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November 30, 2008


Brad Jacobson

AP Trivializes Iraqi Death Toll, Amplifies Censorship

Christopher Flynn

Students lie, cheat, steal, but say they're good...from Yahoo news article
"30% of US high school students have stolen from a store and 64% have cheated on a test within the past year".
Our nation is really setting a trend,,,No wonder the AP lies to us, and with future reporters coming from this next batch of kids, they'll keep lying...


I've normally written estimates range from 100,000 to 1 million, but that it's underreported and typically glossed over. I don't think I heard of the ORB report, but the Johns Hopkins study got quite a bit of coverage. Then there's the 4-5 million displaced Iraqis, a staggering number in absolute terms, but even more so as a percentage of the population. Your main points are definitely correct - the subject just is not covered well, and normally not at all. Many in the Pentagon felt news footage caused them to "lose" Vietnan, so with the first Gulf War, the Pentagon worked hard to sanitize all war coverage. It's striking to see Iraq coverage in the U.S. ("The surge is working! Sis-boom-bah!") versus what's done by BBC and other outlets.

Oh, and there's a "debate" about whether water-boarding is torture, did you know? Funny, though, only the Bush administration and their backers claim it's a debate. Well, scratch that, the media follows as intended, and plays along. There are no ill consequences to American actions...

Brad Jacobson

Batocchio, thanks for your comment as always. Just for the record, I've got one quibble with your quibble. Almost all coverage the Johns Hopkins study received in the MSM downplayed its significance (why I included the words "blacked out or downplayed" in the intro) and, in most cases, purported, or featured unfounded claims, that the study wasn't incredible -- from coverage of President Bush's press conference at the time (where only one member of the WH press corps even raised the study -- Suzanne Malveaux -- before allowing the President to slam the study without follow-up and pull a number -- 30,000 Iraqi dead -- out of thin air) and throughout our major news outlets, in print and on air.


The AP and the NYT are propaganda organs, not news media; the NYT does a better job of slathering its disinformation with factoids, but they're both tools of our corporatist government (see "The Mighty Wurlitzer" for history and details).


I don't know if this is trivializing or just admitting "We have no idea how many Iraqis have died. It's a lot, ok."


Fair enough, MBH. No argument that the subject - and many dire realities in Iraq - are horribly, unconscionably ignored.


i think the comment about the ap remark is completely valid..

however, both washington post and cnn, did do john hopkins story.. (didn't look further before responding)
"this american life" went on and dissected the study in detail.. explaining the comments made by one person quoted in the washington post article who said he was on a train and had not read the study when a reporter called and asked "what do you think of the number" and he said "quite high"
however that same npr report talked in length to the man who carried out the report.. i would suggest the story to anyone who has the time:
it was on this american life: 10-28-05 Whats in a number?"

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We have no idea how many Iraqis have died.


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