August 27, 2007

Page 9 At The WaPo Is As Good As It Gets

Let's say we're at war, and we're waiting for some specific action to take place to show us that our efforts are succeeding. Add in that the war itself would be rather controversial and that our political class is split as to whether we will ever see that specific action take place. Imagine that Congress and the White House have scheduled a showdown in the next couple of weeks to determine how much longer we will wait for that development.

Now imagine that the specific action for which we've waited actually occurs. Where would you think that story appear in Washington's biggest newspaper? The front page, one might assume. Would you believe ... page 9?

Iraq's top five political leaders announced an agreement Sunday night to release thousands of prisoners being held without charge and to reform the law that has kept thousands of members of Saddam Hussein's political party out of government jobs.

The agreement was publicized after several days of meetings between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite; President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd; Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni; Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shiite; and Massoud Barzani, president of the semiautonomous Kurdish region. ...

Although details of the proposed revisions to the de-Baathification law were unclear late Sunday, advisers to the political leaders said the changes would allow former members of Hussein's party to hold civil service jobs unless they had been high-level leaders or were accused of committing a specific crime. The new law would replace Iraq's Supreme National Commission for De-Baathification with a new committee dedicated to prosecuting former party members accused of crimes.

At least the Washington Post reported the story. Over at the Los Angeles Times, where they claim that "From Baghdad to Buenos Aires, The Times' 30 foreign correspondents cover news from around the world," they don't even bother to report the story at all, despite having a later "bed" time than the Post. In fact, they didn't even bother to reprint the AP or Reuters dispatch on it.

Over at the New York Times, meanwhile, another strange silence appears on this story. Again, like their West Coast namesake, the NYT doesn't even bother to run the story from its wire services. On their Iraq page, which lists all of their stories on the topic, they list no new stories for today, and only a background story on Congressional visits and an op-ed by Fred Kaplan about the loss of faith in senior leadership by junior officers from yesterday.

What happened to "all the news that's fit to print"? Perhaps we're seeing "all the news that prints to fit" -- the predetermined narrative. At least the Post actually reported the development.

Hell, even the BBC managed to report the agreement, even if they buried it in a report about French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner's apology for doing what Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin did here:

Leading Shia, Kurdish and Sunni politicians signed a reconciliation deal on Sunday and held further talks where they reported progress towards agreement on holding provincial elections and easing a ban on former Baath party members. ....

Last week Mr Kouchner said the Iraqi government was "not functioning" and was quoted saying he had told the US that there was strong support in Iraq for Mr Maliki to resign and he "has got to be replaced".

In an interview with RTL radio on Monday, Mr Kouchner said: "I think that he [Mr Maliki] misunderstood, or that I was not clear enough that I was referring to comments I heard from Iraqis I talked to."

"If the prime minister wants me to apologise for having interfered so directly in Iraqi affairs, I'll do it willingly," he said.

That says something about our own classless politicians, who managed to be more rude than the French, and less gracious afterwards.

UPDATE: Even the Guardian managed to report this, and they put their paper to bed long before any American newspapers do:

Easing de-Ba'athification laws passed after the 2003 US invasion has long been seen as a vital step if disenchanted Sunnis, who formed the backbone of Saddam Hussein's regime and, since its fall, of the insurgency, are to be persuaded to take part in Iraqi political life.

Agreement was also reported on holding provincial elections and releasing detainees held without charge across the country, two more of the "benchmarks" set by the Bush administration for political movement it hopes will stave off mounting congressional demands for a withdrawal from Iraq.

The Guardian has resolutely opposed the Iraq war all along and has consistently demanded withdrawal -- and yet the editors find room to actually report news. Go figure. (via Instapundit)


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Comments (12)

Posted by Mike M. | August 27, 2007 7:24 AM

The New York Times and their vile far left ilk in America are so terrified of even the remotest possibility of an eventual successful peace in Iraq (and vindication of the President's strategy), it's downright repulsive.

Any normal person would be ashamed of himself, but they passed that stage a long time ago.

Posted by NoDonkey | August 27, 2007 9:22 AM

MSM News Story = slanted, biased item that advances the cause of the Democrat Party or any other lunatic left cause du jour.

Which is why newspaper circulation is plummeting. Unless you think like they do and need the MSM to confirm your blighted worldview, what's the point or reading it?

Posted by GarandFan | August 27, 2007 9:28 AM

Captain, it ain't hard to figure. They'll be getting together today to figure out how to move the goalposts.

Posted by Immolate | August 27, 2007 10:01 AM

This term "mounting congressional demands for a withdrawal from Iraq" is another example of news organizations desynching themselves with reality. The reality is that congression fence sitters are leaning away from the retreat faction because of the belief that the report in September by Patreus will be positive. Moderate and blue dog democrats have been lining up to give themselves some room to maneuver when that happens. There is no way to honestly characterize what is going on now as "mounting demands for withdrawal".

Posted by filistro | August 27, 2007 10:38 AM

Yeah, the nerve of that damned MSM... failing to report a false story!

Turns out FOX had it pretty much right after all. Al-Hashemi was attending the talks in his capacity as Iraqi VP, not a representative leader of the NCF, and was there mainly to see that no secret deals were reached in which the Sunnis got shafted.

The only agreements Al-Hashemi signed onto were a deal to release 1700 Sunni prisoners being held without trial, and a tentative "road map" toward de-Baathification. His party has 9 other demands that must be met for any kind of political reunification.

The boycott continues.

Meantime the Bush administration, who can always be counted on to step on themselves in the clumsiest possible way, are about to crush even this slender reed of "progress." Iyad Allawi, their hand-picked manageable "strongman," is heading to Iraq as we speak... backed by $300k in GOP lobbyist dollars... to destabilize al-Maliki and seize power.

Democracy at work... isn't it a wonderful thing?

Posted by dos303 | August 27, 2007 10:40 AM

Is there some reason that NOBODY will come straight out and call the management at these newspapers "traitors"? They are doing strategic damage to their country. People who do that are traitors.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | August 27, 2007 10:52 AM

filistro says

"Turns out FOX had it pretty much right after all."

When a leftist claims Faux news is telling the truth.....

Posted by filistro | August 27, 2007 11:08 AM

Del, just out of curiosity, what is your definition of a "leftist?"

Is anybody who dislikes the Bush administration's big-government and interventionist foreign policies a "leftist" in your mind... even folks like me who have voted for the most conservative candidates in every election for decades?

Or it could be, just possibly, that you have no idea what you're talking about. I forgive you for that because, as I've said before, I suspect you are quite a young person.

But I do mean the question seriously. I would really like you to answer it. What, in your mind, makes somebody a "leftist?"

Thank you in advance for your reply...

Posted by lexhamfox | August 27, 2007 11:52 AM

Ed, The BBC did not bury the story. It is a stand alone headline in the Middle East section and it has its own video in the multimedia section. It is also mentioned in other reports on related topics.

Posted by Publius Hamilton | August 27, 2007 5:01 PM

Define courage for me....

Iraqi PM Maliki travels to Tikrit (Saddam's hometown) at great risk to his life to talk with Sunni leaders.

Define cowardice for me...

Democrat candidates for President of the USA and Commander in Chief (and leader of the free world) refuse to appear on a debate sponsored by FOX News.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | August 27, 2007 7:14 PM

filistro says

"Del, just out of curiosity, what is your definition of a "leftist?

Or it could be, just possibly, that you have no idea what you're talking about. I forgive you for that because, as I've said before, I suspect you are quite a young person."

You just gave me my definition.

Students, note the utterly condescending attitude, the prompt ad hominem attack accusing me of being stupid, and then calling me a child for dessert.

Wrong on all counts.

Now, please tell us all of the "conservatives" you've voted for in the past. By name.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | August 27, 2007 7:31 PM

from Wiki:

"During the Viet Nam War, the New Left became the chief proponents of non-interventionism. Today in the US, members of both the "left" and "right" favor military interventionism; though those on the left prefer multi-lateral interventionism (through the UN, NATO and other collective security organizations), while those on the right prefer unilateral interventionism.

Paleoconservatives, libertarians, and progressives are some of the remaining political groups who would hold the US to non-interventionism in principle. The split has become a primary issue in the 2008 election, with some prominent Democrats denouncing the unpopular interventionist War in Iraq while many Republicans defend it, though the division is not strictly along party lines."

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