Friday, February 22, 2008

The Case of the Vanishing Reuters Headline

Abe Greenwald, over at Commentary, sheds some light on Reuters' shady practice of pumping up apparent setbacks in Iraq - a classic hardline retreatist news angle - then burying the story once contradictory information surfaces:

Reuters, the news agency with a policy forbidding the word “terrorist” from their stories and a penchant for printing doctored photos as evidence of Israeli aggression, has done it again.

Yesterday, Reuters posted a story entitled “Sadr Expected to End Truce”, implying it was likely that Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al Sadr would end his Mahdi Army’s six-month ceasefire in Iraq. I can’t offer the URL of that story because once their cynical prediction was proved immediately wrong (today, Sadr announced that he’d be extending the ceasefire another six months) the
link started bringing me to a new Reuters story entitled (surprise, surprise) “Iraqi Cleric Sadr Extends Militia Ceasefire.” Soon after that, the original headline disappeared from internet searches altogether. The only place on the web I’ve been able to find the old headline (which links to the new story) is way down in the comments section of the firedoglake blog.

For Reuters, flesh-and-blood events of global importance seem to be no more than malleable bits of code. Stories are offered, embellished, and pulled at their discretion. Moreover, this lack of regard for a news-hungry public reveals a consistent bias: deception is okay when expressing opposition to the hopes and aims of the U.S.
The "global importance" Greenwald mentions is exacty the kind of strategic reality the far-left can't face.

One thing I noticed here is how Greenwald's obviously's been spending some time reviewing Firedoglake's nihilist comments section.

I thought I was just about the only neocon willing to wade into the lion's den!!