One of the things which struck me about the MSM’s coverage of the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Baghdad this weekend was their focus on the failures and the rhetoric of America’s opponents. AOL lead its coverage with an article on Shiite protesters marching to demand that the U.S. leave Iraq while exaggerating their number (that post on exaggeration via Instapundit).
While the MSM heralded this protest despite its smaller-than-expected turnout as if it were some sign of growing anti-American sentiment in Iraq, the Multi-National Force noted something the media neglected — that Iraqis are free to oppose their government –something they could not do just over four years ago:
During the era of Saddam Hussein the people could not voice their opinions or freely express how they felt about the government. This changed in Dec. 2005 when millions of Iraqis voted for a democratic future during their general election of a new government.
While the MSM headlines its post by referencing radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as just a cleric, it buries the adjective (“radical“) in its article, burying as well the words of the Democrats’ 2000 Vice-Presidential nominee. Senator Joseph Lieberman noted that al-Sadr’s words show that “the surge is working.” One sign of that success is that that unhappy cleric is nowhere to be found.
The Connecticut Independent Democrat is not the only Senator to note the successes in Iraq. The senior Senator from the Grand Canyon State entitled his Sunday Op-ed, “The War You’re Not Reading About.” Senator McCain wrote:
The new political-military strategy is beginning to show results. But most Americans are not aware because much of the media are not reporting it or devote far more attention to car bombs and mortar attacks that reveal little about the strategic direction of the war. I am not saying that bad news should not be reported or that horrific terrorist attacks are not newsworthy. But news coverage should also include evidence of progress.
It’s unfortunate that the MSM has decided to dwell on the bad news — and the words of an angry cleric because the surge has shown real signs of progress. Perhaps Americans might have a more favorable opinion of the war in Iraq if the MSM presented a more accurate picture of the situation on the ground.