Accuracy in Media

America celebrated Memorial Day, including the liberation of Europe from the Nazis, but our media did not make a point of telling us what our so-called allies have done for us lately.  At the very end of a story about how President Bush was trying to “rescue” his Iraq policy, Robin Wright of the Washington Post said that Bush would host Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.  Wright noted that, “Among European nations, Denmark has been stalwart in its support for the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq?a stark contrast to France, Germany and Russia, which opposed the war to topple Saddam Hussein.”  Denmark has 500 troops in Iraq.

Our search of the New York Times website found only one recent reference to Denmark’s contribution.  It was in a story about military deaths in Iraq.  The story said that, “The British military has reported 58 deaths; Italy, 18; Spain, eight; Bulgaria, six; Ukraine, four; Poland, three; Thailand, two; Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia and the Netherlands have reported one each.”  After al Qaeda detonated a series of bombs in Madrid, the Spanish people elected a leftist government that pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq.

Denmark, however, is standing by the United States.  At the White house on May 28, Prime Minister Rasmussen declared, “I’m here as a friend and ally.”  One of his reasons for supporting the U.S. in Iraq was that Denmark has a debt to the U.S. for all that America has done for his country.  Denmark was the only European Union country where polls showed that the majority of the population supported the war.

Meanwhile, the Robin Wright story indicated that France and Germany are complicating the U.S. mission in Iraq once again by “urging that any new U.N. resolution stipulate a cutoff date for U.S. and foreign forces in Iraq.”  Columnist Ralph Peters is more blunt, saying the Germans are “madly anti-American.”  He adds, “French hatred of America is equally pathological, but it’s also coldly calculated for maximum damage.”  But our media put the burden on Bush to placate them.  As a result, we see stories such as a May 28 Post article declaring that, “During the 2000 campaign, Bush promised to build stronger international alliances, but, as president, he has alienated some traditional allies with such moves as rejecting a global warming treaty and pursuing the war in Iraq.”

Here’s how we would have put it: “Traditional allies abandoned the United States when Bush rejected a global warming treaty that the U.S. Senate decided was unfair to America.  Germany and France opposed the war in Iraq because they had commercial interests with Saddam Hussein and wanted to appease the Arab/Muslim bloc of nations.”

What we’re seeing in the U.S. media is a pro-European bias that verges on anti-Americanism.  It was apparent in the Memorial Day coverage by the failure to emphasize that countries we liberated in World War II, such as France, or countries we defeated and rebuilt, such as Germany, have failed the U.S. when we needed their support.  Reporters don’t like to remind us of that fact because they share French and German opposition to the war.  We think they would be more at home in Europe.




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