Carol Platt Liebau: Has the military crisis in Iraq passed? Parsing an AP story

Monday, August 06, 2007

Has the military crisis in Iraq passed? Parsing an AP story

This is guest blogger Wile E Coyote.

An AP story in the New York Times reads "Iraqi Political Crisis Grows"

What is curious is that after stating that the remaining five Sunni-affiliated ministers have resigned from the Iraqi cabinet, the article reports 29 Iraq deaths from a bomb in Northern Iraq, as well as 5 US servicemen killed.

Previously, the AP would probably have had a headline and the lead focusing on the bloodshed, but now the focus is on a "political crisis" which has been going on for months.

Why the shift in emphasis?


Blogger Greg said...

Welcome back, Carol!

Your guest bloggers did an outstanding job in your absence. It would be interesting to know how the traffic statistics were affected. I would recommend having them contribute on a more regular basis (similar to Dean and Patrick on Hugh Hewitt's site).

Back on topic: Good question. The left will never admit any success in Iraq or in the wider war on Islamic Fascism. Since the military news is improving, they predictably shift focus to the political problems.

Be prepared, however. Almost certainly Al Qaeda will mount an aggressive, maybe even desperate, offensive soon in an effort to counter the military progress to be reported in September by General Petaeus.

Any new offensive by Al Qaeda, no matter how futile, will be breathlessly reported by the media as a crushing defeat for Petraeus and the U.S. in Iraq.

It's coming.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Earth to Carol said...

Big story that really isn't getting the coverage it deserves. That government, we've spent five years building up has just collapsed.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Why the shift in emphasis?

There has been no shift in emphasis. Do you know how many stories the AP distributes every day? To call a single story "a shift in emphasis" is silly. You'd have to carry out a detailed statistical examination of the stories distributed by the AP, and possibly those published by various news media, to substantiate your insinuation that the media are attempting to politically bias the news.

I remind you that the situation in Iraq is quite complex. You could fill a book EVERY DAY with the information coming out of Iraq. The right loves to highlight the "good news" and the left loves to highlight the "bad news". I believe that the best approach here is Jeffersonian: let's get lots and lots of information, good, bad, funny, sad, trivial, significant, and so forth. When I look at the news coming out of Iraq, the greatest deficiency I see is not whether it's "good news" or "bad news", but the fact that it's all AMERICAN news. We get lots of statements from American military people, lots of video of Americans at work, but how often do we get Iraqi man-on-the-street interviews? I suspect that we're not really hearing the Iraqi view of things.

Two other factors to consider: news is about change. What's news is something that's new, different, odd, or sensational. We don't see many stories about "Golden Gate Bridge continued to stand today", but one bridge collapses and it's huge news. Does that mean that the news media are biased against civil engineers? Or that their customers don't want truth, they want excitement?

Lastly, we shouldn't be hanging on every day's news. We should take the long view and see the news on a month-by-month basis, not an hour-by-hour basis.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Oops! I thought this was Carol's post. Sorry. How did I miss that?

Anyway, I stand by my sentiments.

5:52 AM  

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