News spinning

CNN has an article entitled “Disputed study claims 655,000 Iraqi deaths” in which they contrast that number with what they refer to as a respected source’s rough estimate of closer to 50,000.

Thing is, it’s not the people at the respected source who are disputing the figure. You see, the Iraq Body Count isn’t an estimate, it’s a lowball count, covering only deaths that are cited in multiple independent press reports. It’s not an estimate of the entire deaths, merely a “we have strong proof” minimum.

About the only other basis given for dispute in the article is that this information is not convenient (or that it’s release time is too convenient… which would cover just about any moment when politics are going on.)

But unlike the statements that got us into this war, CNN feels the need to not just say that this statement was made, but to undermine the statement with the claim of dispute in the headline itself.

Added later: Interesting. Between 2-something AM and 9-something AM, they pulled the Disputed from the headline and added comments that experts support the methodology used. At the moment, both versions are listed as separate articles on the RSS feed. I’m not sure if the earlier version will disappear from the system.

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Published in: on October 11, 2006 at 9:12 am  Leave a Comment  

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