Media Blog

PBS Also on the IBC Bandwagon

Media Blog reader Barton S. pointed out yesterday that Gwen Ifill also reported on the hard-left group Iraq Body Count without identifying them as anti-war or demonstrating any skepticism about their claim that insurgents have only caused 9.5 percent of civilian deaths. Swaim wrote:

Gwen Iffil stated the Iraq Body Count thing as fact last night, and even provided a nice graphic to break down the percentages, noting keenly that the “insurgents” had killed far fewer civilians than the military (37% to 9.5% or something outrageously improbable). But never mind — I think I’m one of about five or six people nationwide who still watches the NewsHour (except when Lowry is on, of course, when I’m sure ratings fly upwards).

I wasn’t able to confirm until today (Ifill’s report, not Lowry’s ratings). Here’s what Ifill said:

A private group reported today nearly 25,000 civilians, police and army recruits have been killed in Iraq since the war began. More than 42,000 have been wounded. The U.S.-British organization Iraq Body Count reported that today. It said U.S.-led forces killed just over one-third of the victims, and criminal gangs killed a similar number. Insurgents were blamed for about 10 percent of the deaths. The findings were based on analyzing news reports.

So yeah, Iraq Body Count is just a private group. A U.S.-British Organization. Not a hard-left agenda-driven offshoot of Musicians Opposing War. I wonder if Ifill would have been more skeptical about the findings if such a report had been cobbled together by Noam Chomsky and Eddie Vedder.

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