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Legacy Media Takes Bait

By Craig Martelle | April 29, 2006

Although not completely hook, line, and sinker - the legacy media outlets have acted as we predicted yesterday in the RapidRecon post on the State Department's Annual Terrorism Report. The most biased bite was from the Washington Post - here is the title and the first two paragraphs.

Terrorist Attacks Rose Sharply in 2005, State Dept. Says

The number of terrorist attacks worldwide increased nearly fourfold in 2005 to 11,111, with strikes in Iraq accounting for 30 percent of the total, according to statistics released by U.S. counterterrorism officials yesterday.

Although only half of the incidents resulted in loss of life, more than 14,600 noncombatants were killed, a majority of them in Iraq alone and 80 percent in the Near East and South Asia. American nonmilitary deaths totaled 56.

The New York Times also took the bait and trumpeted the drastic increase in terrorist attacks.

Insurgent Attacks on Iraqis Soared, Report Says

WASHINGTON, April 28 — The number of insurgent attacks on civilians in Iraq skyrocketed last year, resulting in almost 8,300 deaths and accounting for more than 50 percent of those killed in terrorist attacks worldwide, according to a State Department report released Friday.

The figures for 2005, reported in the State Department's annual survey of global terrorism, showed a doubling from the previous year in both the number of major terrorist attacks in Iraq and the death toll from them. The overall tally of about 3,500 terrorist attacks in Iraq last year represented nearly one-third of such attacks around the world. The numbers do not include attacks against American or coalition troops.

Is the NY Times implying in that last sentence that attacks on U.S. soldiers should be included in the number? But note the sensational title - attacks on Iraqis soar! But those attacks were not counted for last year's report and they were in this year's report. That was the whole point. The Times editors didn't not the odd occurrence of how numbers can "soar" from zero when Iraq was substantially the same last year? And in the Times' conclusion, it notes that "Mr. bin Laden" has been marginalized and is generally ineffective. Mr. bin Laden?

Here's a quote from FoxNews.

Overall, the report tallied about 11,000 terror attacks around the world last year, resulting in more than 14,600 deaths. That is almost a fourfold increase in attacks from 2004, though the agency blames the change largely on new ways of tallying the incidents.

Like the twist? "The agency blames the change..." Not the cold hard fact that Congressional legislation forced inclusion of numbers that would necessarily increase the totals exponentially. CNN did not take the bait, and wrote a simple article on the data contained within the report. It did not mention numbers at all, except to note that any numerical comparison would be skewed because of new accounting methods - well done to CNN!

Here's a take from the Chicago Tribune, on an article published from an AP report.

Overall, the report tallied about 11,000 terrorist attacks around the world last year, resulting in more than 14,600 deaths. That is almost a fourfold increase in attacks from 2004, though the agency attributes the change largely to new ways of tallying the incidents.

The Chicago Tribune watered down the original AP report from "blame" to "attributed," at least. And Iran's national news agency has a completely different take.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here Saturday Tehran gives no importance to the US State Department's annual report citing countries in support of terrorism.

"The US Administration names countries which are opposed to its policies and criticizes the crimes of the Zionist regime as supporters of terrorism," he said.

"But the United States is the main supporter of the (criminal) Zionist regime and is therefore not competent be a judge on this issue," adding that it (US) should instead account for the crimes committed by the Zionist regime.

He further said that the US' wrong policies and moves have intensified violence and increased acts of terrorism in different parts of the world.

The campaign to end terrorism will only succeed through cooperation among members of the international community and by addressing its roots such as discrimination, injustice and poverty," the spokesman further said.

Here, here for the Islamic Republic News Agency - never missing a chance for more anti-semitic, anti-West rhetoric. In regards to Iran - discrimination? And your women have what freedoms? Injustice? An Iranian woman was put to death for resisting a potential rapist. Poverty? The recession in Iran is deepening - the average Iranian construction worker in Tehran works two days out of the week instead of five. Actions not words - Iran has not missed the point of the propaganda campaign. They speak often and loudly in order to unite the Muslim world in a single cause - one Islamic world (with the Iranians at the top of they pyramid).

3 Comments

I am not certain how the West can win against terrorism. The fanatical Islamists have a culture of death. In fact Muslim on Muslim violence far exceeds terrorist acts against Western targets and citizens. Perhaps when enough Muslims have died (see the protests in the aftermath of the Sinai bombings) at the hands of other Muslims will the Islamic world see the truth and act accordingly. Until then, we are really in for a hard ride.

"CNN did not take the bait, and wrote a simple article on the data contained within the report. It did not mention numbers at all, except to note that any numerical comparison would be skewed because of new accounting methods - well done to CNN"!

You're hailing a report with no statistical facts "because of new accounting methods"...good luck with that. And when did CNN become champions of the right? Just because you say it...doesn't make it so.

That is VERY interesting! I have always been skeptical of liberal or conservative news sources, and this is the most poignant example of such bias I have recently seen. I urge people to consider that Fox probably skews stories similarly, leaving out facts that don't fit the paradigm.

Beyond reading both liberal and conservative sources to get a more accurate story, I've been happy with the Christian Science Monitor--they haven't posted anything on the numbers, but I'm looking forward to seeing their story on it.