Newsweek Mocks Bush 'Progress Report' From Iraq -- and Then Writes a Progress Report

On page 23 of the June 4 edition of Newsweek, there's a subtle bias on the "Perspectives" quotes-of-the-week page this week. Note the editorializing by using quotation marks suggesting progress will never happen in Iraq:

"It could be a bloody -- it could be a very difficult August." --President George W. Bush, on what is in store for U.S. troops in Iraq in the months before a "progress report" due in September (emphasis mine).

On page 33, there's a story by Melinda Liu on actual progress in Iraq, headlined: "Gathering the Tribes: U.S. field commanders are finally beginning to tap the traditional networks that helped Saddam stay in power." Liu reported from Ramadi that "Marines and Iraqi tribesmen and police are sitting together, swapping jokes and stories. Some of these Iraqis were probably shooting at Americans less than a year ago. Now they and the Marines are fighting side by side against Al Qaeda."The story also carried a large, bolded quote:

'Last year the Americans were our biggest enemies,' says one cop. 'Now they're how we get what we need.'

The captions on the pictures read:

PEACE SIGNS: Tribal recruits man a check-point in Ramadi (above); children and others now freely interact with Americans (right).

Liu's story has plenty of skepticism about whether the progress will last, and whether the reduced violence is good enough. But it would be hard not to define it as a "progress report."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis