NATO’s Afghan Airstrike Reported…Sort Of

Yesterday reports emerged about a NATO airstrike in Logar province that, according to local officials, killed 18 civilians—the vast majority women and children.

Readers of the Washington Post could learn about this (6/7/12) by flipping to page 10 and looking for this headline:

Afghanistan Suicide Blasts Kill at Least 22 Civilians

A suicide attack gets top billing. Next comes word that “overall levels of violence have dropped” in the country. Following that, a helicopter crash that killed two NATO troops. Then finally:

Separately, there were conflicting accounts about the killing of civilians in a NATO-led airstrike overnight in Logar province, south of Kabul.

The New York Times was better (which would not be difficult). The front-page photo shows the aftermath of the airstrike, along with the caption “Confusion in the Rubble of a NATO Airstrike.”

Like the Post, the Times led with news of the suicide attack, followed by a passage noting the decline in civilian deaths. The paper’s account then went on to offer more details about the NATO airstrike—before getting back to the apparently more newsworthy Taliban suicide attack.

Because an official enemy killing civilians is always more important than your own government killing civilians—right?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.