ABC's Gibson Uniquely Highlights Declining Number of Troops Dying in Iraq

One week after ABC anchor Charles Gibson made a special point about how bad the situation in Iraq remained while media attention focused on the Israel-Hezbollah war, specifically noting how “more U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq these past two weeks than Israeli soldiers have died in their conflict,” Gibson on Monday night -- uniquely on the broadcast network evening newscasts -- highlighted some good news: How U.S. military deaths are falling in Iraq. Gibson read this short item on the July 31 World News: “One item to mention from Iraq tonight. The U.S. military death toll in Iraq fell in July, for the third-straight month, despite the rising sectarian violence. As of yesterday, 44 U.S. forces had been killed in July. And that's the third-lowest monthly death toll in two years.” An accompanying on-screen chart showed the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq declining from 76 in April to 69 in May to 61 in June and 44 in July.

I'm not sure how ABC got the July number so soon since I don't see anything about it on Yahoo News from AP or Reuters, neither anything yet on DOD's

Defenselink site.

A week ago, a July 24 NewsBusters item recounted:
On Monday's [July 24] World News, ABC anchor Charles Gibson segued from coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah battle to remind viewers of how badly things are going in Iraq. Over an on-screen graphic of the numbers of civilians and military members killed in Iraq compared to the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, Gibson announced: “Well the focus of the world, in recent days, has been on Israel and Lebanon. And attention has been diverted from Iraq. But it should be noted that in the thirteen days since the Israeli/Lebanese crisis began, more Iraqi civilians have died [540] than Lebanese [392]. And more U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq these past two weeks [24] than Israeli soldiers have died in their conflict [22]. Also somewhat overlooked is the fact that Saddam Hussein has been on a two-week hunger strike. ABC's Terry McCarthy is in Baghdad tonight....”
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