You probably didn’t hear, at least that is what many non-main stream media outlets surmised today. You see, two Associated Press reporters that had the gall to write a story with the headline Analysis: US now winning Iraq war that seemed lost.
Robert Burns’s and Robert H. Reid’s piece was released by the AP on Saturday morning; not exactly what you would call a high-traffic news time. Most people don’t read the Saturday paper and quite honestly, who gets up early on Saturday to read Google News feeds? Heck, even I just got to this tonight, not in time to meet my 9:15 p.m. ET deadline for the daily e-mail blast.
Burns and Reid open…
BAGHDAD (AP) — The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost. Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.
Despite the occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents, who once controlled whole cities, no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government.
Read the entire piece since you will not find it elsewhere.
You would think that this would make big news, but the main stream media has been quiet about Iraq SITREPS for the past few months because bad news is good news for them. Since there is quite a bit of good news from the region, let’s just say big media outlets are not to interested.
I was thinking that the World Obama Political Revival (WOPR) Tour (pronounced whopper) would allow some reporters – a bunch of them went – to pop their heads up and do some research about what is going on in Iraq. Since Obama was going there – supposedly – to see the situation on the ground for himself, maybe a few reporters would let America know that we are winning in Iraq?
Here is the good stuff. NewsBusters Tom Blumer took the time to put some solid information about how many AP news outlets actually picked up the good-news piece, and how many of them tweaked the headline – just a little bit.
What I found is that the “newspapers of record” have given the pair’s analysis attention ranging from short shrift to omission. Additionally, the number of outlets around the country that are carrying Burns’s and Reid’s piece is much lighter than saturation. Finally, there seems to be a bit more revising of the item’s headline going on than I have normally seen done to an AP work; those revisions overwhelmingly serve to understate the impact of Burns’s and Reid’s content.
What’s also interesting is what some of them did with AP’s original headline. The alternatives chosen by many AP subscribers seemed mostly to dilute the message in the original headline, which in my opinion was not strong enough in the first place:
The New London (CT) Day — “Are we winning the unwinnable war?”
Arizona (Tucson) Daily Star — “Focus shifts away from combat”
Peoria (IL) Journal Star — “Inching along to victory in Iraq”
Salt Lake City Deseret News — “Is U.S. now winning war in Iraq?”
Fort Worth Star Telegram — “Iraq war’s tide appears to have turned in favor of US”
Newsday (Long Island, NY) — “Analysis: U.S. can shift from combat to peace in Iraq” [Ed. favorite]
WCSH-TV in Maine — “Signs Indicate US Winning War In Iraq”
The Wenatchee (WA) World Online — “Tide seems to be turned in Iraq”
Nice huh? Read the NewsBusters post.
Ace has the headline of the weekend. If It’s Saturday, the Least-Read News Day of the Week, It Must Be Time for AP to Admit the Surge Has Worked Spectacularly.
BlackFive always is on top of the news from Iraq and welcomes AP to the parade. DEEBOW writes:
I think the AP just got back from their yearly convention where they were handing out tips on how to embed with the enemies of freedom to find that SHOCKA!!! We are apparently winning the war in Iraq.
Sister Toldjah also has a brief post with a couple of comments, but not many other bloggers are picking up on this. Like me, it’s the weekend and I guess they have not been watching the news as closely.
Maybe my readers can e-mail this story to a friend? (See link just below the headline)