As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Wonder How That Could Be

Amazingly enough, people have no idea how many Americans are dying in Iraq.

Twenty-eight percent of the public is aware that nearly 4,000 U.S. personnel have died in Iraq over the past five years, while nearly half thinks the death tally is 3,000 or fewer and 23 percent think it is higher, according to an opinion survey released yesterday.

The survey, by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, found that public awareness of developments in the Iraq war has dropped precipitously since last summer, as the news media have paid less attention to the conflict. In earlier surveys, about half of those asked about the death tally responded correctly.

Related Pew surveys have found that the number of news stories devoted to the war has sharply declined this year, along with professed public interest. "Coverage of the war has been virtually absent," said Pew survey research director Scott Keeter, totaling about 1 percent of the news hole between Feb. 17 and 23.

It's really just incredible. You wouldn't suppose it has anything to do with this story appearing on Page A12, would it? Alongside the one about the rocket attack killing 3 soldiers yesterday?

Because Juan Cole asked me to, here's the AP's report on the even more deadly day for US troops on Monday:

It's all good though, because Tucker Carlson has been replaced by a show called "Race For The White House," filling that crucial campaign coverage gap, and in addition to telling us who said what about whom and who played what race or gender card, I'm sure David Gregory will keep us completely informed about the latest from Iraq.

This last bit, from the original article, is noted, in closing, without comment.

Compared with those Americans surveyed who correctly identified U.S. casualties at around 4,000 (3,975 as of yesterday morning, according to the Pentagon), 84 percent identified Oprah Winfrey as the talk-show host supporting Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) for the Democratic presidential nomination...

OK, one comment... they've really deep-sixed this war, haven't they? All the more to dodge their own culpability, I guess.

...adding, it's of course harder for some media outlets to report the news when the White House Pentagon actively seeks to censor it.

The Bush Administration apparently does not want a U.S. military study that found no direct connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda to get any attention. This morning, the Pentagon cancelled plans to send out a press release announcing the report's release and will no longer make the report available online.

The report was to be posted on the Joint Forces Command website this afternoon, followed by a background briefing with the authors. No more. The report will be made available only to those who ask for it, and it will be sent via U.S. mail from Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

It won't be emailed to reporters and it won't be posted online.

How can we expect reporters to cover it? They won't even GET AN EMAIL! (Not that it'd matter much if they did, particularly to those who need to inform the public on exactly how many times Eliot Spitzer used the call-girl service and who the actual prostitutes were.

...I mean, wouldn't it be nice if we actually knew about kidnapped Americans in Iraq before we heard stories about their fingers sent to American forces? Wouldn't it be nice not to be so in the fucking dark all the time?

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