Friday, June 29, 2007

American Journalism

Atrios links to a McClatchy story that I too am quite pleased with by it's tone.

The reference, in a major speech at the Naval War College that referred to al Qaida at least 27 times, seemed calculated to use lingering outrage over the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to bolster support for the current buildup of U.S. troops in Iraq, despite evidence that sending more troops hasn't reduced the violence or sped Iraqi government action on key issues.

"Al Qaida is the main enemy for Shia, Sunni and Kurds alike," Bush asserted. "Al Qaida's responsible for the most sensational killings in Iraq. They're responsible for the sensational killings on U.S. soil."

U.S. military and intelligence officials, however, say that Iraqis with ties to al Qaida are only a small fraction of the threat to American troops. The group known as al Qaida in Iraq didn't exist before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, didn't pledge its loyalty to al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden until October 2004 and isn't controlled by bin Laden or his top aides.

Harsh, but accurate. One of my problems with some news coverage is that even if a straight news writer wants to not just do he said/she said with one side obviously lying, they take the route of euphamism.

There was a report in the NY Times that used nearly a dozen different ways to call Alberto Gonzales a liar, without just saying he lied. I find it cowardly. Stick to the tried and true both sides argument unless you have the power of your convictions.

As a partisan democrat, my bias may be showing, but I find that the Republicans take advantage of this media style more effectively because they are evil. They know that reporters are going to give "both sides" equal time.

The right has been screaming for thirty years about "the liberal media" so effectively that reporters seem to instinctively want to give balance when there is none there. There are facts, or there are lies. Abortion is moral or immoral is an opinion story.

Does Al Qaeda in Iraq perpetuate the majority of the violence in Iraq is a matter of fact. Kudos to McClatchy for recognizing this and reporting accordingly.