Media bias: the proof
There is, Hugh, I agree with you, a deep anti-military bias in the media. One that begins from the premise that the military must be lying, and that American projection of power around the world must be wrong.Well, it seems now there's some proof of bias in military coverage, but it works the other way. Matthew Schofield was a Kansas City Star reporter in Iraq in 2006 and covered a possible war crime in Iraq in which it was alleged that "US forces had handcuffed and then "executed" 10 people in the home of Faiz Harrat Al-Majma'ee" then "called in an airstrike that destroyed the house" to cover up evidence. The release of a formerly secret document by Wikileaks suggests that the UN investigator believed these charges which the Pentagon dismissed. Schofield spoke to Salon's Justin Elliott about his coverage of the event and it is, to my mind, shocking to see how much bias colored his views
What did we learn from the cable just released by WikiLeaks?So, get this:
One, it shows different sources of information than what I was dealing with. It shows that officialdom was concerned about this. They were not admitting they were concerned when we were on the story back then. They gave much more credence to the story than they had suggested to the press at the time. Behind the scenes, there was a great deal of concern over what exactly had happened there.
The cable outlines pretty much exactly what the worst-case scenario was when we were reporting on it. I didn't really pursue the worst-case scenario because I didn't believe it was possible. We looked into it and we reported on the allegations at the time, but we were always looking for other explanations, for other ways this could have happened. This cable seems focused on that worst-case scenario, which I found fascinating.
- Ten people--including "five children under the age of five, the youngest being five months old"--were killed.
- Schofield's stringer on the ground told him he was being given wrong information by the DoD, to which military spokespeople eventually admitted.
- The American-trained Iraqi police who investigated the incident said the killings were "execution-style killings."
- US military investigators who dismissed the charges spent less than an hour on the ground.
Tell me again the one about the biased reporter...