Courtesy of NewsBusters
Lt. General Raymond Odierno on Thursday reported significant progress in reduced violence in Iraq, but of the broadcast network evening newscasts only ABC's World News bothered to cover the positive trend as anchor Charles Gibson introduced a full story on how "military officials gave one of the most upbeat assessments of the security situation in Iraq that we have heard since the opening months of the war."
The CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly skipped the positive trend, but CBS had time for a story on the investigation of the September shooting of civilians by Blackwater and NBC aired a piece on Hillary Clinton "playing the gender card."
The Washington Post and New York Times on Friday also made very different news judgments on the importance of the positive direction as the Post put the news on its front page while the Times hid it in a story, on an inside page, about Iran's role in Iraq. This was the third time in less than two weeks that ABC has uniquely highlighted positive developments in Iraq.
This was the third time in less than two weeks that ABC has uniquely highlighted positive developments in Iraq. On Tuesday, ABC ran a piece about "booming" shopping markets and significantly improving life in Baghdad and eight days earlier World News showcased Fallujah's "extraordinary comeback story."
Referring to the briefings by Ordierno via satellite from Iraq and by the Secretary of Dense at the Pentagon, ABC's Jonathan Karl relayed that "nobody over here is anywhere near ready to declare victory, but the military statistics tell an unmistakable story. Violence in Iraq is down, and down considerably. Baghdad's marketplaces are slowly coming back to life, as violent attacks in Iraq have fallen to less than half of what they were a year ago." Specifically, "roadside bombs fell in October to an average of 20 a day -- still high, but the lowest level since October 2004. Iraqi civilian deaths have fallen to a third of where they were a year ago. And after the deadliest summer ever for U.S. forces in Iraq, U.S. combat deaths fell to 29 last month, the lowest level in more than three years."
Karl ended with some caveats, pointing out the lack of political progress and how the 30,000 troops in the "surge" will be "going home in the coming months, raising the question of whether the violence will go up when they leave."
Read the rest of the story: Only ABC Reports Military's Stats on Violence Plunging in Iraq. A PDF of a transcript of the November 1 briefing by Odierno, commander of multi-national forces in Iraq: www.defenselink.mil