New York Times Decides to Stand By Their Bogus Iraq Report

There’s an ongoing spat between The New York Times and Jason at Countercolumn.

It stems from this very misleading report by David Carr at The New York Times on the Iraq War and “The Wars We Choose to Ignore.”
This is what was reported:

“…But the tactical success of the surge should not be misconstrued as making Iraq a safer place for American soldiers (1). Last year (2)was the bloodiest in the five-year history of the conflict, with more than 900 dead, and last month, 52 perished, making it the bloodiest month of the year so far (3). So far in May, 18 have died.”

Just off the bat three things stick out from the this report:

(1.) Iraq is a safer place today for US soldiers. That is just a fact. Even though there are still over 140,000 troops in Iraq, the US so far, has lost fewer soldiers this month than any other month since the war started.
(2.) Last year was the “bloodiest year” since the war began- but only in the first 6 months. The last 6 months after the surge troops were in place had some of the lowest fatality numbers of the war.
(3.) Last month 52 US soldiers perished in Iraq and this was one of the lowest month of losses since the war began.

The New York Times was obviously incorrect in reporting that Iraq is not a safer place for American soldiers.
That is not accurate.

Jason at Counterculture saw this and wrote the New York Times a letter:

Dear Mr. Carr,

I wrote you yesterday calling for a correction/clarification to your memorial day column. I also posted an entry on my own blog, Countercolumn, with a link to the graph.

You wrote: “But the tactical success of the surge should not be misconstrued as making Iraq a safer place for American soldiers. Last year was the bloodiest in the five-year history of the conflict, with more than 900 dead, and last month, 52 perished, making it the bloodiest month of the year so far. So far in May, 18 have died.”

Yet today, just a day after your piece appeared, the the Wall Street Journal reports that according to military sources the level of attacks in Iraq has reached a four year low.

I didn’t see a correction or clarification in today’s correction section. But I’m not the only one who noticed the incongruity between your article and the facts on the ground: The Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web Today also noticed, entitled the piece Lying With Statistics, and quipped “David Carr shows us how it’s done.”

I know the New York Times likes to hold itself to a high standard, and that is as it should be.

Do you have a response or clarification to share with readers?

Jason

Today, David Carr at the NYT responded:

jason,

all do respect, I see nothing to correct. last year was the bloodiest of the war. last month was the bloodiest so far this year. it is still a dangerous place to be a soldier.
david

There you have it.
Today The New York Times is not just biased but is also inaccurate– and unwilling to change.
And, they wonder why their stock is losing money?

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