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Chris Wallace praised by FOX Friends but they misrepresent his "achievement"

Reported by Chrish - November 2, 2007 -

In an extended (4.5 minutes) remote interview with fellow FOX host Chris Wallace this morning 11/2/07 on FOX and Friends, his upcoming FOX News Sunday program was extensively promoted and teased. The Friends informed Wallace that he was featured on Page Six, the designated gossip section of sister company New York Post (not identified as such), an honor of which he was not aware.

Wallace's recognition stemmed from the "fact" that, they claim,

"ONE story you won't find in the mainstream media: Thirty-nine American soldiers were killed in Iraq in October, the fewest deaths there in any month since 2004. In October 2006, 106 U.S. troops were killed. "That story is untold," Fox News Channel correspondent Chris Wallace said on Steve Malzberg's WOR Radio show Wednesday. "You don't see it in the New York Times, and you don't see it the Washington Post . . . The mainstream media don't like good news from Iraq."

The Friends essentially repeated the lie and Wallace repeated it too, that this news is only found on FOX News and not in such outlets (specifically) as the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Well, apparently, they spoke too soon. The New York Times reported

"Although violence persisted outside Baghdad, civilian casualties in the capital appeared to decline sharply recently, with 317 civilians killed in October. That was a drop of more than 50 percent from August, when 656 civilians were killed, according to statistics gathered by the Interior Ministry. As recently as May, 1,070 civilians were killed.

Interior Ministry statistics are incomplete, but the trends appear to be consistent with those identified by news agencies that gather data on civilian casualties.

The three Americans died on Wednesday as a result of explosions near their vehicles. Two soldiers were killed and two others were wounded by a bomb while on patrol in Nineveh Province. The third soldier died in a similar incident in Salahuddin Province.

Their deaths brought the number of American soldiers killed in October to 39, the second lowest such count in two years, according to icasualties.org, a Web site that bases its figures on Pentagon statistics. "

An unofficial Health Ministry tally showed that civilian deaths across Iraq rose last month compared with September, but the U.S. military found that such deaths fell from a high this year of about 2,800 in January to about 800 in October.

"This trend represents the longest continuous decline in attacks on record and illustrates how our operations have improved security since the surge was emplaced," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day military operations in Iraq, said at a briefing for reporters. The momentum, Odierno said, was "positive" but "not yet irreversible."

Similarly, the Washington Post reports

"The number of attacks against U.S. soldiers has fallen to levels not seen since before the February 2006 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra that touched off waves of sectarian killing, according to U.S. military statistics released Thursday. The death toll for American troops in October fell to 39, the lowest level since March 2006, and the eighth-lowest total in 56 months of fighting, according to the Web site icasualties.org, which tracks military fatalities."

and, in another article, WaPo reports:

"Violence in Iraq has declined by several measures over the past four months, according to U.S. military data, a development that Gates hailed as a success. But in response to a question during a separate Pentagon briefing, he stopped short of saying the United States is "winning" in Iraq.

'Those end up being loaded words,' Gates said. 'We have been very successful. We need to continue being successful.' "

Goodness gracious, did FOX and Friends and the esteemed Mr. Wallace just get something WRONG? I'm sure they'll apologize for their unintentional misrepresentation of the newspapers in question.

Note that the item was reported on the gossip page, not as news, setting up the echo on the sister television platform; no reputable news source is going to echo gossip from a tabloid. Later on we can expect Bill O'Reilly to complain that nobody else reported that FNC reported that the NYP reported that Chris Wallce claimed, fallaciously, to be the only one noting the decline in fatalities. FOX viewers will be outraged.