Earlier today, the lead item in Linkzookery was a WaPo story about how General Petraeus said that no one thought Iraqis had done enough in the area of national reconciliation or in the provision of basic services. I noted that he was in a tough spot, trying to keep pressure on the Iraqi government while not wanting to say anything that could be taken by critics as some sort of admission of failure.
Well, it turns out that the WaPo writers didn’t get quite what they wanted from the General, so they simply misrepresented what he said: PULP Journalism.
Today’s Washington Post inaccurately characterized the discussions General Petraeus and their reporters had yesterday. During the one-hour interview General Petraeus never intimated or stated that Iraqi leaders have “failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences.”
The Washington Post has been asked to make a correction on this statement and we are awaiting their decision.
Transcript of the conversation over at Op-For via MNF-I.
I think what I said stands, only more so. Petraeus did say that no one feels that progress has been sufficient, but his entire message was about the how the government was, in fact, taking advantage of the reduction in violence and the work they were putting into providing more in the way of basic services.
That apparently didn’t fit the paper’s plans, so they ran a different story.