Mar 31 2008

National “Pentagon” Radio?

Feature Stories | Published 31 Mar 2008, 8:40 am | Comments Off on National “Pentagon” Radio? -

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NPRGUEST: Jim Naureckas, Editor of Extra! FAIR’s Magazine, Norman Solomon, Executive Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy

Fighting escalated in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Friday when a U.S. airstrike killed five civilians according to Iraqi police and hospital sources. The U.S. military has claimed that four armed militants were killed in the attack. In addressing the violence in Basra, President Bush called the clashes “a defining moment in the history of Iraq,” as well as a “necessary part of the development of a free society.” As the battles continue in Basra between the Iraqi government’s forces and Shite militias affiliated with Moqtada Al Sadr, critics in the United States have taken the media to task for its coverage. Institute for Public Accuracy’s Norman Solomon recently wrote an article assessing National Public Radio’s framing of the conflict. In questioning whether the public radio network’s acronym actually stands for National Pentagon Radio, Solomon criticizes a reporter’s assertion that the Basra operations “needed to happen,” as well as the prevalence of retired generals as commentators on its shows. Meanwhile, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has also taken NPR to task claiming that the network has underreported the number of Iraqi deaths. In reporting the low end estimate, an NPR anchor presumably used a figure from June 2006 from a source that has since nearly doubled its estimation of civilian deaths in Iraq.

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