Dec
01
2008

The AP's 'Untold Number of Iraqis' Killed

Well aware that "from the aftermath of the 2003 'shock and awe' bombing campaign all the way through Thanksgiving Day 2008, major U.S. news outlets have nearly uniformly blacked out or downplayed reports of the Iraqi death toll," critic Brad Jacobson notes (MediaBloodhound, 11/30/08)
that "a recent Associated Press article reveals the depths to which these outlets are still willing to delve to censor this information":

In the November 27 article "Iraqi Parliament OKs U.S. Troops for 3 More Years," by Christopher Torchia and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, AP editors approved the following characterization of Iraqi deaths suffered since the US invasion: "The war has claimed more than 4,200 American lives and killed a far greater, untold number of Iraqis."…

How's that for a statistically rigorous accounting? With the exactitude of a third-grader's book report cribbed from a novel's dust jacket copy, the AP–America's No. 1 wire news service–blankets U.S. news outlets with a quantification of Iraqi casualties that would've made Stalin proud.

While the AP completely giving up on estimating Iraqi deaths at all may appear outrageous to any American with a conscience, Jacobson sees precedent in the fact that

last April, when Opinion Research Businessreleased its January 2008 follow-up report estimating over 1 million Iraqi deaths since the U.S. invasion–which both reconfirmed its September 2007 estimate as well as supported prior findings of the 2006 John Hopkins study published in the British medical journal Lancet (650,000 deaths)–a LexisNexis search showed no U.S. mainstream news outlet carried the story.

See FAIR's recent Action Alert: "The Washington Post Undercounts Iraq Deaths: Paper's Feature Low-Balls Iraqi Casualties (10/27/08)