Michael Monsoor

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on April 16, 2008

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Read the excerpt below (from Noah Pollak's April 2nd post at CommentaryMagazine.com). Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the question.

(from the CommentaryMagazine.com post):
The White House announced yesterday that Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL, would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor � only the third MOH recipient in the Iraq war. From the Washington Post�s story:

Monsoor and a group of SEAL snipers took up position on a residential rooftop as part of an operation to push into a dangerous section of southern Ramadi. Four insurgents armed with AK-47 rifles came into view, and the SEAL snipers opened fire, killing one and wounding another. Loudspeakers from a mosque broadcast calls for insurgents to rally, and residents blocked off nearby roads with rocks.

Insurgents shot back at the SEAL position with automatic weapons from a moving vehicle and fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the building. The SEALs knew that more attacks were inevitable but continued their mission of protecting the troops clearing the area below, according to an official account.

Monsoor’s commander repositioned him in a small hidden location between two SEAL snipers on an outcropping of the roof, facing the most likely route of another insurgent attack. As Monsoor manned his gun, an insurgent lobbed up a hand grenade, which hit Monsoor in the chest and bounced onto the roof.

“Grenade!” Monsoor shouted. But the two snipers and another SEAL on the roof had no time to escape, as Monsoor was closest to the only exit. Monsoor dropped onto the grenade, smothering it with his body. It detonated, and Monsoor died about 30 minutes later from his wounds.

True to form, the New York Times could not be bothered today [April 2nd] to mention the awarding of our nation’s highest honor. The story is nowhere to be found in the print edition. Buried on the Times’ website, though, one can find a three-sentence mention from the AP – an item whose [shortness] is a disgrace not just to the solemn importance of the award, but to Monsoor’s selflessness and heroism. Priorities, you see.

Go to CommentaryMagazine.com for the original posting.  

Read more about Michael Monsoor’s heroism here, here and here.

Questions

1. What type of bias is the excerpt below an example of? (Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answer.)
2. OPTIONAL: Go to the NY Times’ website at nytimes.com and do a search for the following: Michael Monsoor (about a heroic American soldier), and then Abu Ghraib and Haditha (negative stories about American soldiers). Which stories have more written about them? (After entering the search, scroll to the bottom of the results to see how many pages of articles each story generated.)


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
























Answer(s)

1. The excerpt is an example of bias by OMISSION, STORY SELECTION and PLACEMENT.