NYT Relegates Rout of AQI in Baghdad to A19

When Rush Limbaugh opened today's show by mentioning that the New York Times had relegated to page A19 the story of the ridding of Al Qaeda-in-Iraq from all of Baghdad, I actually thought he might be joking. Surely not even the Times could be so brazenly biased as to bury such a huge story reflecting the success of the surge.

But, sure enough, Rush was right. Page A19 is precisely the remote location to which the Times banished the story. And to further diminish the number of people who would learn the good news, the paper stuck this bland headline on it:

"Rebel Unit Now Out of Baghdad, U.S. General Asserts"

The headline of the online-version of the story:

"Militant Group Is Out of Baghdad, U.S. Says"

differs slightly, but the text is the same.

Yeah, it was just some "rebel unit" or "militant group" that the MNF has driven out of all of Baghdad:

AL-FREAKING-QAEDA!

And note the Times's passive tone: AQI is "out" of Baghdad. Hey: they were driven out by the MNF. Defeated. Killed or taken prisoner. Those that escaped either fled or slinked out.

But thanks to Rush, and now with a little help from NB, many more people are going to read the story and learn that:

American forces have routed Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the Iraqi militant network, from every neighborhood of Baghdad, a top American general said today, allowing American troops involved in the“surge” to depart as planned.

Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr. [pictured here], commander of United States forces in Baghdad, also said that American troops had yet to clear some 13 percent of the city, including Sadr City and several other areas controlled by Shiite militias. But, he said, “there’s just no question” that violence had declined since a spike in June.

“Murder victims are down 80 percent from where they were at the peak,” and attacks involving improvised bombs are down 70 percent, he said.
Aside: I wouldn't have a hard copy of the NYT around, and neither did either of the NB editors I contacted. So to verify the story I got in touch with a good friend who was quickly able to put his hands on it because they give the Times away free at his workplace . . . an elite northeastern university!

Rather than calling attention to the reality of good military news in Iraq, the MSM would rather fantasize over bad military news in an imaginary country, as in this cartoon from today's Washington Post [hat tip Tom Johnson].

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.