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Agenda journalism

Posted by Richard on May 19, 2006

For those of you who still doubt that the mainstream media’s war reporting consists largely of agenda-driven, biased, anti-American propaganda, today’s front page of The Washington Post presented what I’d like the bailiff to tag as Exhibit #17,693. The story in question (log in with BugMeNot), by Pamela Constable of the "Washington Post Foreign Service," has the following headline and subhead:

Afghanistan Rocked As 105 Die in Violence

Toll Is Among Worst Since 2001 Invasion

If you just glanced at the paper (or one of the hundreds of other papers and web pages that picked up the WaPo story), you no doubt concluded that we’re in deep trouble in Afghanistan now, too — just like Iraq. If you began reading the story, the first paragraph confirmed the grim news conveyed by the headlines:

ASADABAD, Afghanistan, May 18 — Afghanistan has been rocked over the past two days by some of the deadliest violence since the Taliban was driven from power in late 2001. As many as 105 people were reported killed in four provinces as insurgents torched a district government compound, set off suicide bombs and clashed fiercely with Afghan and foreign troops.

If you stopped there (as many casual newspaper readers do), you probably thought that it’s all going to hell, that this incompetent administration has screwed up another country, and that maybe we should just withdraw from Afghanistan, too.

If you kept reading, however, you discovered that the overwhelming majority of the deaths were among the enemy, and that some of them were killed by U.S. air strikes:

Between 80 and 90 Taliban fighters were killed in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, according to Afghan, U.S. and NATO officials. Two sites in Kandahar were struck by U.S. warplanes, including a long-range B-1 bomber, which U.S. military officials said destroyed a compound that Taliban guerrillas were using to stage an attack.

So, "as many as" 90 of 105 were enemy combatants. That’s almost a 9-1 ratio, which means the phrase "Toll Is Among Worst" is accurate only from the perspective of the Taliban.

From the perspective of those of us who are on the side of the United States and Western Civilization, and who cheer the death, destruction, and defeat of the Islamofascists, these two days of fighting represent not a terrible toll, but a tremendous success. If we keep killing 9 of them for every Afghan and allied soldier we lose, things will go very well indeed!

Pamela Constable, Leonard Downie, Jr., Ben Bradlee, et al., are apparently cheering for the other side.

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