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January 29, 2005
NYT Promotes Terrorist Threats, Buries Iraqi Defiance

While we wait for more updates on the Iraqi elections, a look at coverage in the mainstream American media could shed some light as to what we can expect for post-election spin. The New York Times runs a typical story for its morning edition, telling us for the umpteenth time this week about how the terrorists plan on creating a bloodbath but virtually burying the defiance of Iraqis in the face of those threats:

Anticipating a wave of violence on election day, Iraqi soldiers and the police, backed up in places by American troops, erected checkpoints across the major cities of northern, southern and central Iraq. American attack helicopters and jets circled overhead, and election workers wrapped voting sites, many of them schools, in barbed wire. The streets of Baghdad and Mosul were mostly deserted.

Iraqi officials predicted that 8 million of the country's 14 million eligible voters would cast ballots on Sunday, a turnout of roughly 57 percent, in the country's first multiparty elections in more than 50 years. But with insurgents threatening to kill Iraqis who vote and to bomb polling places, and with most leaders of the country's Sunni minority calling for a boycott, that statement, by the Independent Election Commission of Iraq, appeared to be as much an expression of hope as it was a prediction.

Of course, none of this is news, and yet it precedes some interesting quotes from Iraqis who appear to defy Zarqawi and his band of bloodthirsty lunatics:

"I voted under Saddam - it was bogus - and now I am ready for a real election," said Mohsin Abdul Ruda, a 50-year-old shopkeeper, who lives down the street from a girls' school that will serve as his neighborhood's polling place. "Everyone in the neighborhood is going to vote."

As he spoke, three loud explosions echoed nearby.

"There is no fear," Mr. Ruda said, waving his hand. "Only cowards will be afraid to vote." ...

At the Obqa Ibn Nafi secondary school in Baghdad, Iraqis spent much of the day finishing preparations for the vote in a converted classroom. Four cardboard voting booths stood against one wall, and there were two clear plastic boxes for the finished ballots. On the blackboard were instructions for last week's geography lesson.

Here, too, the election workers were predicting a good turnout, even among the neighborhood's Sunnis.

"Those people who are trying to stop the election, they are agents of the devil," said Ziad Mohi, one of the election workers. "But the people will come anyway."

The Washington Post reported earlier in the week on Iraqi enthusiasm, but buried the story on page A-13. Now we see the NYT report on the election on the eve, and they bury the enthusiasm at the bottom of the article. You can bet that the MSM will continue to bury those elements which don't fit within the predetermined narratives of failure, or simply ignore them altogether.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 29, 2005 11:18 PM

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