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Sunday, December 11, 2005


More media bias

An entire site devoted to media bias and deliberate omissions.


"Bush Quotes Fallen Marine's Letter -- the Part the NYT Left Out

    On Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post filed to its website a quick take on Bush's speech to the Naval Academy, including the president's emotional quotation from  a letter found on the laptop of Marine Cpl. Jeffrey Starr, six months to the day after his death in a firefight in Ramadi.

    "Reading from a letter written by a U.S. soldier on his lap-top computer before his death, an emotional Bush said America owes those who have died in Iraq to 'take up their mantle, carry on the fight and complete their mission.'"

    By contrast, the New York  Times' similar online story from Christine Hauser made no mention of Starr's letter.

    Perhaps one reason why: As Michelle  Malkin first learned last month, the New York Times quoted Starr's letter but managed to miss the point, leaving off the very part Starr's family and President Bush found significant.

    An October 26  story by reporter James Dao quoted only part of Starr's letter, truncating it to make it fit Dao's deadly storyline (the "grim mark" of the 2000th fatality of the Iraq War). The portion of the letter run by the Times captured Starr's fear of death, but not his belief that his sacrifice was worth the goal of securing freedom for Iraq.

    This is the part the Times ran on October 26: "Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances."

    But as Times  Watch and others noted, Dao left off the rest of Starr's letter, which explains why he felt his sacrifice was worthwhile:

    "I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.'"

    The New York  Post has the positive reaction by Starr's family, who originally released their son's letter to the New York Times: "But the Times published only part of the five-paragraph letter, which the family felt distorted Jeffrey's message and made him appear to be a fatalist questioning the war -- when in fact he strongly supported it."

    Neither the New York Times or the Washington Post mention Starr's letter in their Thursday morning hard-copy editions.

You can comment on the paper's treatment of Cpl. Jeffrey Starr's last letter at the MRC's blog NewsBusters.


CBS: Most Want "Timetable," But Skip
Most See Pullout "Disaster"

    While CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer on Wednesday night highlighted how, in a fresh CBS News/New York Times poll, President Bush's approval rating has risen five points since October, he pointed out just one other survey finding -- one which matched a Democratic agenda item -- that "58 percent of those questioned said the U.S. should set a timetable for troop withdrawal; 39 percent said no." But Schieffer skipped how the survey also discovered that the public agrees with Bush and rejects the policy urged by Congressman John Murtha and left-wingers, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and DNC Chairman Howard Dean. As reported in the summary of the poll: "Six in 10 say they would agree with President Bush's statement that removing U.S. troops from Iraq now would be 'a recipe for disaster.'" Specifically, 61 percent responded "yes" compared to 34 percent who replied with a "no" -- a nearly two-to-one ratio.

    [This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, To share your views, go to: ]

    Over graphics with the poll numbers, Bob Schieffer announced on the December 7 CBS Evening News:
    "Now to Iraq, and President Bush's campaign to bolster Americans' support for the war. A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that, so far anyway, the President is not making much headway. On the question of bringing the troops home, 58 percent of those questioned said the U.S. should set a timetable for troop withdrawal; 39 percent said no. Still, the President is getting a better grade on his overall job performance. He's now rated at 40 percent approving now, up from 35 percent in October, 53 percent still disapprove. We have more on the President and the war now, from John Roberts."

    Roberts then began his story on President Bush's admission of setback in the reconstruction effort: "There's another poll number the White House is worried about. Only a third of Americans think President Bush is accurately describing what's going on in Iraq...."

    For's summary of the poll:  "

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