Misleading Headline

I expect this kind of thing from Reuters, the NYT, sometimes the AP. But Drudge? The headline seems to suggest that U.S. troops tried to murder a released journalist-hostage in Iraq. The cited AP story has a more accurate headline: “U.S. Fires on Car Carrying Freed Hostage”. Even better would have been the full story: After week of car bombings, U.S. troops mistakenly fire on unidentified vehicle carrying freed hostage as it approaches checkpoint at night. Not as much drama in that one, just the truth.

Drudge is usually pretty good about avoiding MSM-style tendentiousness, but in this case I think he overdid the evenhanded spin. If he has a systematic flaw it’s his tendency, after a string of stories that favor one side in a controversy, to emphasize stories that favor the other side. Sometimes he sensationalizes events out of all proportion to their significance.

UPDATE: I agree with the commenters who suggest that we do not yet know enough about this incident to assume that it was inappropriate for U.S. troops to shoot at the car. It may be that they did exactly the right thing under the circumstances. Obviously there will be an investigation, and just as obviously some media people (I don’t mean Drudge) are going to try to use this unfortunate event as a weapon against the U.S. regardless of what actually happened.

9 thoughts on “Misleading Headline”

  1. Some of the preliminary reports talk about the sheer audacity and stupidity of the Italian escorts.

    My thoughts are with their families, as any unnecessary death is tragic, and these folks were brave to go and get the journalist out. But the reports state that the soldiers manning the checkpoint -which had been hit many times in the past with suicide attempts- flashed lights, waived hands, shot at the ground, and none of this stopped the speeding car. And the cause of death was the auto crash, not a bullet wound. The soldiers shot the engine, not the people inside.

    This also ignores the fact that NO ONE TOLD THE MILITARY what was going on in terms of her rescue. The whole thing just sounds fishy to me. And Drudge usually isn’t as bad as Al-Reuters, so I too am suprised by this.

  2. Do you get the feeling that someone’s fishing for something to point at while shouting: “See! SEE?! THEY ARE TARGETING JOURNALISTS!!” :/

  3. Uhg. This is a tragedy. Obviously most of all for the dead man and his family. Also for the soldiers who pulled the trigger. We’re going to be hearing about this one for a long time.

    I hope we get some definitive facts about what happened, because right now we cannot tell whether it was inappropriate fire, foolish disregard for the checkpoint, a deliberate provocation, or a set-up by a third party.

    But to the extent it was a deliberate provocation, then it was suicide by cop. It would really call into question the whole kidnapping and release story. I wonder if the dead man signed up for the whole plan?

  4. Why not “Potential car bomb speeds toward U. S. checkpoint, soldiers defend themselves”? Oh yeah, that’s why.

  5. Try this Headline:

    “Commie “Journalist” Arranges Her Own “Abduction” to Grandstand Against War and Fund Insurgency With Ransom Payment: Manages to Get Her Rescuer Killed”.

    The Italians should have left her there.

  6. Very strange indeed. A suspicious kidnapping and rescue. A criminal lack of communication and coordination on the Italian’s part.

    You may as well ad this journo’s name to the list of leftist heroes:
    Che Guevera
    Pol Pot
    Angela Davis
    Joseph Stalin
    Michael Moore
    and so on
    martyrs all

  7. The U.S. has already “lost” the story. The initial headlines have framed the discussion/investigation and the facts of the case are now irrelevant. From what I know now about the case it seems that the fault is on the Italian side….an analogy would be, what do you expect if you run a red light at an intersection.


  8. Just saw an NWI cable news ticker-tape that read, “American Troops shoot Italian hostage.”

    I am not joking.

    To echo Bill Hight’s comment, this whole charade seems staged. I was suspicious when the ghouls hadn’t beheaded her after the third week. It seems like, ignored, and out of the press limelight, these yokels strived to create a stupendous media wave to make some point.

    For reasons to be skeptical, one need not look far.
    The abducted journalist was a leftist opposed to the liberation of Iraq. At the link Johnathan provided you’ll find:
    “Sgrena, 56, who worked for the leftist Il Manifesto, was abducted Feb. 4 by gunmen who blocked her car outside Baghdad University. Last month, she was shown in a video pleading for her life and demanding that all foreign troops – including Italian forces – leave Iraq.”

    She was abducted on February 4th this year. Prior to her abduction she was responsible for this hogwash Napalm Raid on Falluja?. And don’t miss this swill.

    Need we see more? She writes here, “Suffering daily abuses and violence from occupation forces or their proxies, the Iraqis themselves are subjected to routine hostage-taking by the occupiers.”

    To test the rational motivations for IL Manifesto‘s coverage, feast your eyes on their coverage of the Jenin Massacre Myth. UPI reports here in what is a fascinating round-up of leftist media gullibility, “Il Manifesto, a left-wing newspaper and the former mouthpiece of the Italian Communist Party, said in a special Jenin-related package in its May 4 edition that the United Nations was “frightened of taking a stand in Jenin” and that Israel’s actions in Jenin could be taken as war crimes.”

    Barnubus’ words, “The U.S. has already “lost” the story,” indicate this crowd may have succeeded. For now.

    The blogosphere will clear this one up.

  9. Well, truth be told, the Italians make better pasta than they do war. Sgrena’s screed, I am sure, read by Italians, is treated much the same as russians treat Pravda.

    Do you know how russians do this? They forget the words. And, look for meanings. Since going out of power can get something about you into print.

    I didn’t even learn about this method, until I heard that the russians ran the Rodney King LA riots WALL TO WALL. And, most russians had their eyes popping at all those TV sets once being inside a store! ONE STORE! To russians, to select before you could steal was an eye-popping commentary on what life really was like over here.

    Oh. And, they noticed the variety of jeans. And, sneakers! Best advertising for our way of life that you can imagine!

    I think, today, most Italians know a million bucks was given to terrorists to free this broad. Spread the word! The Internet KICKS BUTT! Keep this story, alive!

    Our good soldiers in Iraq are gonna go through the wringer for PC. And, I don’t want those legal chaps to win. I want our soldiers to know we think they did the right thing!

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