Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, March 18, 2006

More Agenda Objectivity From AP

Just a reminder; here's AP's mission:
AP's mission is to be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed. AP operates as a not-for-profit cooperative with 3,700 employees working in more than 240 worldwide bureaus.
All-righty-then. Here's the lead paragraphs from the latest AP report on the current Swarmer initiative (you remember, the one they were belittling yesterday):
American and Iraqi troops pushing through a desolate area of Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland rounded up dozens more suspected insurgents, including alleged killers of a television journalist, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Saturday.

The three-day-old sweep through villages 60 miles north of Baghdad stirred growing unease among leading Sunnis. One called it a needless "escalation" at a time of difficult negotiations over forming a broad-based government representing all of Iraq's communities.

Accuracy would demand an admission that yesterday's criticism of the smallness of the operation was inaccurate. "Dozens" above is not 24 or 36, it is "more than 80" arrested, as AP finally gets around to telling us in paragraph nine.

Objectivity and fairness would require pointing out quickly that some of the Sunnis who live in this area are the leading terrorists and Saddam supporters who are causing much more unrest and death in Iraq than Swarmer.

More agenda objectivity from AP. The story is structured very carefully to make Swarmer look poorly timed and another strategic blunder. It never hints that taking out leading Sunni and possibly al Qaeda in Iraq leaders just as the Iraqi government starts functioning may be a very good strategy indeed.

Even if AP can find a handy quote to paint the picture differently.

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