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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Mon. 07/22/02 04:41:14 PM

Framing Bias

As Susanna remarks at cut on the bias, framing bias is "presenting facts, but couched in a way that gives an inaccurate impression, or one skewed toward a certain viewpoint". She cites an example in the NYT taken apart by Bigwig at Silflay Hraka:

.... [NYT:] The American air campaign in Afghanistan, based on a high-tech, out-of-harm's-way strategy, has produced a pattern of mistakes that have killed hundreds of Afghan civilians. On-site reviews of 11 locations where airstrikes killed as many as 400 civilians suggest that American commanders have sometimes relied on mistaken information from local Afghans. Also, the Americans' preference for airstrikes instead of riskier ground operations has cut off a way of checking the accuracy of the intelligence.
[Bigwig:] A.) I didn't realize that the Gray Lady was in favor of a ground war in Afghanistan, but apparently she was. B.) Only 400! It's proof positive that this was the single most accurate campaign in military history. 300,000 died in Dresden in World War II. 1600 died in Hanoi alone in the Vietnam war. But forget those, The Taliban killed between 3000 and 7000 people that we know of while they were in power. Dropping bombs on Afghanistan has caused a reduction in the civilian death rate! C.) That's at a minimum 3000 less casualties than this guy has, and his numbers were accepted as legitimate back in March. Want to bet he doesn't update that website anytime soon? The NYT certainly doesn't say anything about the reduction in numbers. The whole story plays up the failures, not the obvious success of the bombing....

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Mon. 07/22/02 04:41:14 PM
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