Dec 13 2011

CBS Revises Iraq Death Toll

New tally still lower than other estimates

New tally still lower than other estimatesAfter a FAIR Action Alert (12/2/11), the CBS Evening News has changed its count of civilian deaths–citing a new figure that is roughly twice their original count. On December 1 the CBS Evening News reported: It is estimated that more than 50,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the war. As FAIR pointed out, this was totally inadequate–even the source for the network’s claim ( warned that this was not a comprehensive count. On December 12, CBS anchor Scott Pelley closed a segment about “how life has changed inside Iraq” with this: We looked into […]

Dec 02 2011

CBS Undercounts Iraqi Deaths

Rewriting Iraq War history

Rewriting Iraq War history A December 1 CBS Evening News report about the Iraq War managed to mislead viewers about the start of the war and severely diminish the loss of civilian lives. Reporting on the handover of the U.S. military headquarters to Iraqi forces, anchor Scott Pelley announced: What began in 2003 as an effort to overthrow Saddam Hussein became a vicious religious war, pitting Iraqi against Iraqi–with the U.S. caught in the middle. Of course, the United States invaded Iraq with the stated aim of disarming Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, which did not exist. (“The opening stages […]

Aug 01 2011

Desperate for Democracy in Iraq

Protesters fight for what U.S. media say they already have

Protesters fight for what U.S. media say they already haveThe U.S.-based women’s rights group MADRE (6/10/11) reported that members of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq—its partner organization in Baghdad—and other protesters were brutally beaten and sexually assaulted in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on June 10 by government-sponsored mobs. What were they demonstrating for that so threatened Iraq’s government? Democracy. “For months, young women have been demonstrating for democracy in Tahrir Square, joining thousands of others who believe in a vision of an Iraq that is democratic and rooted in human rights,” OWFI director Yanar Mohammed told MADRE. “But instead […]

Aug 20 2010

Hannah Gurman on Iraq, Norman Solomon on Petraeus and Afghanistan


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: One war is ending, while the other is the subject of a major PR blitz. Right on schedule, we’re told, Operation Iraqi Freedom is winding down, with live TV coverage relaying the images of the final U.S. combat brigades leaving the country. The caveats to the story of the “end” of the war are abundant—tens of thousands of troops and private contractors remain, and some are already suggesting they’ll be there longer than we’ve been told. So how does a war that isn’t really ending actually end? Hannah Gurman wrote about the Orwellian state […]

Mar 05 2010

Mary Bottari on financial reform, Raed Jarrar on Iraq


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: A recent NBC–Wall Street Journal poll showed 74 percent of Americans believed not enough had been done to regulate the banking industry. But is the legislation the Senate is now considering anything like what those people had in mind? We’ll get an update on financial reform from Mary Bottari, director of the Real Economy Project at the Center for Media & Democracy. Also on CounterSpin today: Parliamentary elections in Iraq are leading to some mixed messages in the corporate press—”Victory At Last” declares the cover of Newsweek, while newspaper accounts hint, or even suggest, […]

Mar 20 2009

The Short, Happy Iraq War of Howard Kurtz

As the world marks the sixth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, corporate media’s most prominent journalism critic is wondering if Barack Obama’s Iraq policy isn’t being sufficiently scrutinized. As Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz asked recently on his CNN program (3/15/09): “What about the previous president? I mean, he famously landed on that aircraft carrier, declared ‘Mission Accomplished,’ and we’re still there. Could journalists be falling into the same trap of taking a president’s word about Iraq at face value?” It’s a good question to ask– but is Kurtz really the best person to ask it? In […]

Mar 01 2009

Tom Ricks’ Gamble

Justifying a kinder, gentler Iraq occupation

Photo Credit: Thomas Ricks/Penguin Books

Justifying a kinder, gentler Iraq occupationReporter Thomas Ricks’ new book The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, documents the military changes that took place in Iraq after the controversial troop “surge,” which is commonly credited with having greatly reduced violence in the country (Extra!, 11-12/07, 9-10/08). A Pentagon correspondent for the Washington Post, Ricks is also a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and writes the Best Defense blog at Foreign Ricks has been deeply embedded with the leadership of the “surge” and, as the book boasts, had “extraordinary […]

Oct 27 2008

The Washington Post Undercounts Iraq Deaths

Paper's feature low-balls Iraqi casualties

Paper’s feature low-balls Iraqi casualtiesThe Washington Post‘s weekly Saturday feature on “Iraq War Casualties” has consistently listed a “maximum count” of Iraqi civilian deaths that is dramatically lower than the likely civilian death tolls assessed through surveys of the Iraqi public. In the most recent edition of this feature (10/25/08) which the Post has been publishing as a chart in the Saturday newspaper since August 2, the Post offers a “maximum count” of 96,719 Iraqi civilian deaths. Yet as the Post itself acknowledged in a footnote to its chart on June 15, 2007, there are studies that put the Iraqi […]