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Sunday, June 25, 2006


June 25, 2006

CNN OMITS CRUCIAL FACTS ABOUT GOP FROM TROOP DRAWDOWN REPORT. CNN has now picked up today's Times's story saying that the top commander of forces in Iraq projects troop drawdowns through 2007 -- in stark contrast to the GOP's stay-the-course position. And guess what?

In the CNN story there is no mention whatsoever of the fact that the primary message of the Republican Party over the past week, delivered by party leaders and elected officials alike in every media forum imaginable, was that anyone calling for a timetable for withdrawal was embracing "retreat" and "surrender."

And get this: The story doesn't even mention at all that the GOP's official position has been squarely against troop drawdowns, let alone mention that the Republicans relentlessly smeared anyone who was for them. The only hint of this comes at the very end of the story, where it vaguely notes that the "Senate" last week rejected calls for troop withdrawals, without specifying that this has overwhelmingly been the GOP's position. Meanwhile, the only mention that Dems have been demanding troop drawdowns comes in the second-to-last sentence.

As I noted below, it will be striking if the media plays along with this one and fails to aggressively remind readers and viewers of just how relentlessly the GOP smeared anyone calling for a withdrawal timetable. Well, CNN has now reported on the story and not seen fit to mention it at all. How could any big news org which regards itself as professional omit such key facts and key context?

This is startling journalistic negligence, and it's gonna be important to keep an eye out for more of the same. More broadly, if coverage of the evolving troop drawdown debate continues to omit crucial political context, it could enable the GOP to cynically muddy the waters on Iraq and confuse voters until they lose sight of the reality of the situation, which is that Dems overwhelmingly favor a change of course in Iraq, while Republicans simply aren't serious about finding a way out of the catastrophic mess they made.

--Greg Sargent
Posted at 11:15 AM---------------
The Horse's Mouth


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