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Filtering the News

Reported by Eleanor - August 9, 2004 -

Much of Fox & Friends (Aug.9, 7:00 a.m.) was devoted to terror again, plus approximately 20 minutes given to the situation in Iraq, with an assessment that Iraq is better off than the news of Iraq, as depicted in the U.S. media, indicates.

The terror coverage spoke of tourist helicopters as a new threat, gutted limos loaded with explosives being driven under a building, and lawmakers being targets. It seems that Khan had 1,000 disks that U.S. intelligence is sifting through. Not much was said about Pakistan's inability to use Kahn any more for their own intelligence efforts, except that the Brits said we should have kept our lips zipped.

Chalabi has been charged with counterfeiting, and his nephew charged with murder. The death toll in the latest Iraqi battle is 360 "militants." Peter Brooke of the Heritage Foundation went through a long list of "treasures" found on Kahn's computer disks. Ellis Henican and Frank Donatelli discussed the use of the color-coded terror system. Ellis questioned the timing of the alert, and the use of dated information, while Donatelli claimed that if something had happened, Homeland Security would have been criticized for not going public.

A video clip of O'Reilly in his debate with Krugman was shown twice. O'Reilly yelled at Krugman, "You'll attack me personally, that's what you'll do." (This is an ad for the O'Reilly show tonight, for those who want to see more. It seems that Mr. O is proud of his performance.)

Dan Senor, a former CPA spokesman, was the guest for the "what's right with Iraq" segment. He indicated that Iraq will deal with the Chalabi counterfeiting issue. The U.S. is no longer involved in judicial matters. Allawi is always on the scene - like Giuliani. According to Senor, Al Jazeera was shut down for a month because they were inciting violence, as was al Sadr's paper that was shut down earlier. The Iraqis are "striking a balance" between free speech and inciting violence. Iraq has 200 newspapers now. (But al Jazeera is the largest) U.S. media outlets are overplaying the severity of the violence. Senor went through a list of things that show life returning to normal in Iraq. Americans don't have a "sense of context" about what's happening in Iraq. Senor blames the media for showing the bad news and not the progress.

Comment: This assessment by Senor is interesting because non-U.S. media report a lot more violence than the U.S. media is reporting. This is the most Iraq news I have seen on TV lately. Since June 30, news of Iraq is generally reported in 20 second news segments and mixed with other news. World Newspapers.com provides news of Iraq from around the world, most of it about the violence, and most not seen on the American media. The only way to get the whole story every day of what's happening in Iraq is to go to alternative media sources and the foreign press. Our media covers the news of Iraq in the same way they covered the democratic convention - filtered through the media pundits - when it's more than a 20 second news flash.