[B]etween October 1 and November 30….we could classify only 34 stories (10%) as positive or optimistic, compared to 200 (62%) that emphasized negativity or pessimism about the Iraq mission, a six-to-one disparity. (The remaining 90 stories were neutral.) During the first nine months of the year, we found 211 stories (15%) emphasizing positive developments, compared with 848 (61%) that relayed mainly bad news. For the year, the number of negative stories on Iraq stands at 1,048 (61%), to just 245 positive stories (14%).
One reason for all the negativity was heavy coverage of suicide bombings and other terrorist violence. The networks collectively aired 125 stories about such attacks, about 39 percent of the total. Some of the carnage seemed aimed at getting media coverage, and the networks did not resist those who murdered their way onto TV screens....As we found earlier this year, few stories (just five in two months) featured stories of American soldiers’ heroism, while nearly four times as many (19) focused on allegations of U.S. wrongdoing, including the accidental killing of civilians and claims of prisoner mistreatment.