Thursday, December 15, 2005

Spin 'em if you got 'em

It's interesting how news "aggregators" can manipulate the news, like we don't already have enough spin. Kind of like that exercise you most likely did in school or at a party once, where you passed a message along by whispering it to the next person...and it was very different at the end. I use Netscape as a browser and have as my home page. Top story (oh, yeah, in red lettering, but thankfully not all upper case) is titled: "Explosions Rock Baghdad as Landmark Vote Begins" I note the "s" and consider on the way to work, the news said "one mortar landed near the heavily fortified Green Zone." The "plurality" of this "top Story" then had me think I missed somtheing significant....(*click*) went the mouse... "Explosions Rock Baghdad as Landmark Election Begins" is my next teaser...It seems I have missed something...(*click*) I now arrive at the article the prior two pages wanted me to read. It's report from Associated Press with the headline: "Iraqis Vote for 1st Full-Term Parliament" by Bassem Mroue and it begins thusly:
"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqis voted in a historic parliamentary election Thursday, with strong turnout reported in Sunni Arab areas that had shunned balloting last January, bolstering U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops."
Not bad for me thinking I was going to read about the deadly carnage implied (very strongly) by the links I went thru to get here. Next paragraph:
"Several explosions rocked Baghdad as the polls opened, including a large one near the heavily fortified Green Zone. A civilian was killed when a mortar shell exploded near a polling station in the northern city of Tal Afar, and a bomb killed a hospital guard near a voting site in Mosul."
Got it. The mortar roound did land and kill someone. Bad. Oh, a few other generic explosions, but it appears they were harmless (Thank God) for a change. Next paragragh:
"A bomb also exploded in Ramadi, and the U.S. military said one was defused at a polling station in Fallujah, another insurgent stronghold, despite promises by major insurgent groups not to attack polling places. Some election sites in Ramadi were guarded by masked gunmen."
The remainder of the article mostly discusses things around the election process, and leaves the violence behind, reading well from a straight forward factual standpoint. My point: The news aggregation sites certainly keyed on issues that support the contention os "it's not working" rather than focusing on the millions who are getting there safely to make a change for the future....

No comments: