The Damning “But”

The Damning But (aka the “Copperhead Conjunction”) is out in full force:

Reuters

Iraq to Vote Shadowed by Threat of Bloodbath-Sat Jan 29, 2005 04:24 PM ET

Insurgents threatened a bloodbath on Sunday when Iraqis go to the polls in an election intended to unite the country and quell violence but which could instead foment sectarian strife.

Or they could all join hands and sing Kumbaya. Or they could go on without incident. Or there could be some mild violence and nothing more. The possibilities are endless. Why pimp only the worst case?

AP

Iraq leaders urge calm on election eve, two Americans killed in embassy attack

Iraqi officials have predicted up to eight million of 14 million voters will turn out for Sunday’s election to choose a National Assembly and governing councils in the 18 provinces. Voters in the Kurdish-run north also will select a regional legislature.

But turnout is uncertain, especially in the Sunni Muslim areas of central, northern and western Iraq where the insurgency is most deadly. About 300,000 Iraqi and U.S. troops are on the streets and on standby to protect voters.

Of course turnout is uncertain, you pompous gasbags. Turnout is always uncertain before ANY election. Even here in the gold old United States of America.

News.Com.Au

More blood shed as vote nears

A dusk-to-dawn curfew and a ban on travel between provinces were imposed, and the Government today extended a state of emergency for one month.

But the measures could not prevent the attack on the US embassy compound, housed in one of Saddam’s gigantic palaces inside the heavily-fortified Green Zone and a symbol of the American presence in Iraq.

Of course the measures couldn’t stop the attack- otherwise you wouldn’t be writing it. Note to reporters- in the future, if an attack is successful, we will assume attempts to stop it failed.

The New York Times

Rocket Strikes U.S. Embassy as Iraqis Prepare to Vote

Iraqi officials predicted that 8 million of the country’s 14 million eligible voters would cast ballots on Sunday, a turnout of roughly 57 percent, in the country’s first multiparty elections in more than 50 years. But with insurgents threatening to kill Iraqis who vote and to bomb polling places, and with most leaders of the country’s Sunni minority calling for a boycott, that statement, by the Independent Election Commission of Iraq, appeared to be as much an expression of hope as it was a prediction.

Groan.

Like I said- the media has their storyline already. Kudos, however, to CNN, whose Damning But was not Damning nor a reflection of the personal opinion of the author, merely a statement of fact:

But to establish democracy in Iraq, the electoral process will have to overcome threats of violence against voters and polling places, a history of dictatorship and repression, and generations of animosity between the country’s Shiite and Sunni sects of Islam.

I don’t have a problem with the cold, hard facts of the situation. In order for the elections to be successful, the obstacles listed will have to be overcome.






23 replies
  1. 1
    Jack says:

    They always lead with the blood also, even if, from a statistical standpoint, we kill more young people in this country every month than we have killed in Iraq, by either accident or murder. The press needs to get some perspective.

  2. 2

    Looks like they’ve got a prepared list of negative talking points and just wait for or look for news items where they can insert them. The news is just a vehicle for their viewpoint.

    See my Iraqi Roundup that has examples of a more hopeful outlook.

  3. 3
    Cali white bear says:

    saw a textbook example of this on the front page of the sacramento bee today by DC bureau guy james rosen.

    every possible possible positive outcome in a 3000 word article was proceeded by what i now know as the damning but.

  4. 4

    Reuters is a de facto booster of the Sunni insurgency, simply a Al-Jazeera-lite for Western Europeans. . . this election is one step in a process which is earth shaking in its political implications for the world. . . watch for the “yes, but” articles to appear on Monday morning. . .

    Shaking Spears

  5. 5

    I can’t wait to see what they will write if the election comes off with little or no violence. If that happens expect the headlines on Monday to be about unnamed Pentagon sources leaking plans for our invasion of Iran.

  6. 6
    Craig says:

    The first Reuters headline you listed isn’t even grammatically correct. So along with being forced to screen our news for low-brow doomsaying, we’ve got to put up with incompetence as well.

  7. 7
    dougf says:

    I find that if I just listen to BBC News for about 15 minutes,ANYTHING else looks positive in comparison.
    Finally a use for that god-forsaken propaganda outlet.

  8. 8

    “I like bib ‘buts’ and I cannot lie, you other brother’s can’t deny. . .”

  9. 9
    PM says:

    It’s caled “pre-emptive delegitimation”. The EUrons, the UN and the US press have been working for months to delegitimize any Iraqi government that isn’t the lucrative ideological successor to the Baathist regime. To paraphrase revent voting Iraqis, “F– the EU, F— the UN, and F— the Press”

  10. 10

    Here’s an especially egregious example of the media looking for a negative angle. The International Herald Tribune is whining that women could be “the biggest losers” in the Iraqi election:

    http://ridingsun.blogspot.com/.....t-hit.html

  11. 11
    Kimmitt says:

    Oh no, the media is reporting that people are getting killed a lot in a place where people are getting killed a lot. Further, many stories report that the situation is complicated and there are signs pointing to both good results and bad results.

    MSM BAD! HULK SMASH!

  12. 12
    Tman says:

    oh no, Liberals whine that a good thing might happen in Iraq, and Iraqis might get to vote for their leaders. Conservatives whine that Iraqis might be too successful! The rest (actually, the majority) wonder, Jeebus, the’re just tryng to vote for godsakes,leave ’em alone!

    Does anyone else remember that other country we liberated recently that had successful elections?

  13. 13
    Anyman says:

    Bad news is the fodder of choice for a jaded and disenfranchised media whose world-view imploded with the reelection of George W. Bush. Any news worth reporting must be spun to downgrade a possible Victory, they cannot help themselves.

  14. 14
    ErnieG says:

    All credit to James Lileks for calling attention to the MSM’s use of the Damning But. He made their BUTS look big.

  15. 15
    Kimmitt says:

    Liberals whine that a good thing might happen in Iraq, and Iraqis might get to vote for their leaders.

    You know, I really wish that all of this concern for democratic institutions and elections applied to anywhere that Dear Leader hasn’t invaded, such as Russia, Venezuela, or Pakistan.

  16. 16

    That Would Be The (Damning) But, Bob*

    The Copperhead Conjunction is out in full force this weekend in the mainstream media. * With apologies to Bob Eubanks….

  17. 17

    That Would Be The (Damning) But, Bob*

    The Copperhead Conjunction is out in full force this weekend in the mainstream media. * With apologies to Bob Eubanks….

  18. 18

    The Damning But…

    What has been speculation for several days now, is turning into reality. John Cole has the early roundups of the Damning Buts, now being hit from the MSM. The following is only the beginning of his post:

  19. 19

    Live-Blogging the Elections — Refresh Often!

    [All times US Central] 11:41 Fox reporting breaking news that a bomb may have gone off at a polling place in Baghdad . . . 11:42 Fox now says several loud blasts have been reported . . . 11:43 Check…

  20. 20
    INCITE says:

    Go time

    Voting has begun in Iraq for the first free election in something like 50 years.

  21. 21

    Mass blogging by reporters

    The BBC has a feed of reporters’ logs from their guys all over Iraq. It’s not exactly inspiring, but if you’re interested in a particular region’s situation, check it out.

    And contrary to John Cole’s “Daming But” Roundup, I think I found a “…

  22. 22

    Iraq election bias watch

    Reuters, which for anti-American bias is in a class of its own, has this lead on its main Iraqi voting story: “Millions of Iraqis turned out to vote Sunday, defying anti-U.S. insurgents determined to drown the historic poll in blood.”…

  23. 23

    Iraq election bias watch

    Reuters, which for anti-American bias is in a class of its own, has this lead on its main Iraqi voting story: “Millions of Iraqis turned out to vote Sunday, defying anti-U.S. insurgents determined to drown the historic poll in blood.”…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Iraq election bias watch

    Reuters, which for anti-American bias is in a class of its own, has this lead on its main Iraqi voting story: “Millions of Iraqis turned out to vote Sunday, defying anti-U.S. insurgents determined to drown the historic poll in blood.”…

  2. Iraq election bias watch

    Reuters, which for anti-American bias is in a class of its own, has this lead on its main Iraqi voting story: “Millions of Iraqis turned out to vote Sunday, defying anti-U.S. insurgents determined to drown the historic poll in blood.”…

  3. Mass blogging by reporters

    The BBC has a feed of reporters’ logs from their guys all over Iraq. It’s not exactly inspiring, but if you’re interested in a particular region’s situation, check it out.

    And contrary to John Cole’s “Daming But” Roundup, I think I found a “…

  4. INCITE says:

    Go time

    Voting has begun in Iraq for the first free election in something like 50 years.

  5. Live-Blogging the Elections — Refresh Often!

    [All times US Central] 11:41 Fox reporting breaking news that a bomb may have gone off at a polling place in Baghdad . . . 11:42 Fox now says several loud blasts have been reported . . . 11:43 Check…

  6. The Damning But…

    What has been speculation for several days now, is turning into reality. John Cole has the early roundups of the Damning Buts, now being hit from the MSM. The following is only the beginning of his post:

  7. That Would Be The (Damning) But, Bob*

    The Copperhead Conjunction is out in full force this weekend in the mainstream media. * With apologies to Bob Eubanks….

  8. That Would Be The (Damning) But, Bob*

    The Copperhead Conjunction is out in full force this weekend in the mainstream media. * With apologies to Bob Eubanks….

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