Thursday, September 06, 2007


Washington Post today:

When Petraeus told an Australian newspaper last week that sectarian attacks had decreased 75 percent "since last year," the statistic was quickly e-mailed to U.S. journalists in a White House fact sheet. Asked for detail, MNF-I said that "last year" referred to December 2006, when attacks spiked to more than 1,600.

By March, however -- before U.S. troop strength was increased under Bush's strategy -- the number had dropped to 600, only slightly less than in the same month last year. That is about where it has remained in 2007....

The Nation, August 1:

Under the headline, "A War We Just Might Win," the New York Times on Monday published an op-ed by Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution and Kenneth Pollack, both referred to as critics of the way the Bush Administration has "handled" the war in Iraq.

... According to Martha Raddatz of ABC News,

"...The White House sent this op-ed piece out to the press corps, anybody that would read it today...."

Er, press corps? Basically, when anything comes to you in a White House e-mail with bells and whistles and flashing neon lights, it's bullshit. Or at least assume it's bullshit unless you can prove otherwise.

Don't assume it deserves special prominence in your story because the White House told you it does. Assume the White House told you it's important for nakedly political reasons.

Surely I don't need to tell you this. Surely it's obvious by now.

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