Sunday, July 02, 2006

Uh, Correction Time, New York Times

As C.I. noted Saturday of Edward Wong's "G.I.'s Investigated In Slayings of 4 And Rape In Iraq:"

Wong tries to pad by noting fatality counts. With regards to the month of June, it's the first day of July. Translation, the figures aren't in yet. He writes 60. Since the military is often slow in releasing data, it's not uncommon for two, three or five to be added to the month's fatality count a few days after the press runs with the day-of-figure.

Wong couldn't wait. The number for June is now up to 62. Don't expect a correction in The New York Times, they never correct this.

You can't say they never learn because that would imply they gave a damn.

C.I. also noted this:

He also writes of Iraqi fatalities and notes Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. I'm not seeing his figure (840) on their page. I see a notation of their estimate for deaths in June since June 7th (719) and possibly he's adding in a figure they provide for Iraqi troops and police officers killed (134, though would that qualify as civilians?). Is that how he got his estimate?
In Baghdad, the morturary has stated that they've recevied at least thirty corpses a day this month. That would put the figure at over 900 for Baghdad alone. It matters for a number of reasons including the fact that deaths do matter. Another reason is because Wong can pick up the phone and call the Baghdad morturary and ask for their figure. That's necessary if he wants to use the figure to write of 'trends.' And considering that radio reports right now say at least sixty people have died in an explosion in Baghdad, probably not the best time to write of the 'trend' where civilian fatalities are going down. (It's called "timing.")

Wong was selling the peace scam, writing of his "840" that it "compared with an all-time high of 1,100 the previous month, according to the site" (Iraq Coalition Casualty Counts). So why didn't he call a morgue?

AFP reports the Iraqi government places the number at "at least 1,009." Not a huge difference between it and the "all-time high" but 840 won't spoil the weekend buzz, now will it?

Again, don't hold your breath for any corrections.
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