Sunday, December 18, 2011

They depend on the ignorance of strangers

Somewhere around November,'s Iraq coverage went right in the toilet and it has not improved. Maybe it's not surprising?

At a time when the most coverage of Iraq comes via media in Arabic, apparently has no one who can translate Arabic reports.

It's just one of the many ways that finds the site in a position of dependency as opposed to strength.

Their failure to send anyone to the November 15th Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Iraq went a long way towards explaining how their coverage of that hearing was so incredibly wrong. [For our community coverage of the hearing, see the November 15th "Iraq snapshot," November 16th "Iraq snapshot," November 17th "Iraq snapshot," Ava's "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," Wally's "The costs (Wally)," Kat's "Who wanted what?" and Third's "Gen Dempsey talks '10 enduring' US bases in Iraq." ]

In their hearing coverage, their 'source material' was yet again someone else's reporting.

Which, more and more, means when it comes to Iraq coverage, is only as good as the media they follow.

This was really driven home when they decided to follow The Daily Mail this weekend and Jason Ditz embarrassed himself proclaiming David Hickman the last "casualty" in the headline (a casualty can be someone injured). But even "fatality," as Ditz termed it in the body of his post, isn't correct. The last? There will be no more? Is that a predicition?

It's not even the latest. November 16th, DoD identified Hickman as a fatality:

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation New Dawn.
Spc. David E. Hickman, 23, of Greensboro, N.C., died Nov. 14, in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered after encountering an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Bragg public affairs office at 910-432-0661 or at .

The Pentagon immediately updated their count after the identification was made.

So, Jason Ditz, if Hickman was the latest death in the Iraq War, explain the news broken last Sunday in "And the war drags on . . ." and in Monday's "Iraq snapshot" that another US service member had died in the Iraq War.

It did so without media attention or an announcement. Early this fall, when Barack was also spinning the 'success' of the war, the same thing happened only it was three deaths. The media refused to report on that.

Here's the official Pentagon count on December 2nd.


Here's the same count on December 9th.


Note it increased by one. (Barack renamed Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn August 31, 2010.)

That increase is not David Hickman. The Pentagon updated the count for him already. (And, yes, need be, we can also prove that with screen snaps of the official count.)

In this case, didn't have to speak Arabic or attend a hearing. They just needed to visit the Pentagon's count online on a regular basis and keep track of it.

But even that proved too much for them, too much work.

And that's why their Iraq coverage suffers so, they don't want do any work at all. They are completely and totally dependent upon what someone else reported and unable to originate anything on their own.
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