Real War News Unfit To Print
‘There is much less of a focus on the aspects of the leaks that make the U.S. look bad,’ says Jim Naureckas of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.
When five news organizations—The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and Al Jazeera—were granted access to Wikileaks’ Iraq War Logs before they were published online on October 22, only The Times avoided drawing the same conclusions as its colleagues abroad. The Guardian’s coverage featured headlines such as “Secret Files Show How U.S. Ignored Torture” and “How Friendly Fire Became Routine,” while Le Monde was no less dramatic. Der Spiegel, the German news weekly, published a lengthy editorial titled, “Dumb War: Taking Stock of the Iraq Invasion,” which concluded that the Wikileaks documents confirm that the war was a failure.
Meanwhile, The Times’ front-page headline assured us “Detainees Fared Worse in Iraqi Hands.” Other American newspapers seemed similarly unimpressed by Wikileaks’ latest publication of nearly 400,000 classified military documents. The Washington Post printed an editorial declaring that the Iraq War Logs offered no new insights.
“It’s an interesting case study in how the U.S. media treats stories compared to their international colleagues,” says Jim Naureckas of New York-based Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Referring to The Times’ front-page stories on Iran’s involvement in Iraq and sexual assault allegations regarding Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange, Naureckas says “there is much less of a focus on the aspects of the leaks that make the U.S. look bad and there is an effort to seek out things in the material that support the official agenda.”
U.S. media coverage of the Iraq War Logs triggered plenty of criticism online …. Keep reading Wikileaks’ Iraq War Logs coverage