Sunday, March 12, 2006

Cherry Pits

Following the invasion of Iraq and subsequent failure to turn the country into Sweden in short order, critics made much of how the case was made to go to war in the first place. A term surfaced to descibe how the Bush Administration convinced congress to vote the way they did. They called it cherrypicking--meaning that some evidence that would support not going to war was surpressed or even ignored. News organizations obsessed over the term and its implications, and as a result adopted the practice for themselves. The evidence is overwhelming and is seen in the following story lines:
  • Iraq body counts
  • Army enlistment rates
  • Iraq election woes
  • civil war breaking out
  • military desertions
Each of the lines of thought carry with it an assumption that things have failed and the situation is about to get worse. When evidence is presented that show these not to be true or none of the events come to pass, rather than admit their own failings, they trot the results of the latest cherry pickings--polls revealing attitudes of people least likely to know, the people who've been mislead by this reporting.


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