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Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on May 30, 2007

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-Read the excerpt below from James Taranto's "Best of the Web" post at opinionjournal.com on May 25, 2007.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

“In a recent raid on an al-Qaeda safe house in Iraq, U.S. military officials recovered an assortment of crude drawings depicting torture methods,” TheSmokingGun.com reports. The site reproduces a dozen pages of the illustrations, which depict such methods as “blowtorch to the skin” and “eye removal,” and adds:

Along with the images, which you’ll find on the following pages, soldiers seized various torture implements, like meat cleavers, whips, and wire cutters….The images, which were just declassified by the Department of Defense, also include a picture of a ramshackle Baghdad safe house described as an “al-Qaeda torture chamber.” It was there, during an April 24 raid, that soldiers found a man suspended from the ceiling by a chain. According to the military, he had been abducted from his job and was being beaten daily by his captors. In a raid earlier this week, Coalition Forces freed five Iraqis who were found in a padlocked room in Karmah. The group, which included a boy, were reportedly beaten with chains, cables, and hoses….

Blogger Don Surber of the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail examines big-media coverage of the documents :

Where did USA Today play the torture book story?

Not on Page One.

Where did the New York Times play it?

Not on Page One.

Where did the Washington Post play it?

Not on Page One. And yet such false stories as the “flushed Koran” got widespread play in the newspapers and on television.

Whether intentional or not, the message is clear: The United States must be above even false reports of torture, while the enemy is allowed to promote eye removal, blowtorching skin and horrors I won’t go into.    ……….

Go to OpinionJournal.com for the original posting.

Questions

1.  Do you think that the media hypes stories of American “torture” while downplaying stories of Al Qaeda torture? Explain your answer.

2.  Do you think this is an example of any of the following: bias by OMISSION, STORY SELECTION or PLACEMENT?  Explain your answer.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1. and 2. Opinion questions. Answers vary.