:
The international Red Cross released a report that found the situation for civilians in
Note the imprecise language used to mask the agenda. Yesterday, the MSM was happy to quote the Pope that “nothing good can come from
Later in the same report, the AP returns to the ICRC for more fact-less opinion-making:
Also Wednesday, Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC, said that thousands of bodies lay unclaimed in mortuaries, with family members either unaware that they are there or too afraid to go to recover them.
Medical professionals also have been fleeing the country after cases where their colleagues were killed or abducted, the neutral agency said.
"Whatever operation that is today under way, and that may be taken tomorrow and in the weeks after, to improve the security of civilians on the ground may have an effect in the medium term," Kraehenbuehl said.
"We're certainly not seeing an immediate effect in terms of stabilization for civilians currently. That is not our reading," he said.
That makes a total of five paragraphs in an AP story that pretends to be news about
The AP must have scooped up the ICRC grudging acknowledgment above when scrounging for negative sound bites: that current operations “may have an effect in the medium term.” But note that the Red Cross spokesman doesn’t characterize what those effects might be, and immediately indicates that their “reading” of the situation is that things haven’t gotten better just yet. Their “reading?” If that doesn’t describe a subjective opinion, I don’t know what would any more clearly.
That first paragraph contains another propaganda trick employed by the AP (they must be coaching the Red Cross). Thousands of bodies lay unclaimed, because either nobody knows those people are dead, or they’re “too afraid.” That’s two possibilities that are at a pretty wide extreme, don’t you think? You might think the AP might want to investigate those claims, talk to morgue operators, visit mortuaries, confirm whatever data is available, identification, etc.
Could these be the bodies of foreign Al Qaeda terrorists? Whatever, I guess. I have no doubt whatever that these same “thousands of unclaimed bodies where part of the unofficial mortuary network that helped contribute data for the improbable and unsupported claims of the Lancet Survey people. As I said, the Red Cross has their agenda, that’s all they need.
Just like the AP. They follow the obligatory propaganda of their ally with a description of recent fighting related to the ongoing surge.
Bodies lay scattered across two central
They report so dishonestly, that they will need to re-describe the same scenes at the very last paragraph of the article:
By Wednesday, 13 of the 16 wounded Americans had returned to duty, according to a senior
Catch that? The first way the AP reports the incident, the create a demonstrably false equivalency between combat losses on both sides: 20 “suspected insurgents” versus 20 US and Iraqi casualties. But check out the math the second time AP reports: 20 insurgents killed, 30 wounded (and captured), versus 4 dead Iraqi soldiers and 3 US soldiers wounded enough to require extended medical attention.
As reported by the AP, it looks like “Iraqi Cabinet ministers allied to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr” want Iraqi Prime Minister to support Democratic Party Congressional proposals for cutting and running date certain in
When the AP gets around to describing events in Fadhil in more detail, they cloud the story with conflicting details among
Here’s how the AP puts it all together:
Iraqi soldiers held a security cordon around Fadhil on Wednesday, and residents hid frightened in their homes, a witness told The Associated Press by telephone, on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety.
The Muslim Scholars Association, a Sunni group, issued a statement quoting witnesses as saying Tuesday's battle began after Iraqi troops entered a mosque and executed two young men in front of other worshippers. Ground forces used tear gas on civilians, it said.
"The association condemns this horrible crime carried out by occupiers and the government," the statement said.
But the witness in Fadhil said the two men were executed in an outdoor vegetable market, not in the mosque. The Iraqi military was not immediately available to comment on the claim.
They follow that with a silly diversion into obvious propaganda that is immediately refuted by information from the
Some Arab television stations reported an American helicopter was shot down in the fight, and showed video of a charred piece of mechanical wreckage that was impossible to identify. The
Unfortunately, the AP must not have had time to verify that the Arab television accounts were fabricated, and had to report “both sides” as is.
I note that Associated Press writers Lauren Frayer and Hamid Ahmed in
One final observation. I just fisked my way through only one day of AP reporting, and I’m exhausted. That takes more time than it’s worth, you might think, but imagine. How many days worth of misreporting and agenda-driven propaganda gets dished out, without anyone taking the time to document the dishonesty?
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