NBC Turns Deaths of Soldiers in Iraq Into Story on 'Voices of Dissent' Growing 'Angrier'

While Tuesday's NBC Nightly News commendably devoted a story to mourning in the Fort Bragg community after the loss of nine 82nd Airborne soldiers in Iraq, a loss to the division anchor Brian Williams described as “the largest since June of 1969,” reporter Bob Faw pivoted from sadness over the deaths to how “even here, where support for the war has been unswerving, the latest round of casualties raised new doubts about the American military presence in Iraq.” Faw included the views of those in the Fayetteville, North Carolina community who praised the soldiers and still support the war, but stressed, based on a few anecdotal quotes from people on the street, how “on this day, publicly, the voices of dissent grew louder and angrier -- even here.” Viewers then heard a woman declare: “It's senseless. All they're doing is going over there and dying for nothing, absolutely nothing.”

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video for the April 24 NBC Nightly News story:
Brian Williams: "And now for the 82nd Airborne, this latest loss was the largest since June of 1969, back when 12 men from that division were killed in Vietnam. NBC's Bob Faw reports on this tough day for the Fort Bragg community."

Bob Faw: "At the home of the legendary 82nd Airborne, paratroopers often first to be sent into harm's way, where they're taught sacrifice is necessary. Today all this base and a community nearby could do was come together in sadness and resolve."

Major Tom Earnhardt, Fort Bragg: "We're in mourning here, but now it's time for us to rally around our families and, you know, squeeze each other tight and get through this."

Faw: "Here they learned how to deal with death, 106 soldiers from this division killed in combat since 9/11, and will deal with it again, says the wife of a military chaplain now serving with the 82nd in Iraq."

Kara Honbarger, wife of military chaplain: "-and using more resolve to say let's get it cleaned out, let's get it taken care of over there."

Faw: "But on this day, even here, where support for the war has been unswerving, the latest round of casualties raised new doubts about the American military presence in Iraq."

Man, at an outside location: "You got to do what you have to do, but we're losing too many men. That's my opinion."

Woman, outside: "Send them home, send them home, pull them all out."

Faw: "And for everyone here who argues 'stay the course'-"

Second Man, outside: "I'm sorry to hear about it, and sorry for the families, but happy that we have those kind of people to serve our country."

Faw: "-on this day, publicly, the voices of dissent grew louder and angrier -- even here."

Second woman, outside: "It's senseless. All they're doing is going over there and dying for nothing, absolutely nothing."

Faw: "Next month, memorial services are scheduled at this base where they brace themselves for days like today, but never really can. Bob Faw, NBC News, Fayetteville, North Carolina."
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center