TBogg

Meanwhile, back on Planet 4 of the 892 System…

The Commander of the good ship Clueless writes:

Rule number one for all reporters in Iraq and their editors back home:

Thou shalt not report any good news without also including bad news. Thus shalt thou maintain balance. (However, reporting bad news without any offsetting good news is perfectly acceptable.)

Case in point: a report to the effect that the rate of insurgent attacks against our troops has declined by half in the month since Saddam was captured. That’s really important, don’t you think? Tends to suggest “success”, maybe, just a little bit?

And that’s the problem. It’s impermissible to write a news article that suggests that things might be going well. It might give people the impression that Iraq isn’t a quagmire; can’t have that, can we?

So this article mentions the reduction in the rate of attacks in its first sentence, and never mentions it again. The entire rest of the article drags in as many other things as it can which suggest that everything is going to hell in a hand-basket, even though they have nothing whatever to do with the reduction.

And even the good news in the first sentence isn’t reported quite straight.

The Pentagon says the reduction in individual attacks against Americans is dramatic – down by 50 percent since the capture of Saddam Hussein.

See, it isn’t that the number of attacks is down, it’s that the Pentagon claims that the number of attacks is down. One can almost see the exchange of knowing looks between the reporter and her non-stupid readers: We all know that the Pentagon is probably lying about this, right? Wink-wink, nudge-nudge?

Actually the way we read the first line is as follows:

The Pentagon says the reduction in individual attacks against Americans is dramatic – down by 50 percent since the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Not

The Pentagon claims the reduction in individual attacks against Americans is dramatic – down by 50 percent since the capture of Saddam Hussein

…which kind of blows Steven’s little origami boat right out of the gutter meaning that you don’t have to read about how he once took a journalism class in college and how he learned to write “straight news reports” but those rules don’t apply when you’re blogging and trying to make a point that doesn’t exist.

Of course the part that really harshes Steven’s mellow is the fact that Martha Raddatz is reporting that, although the number of attacks are down, the number of casualties is staying about the same mainly because the attacks are being directed towards US aircraft that are apparently not using their Cloak of Invisibility, Deflector Shields, or Tractor Beams as they bring peace and the good wishes of the Federation to the good people of Eminiar VII.

Or something like that….

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TBogg

TBogg

Yeah. Like I would tell you....