Sunday, March 06, 2005

Reuters -- Completely Irresponsible Reporting

In what has to be one of the most irresponsible texts ever attempting to pass itself off as a news story, Reuters this morning has completely signed on to Eason Jordan's team:
"ROME (Reuters) - Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena, shot and wounded after being freed in Iraq (news - web sites), said Sunday U.S. forces may have deliberately targeted her because Washington opposed Italy's policy of dealing with kidnappers."
Subsequently in the article, however, Reuters states that "[Sgrena] offered no evidence for her claim" but that "it was possible the soldiers had targeted her because Washington opposes Italy's dealings with kidnappers that may include ransom payments."

Perhaps an explanation for this becomes apparent when we learn the ideology of the paper for which Sgrena writes: a communist daily. I haven't read this paper (and probably could not, since I can't read/speak Italian), but I am going to take a wild guess that the editorial policy thereof has never been particularly in favor of the U.S. policy in Iraq.

What is appalling is that Sgrena would use the death of an Italian serviceman or intelligence agent and make the claim, with admittedly no evidence supporting her assertion, that the U.S. targeted her. Italians should be shrieking at her for using the death of an Italian hero for political hay. Reuters should be similarly castigated.

Finally, the headline itself is designed to make it appear that the Italian government has bought into Sgrena's sick theory: "Italy Rejects U.S. Version of Iraq Shooting". This headline is irresponsible in that nowhere in the article is there an indication that the Italian government disputes the version of events issued by the U.S. military. The article quotes a couple of ministers, both holding minor posts in the government, and even then neither official claims that the U.S. deliberately targeted this so-called journalist for execution. There probably are private citizens who believe this tripe, but if that is the most support there is for this nonsense and that is how it looks, the headline should read "Italians Reject U.S. Version of Iraq Shooting."

There really is no vilification extreme enough for Reuters. If McCain Feingold is designed to limit partisan speech, Reuters is far more offensive than bloggers.

UPDATE: Someone must have applied some heat to Reuters as they have somewhat altered the original article. Now, they have Sgrena backpedaling with the following statement:
"You could characterise as an ambush what happens when you are showered with gunfire. If this happened because of a lack of information or deliberately, I don't know, but even if it was due to a lack of information it is unacceptable."
Frankly, I don't care. Reuters is on a political mission and should be treated as partisan advertising for the Democratic Party.

UPDATE 2: Now that I am doing my late-day blog scan, I see that Michelle Malkin posted on this topic a couple of hours before I weighed in this morning, and to much the same effect. Good; I'm glad she got this topic out there, particularly about how everyone is ignoring Sgrena's political affiliations. Perhaps we should start a rumor that Sgrena set this whole thing up to make the U.S. look bad? That's probably more plausible than the Army targeting her specifically...

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