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Friday, November 2, 2007
Sheppard Repeats False Claims By Fox's Wallace
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 1 NewsBusters post by serial misinformer Noel Sheppard repeats a statement that "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace made on the Nov. 1 edition of conservative Steve Malzberg's radio show (boldface is Sheppard's):

WALLACE: Listen, there is bias in the media. I don't disagree with that. Look, the great untold story, do you know how many casualties, one is too many, but do you know how many American soldiers were killed either in direct action or even by accidents in the month of October in Iraq? 34.


And now that's a, if you're a parent of one of those people, it's a tragedy. But having said that, that story is untold. I haven't heard it any place except Fox News. And, and, you know why? Because there are members of the mainstream media who don't like good news coming out of Iraq, and the fact is the surge is working. Is it creating a Jeffersonian democracy? No. Have those guys gotten together and created political reconciliation? No. But is the situation on the ground, in the street, whether it's Baghdad or Anbar province, is it demonstrably safer than it was three, four months ago? Absolutely. And you don't see it in the New York Times, and you don't see it in the Washington Post.

Sheppard asserted that this is information known to "[p]eople that don't foolishly depend on the mainstream media for current events," concluding, "Sadly, this is why right-thinking Americans across the fruited plain have stopped holding their breath hoping to see good news from Iraq in those papers, Chris."

In fact, Wallace is wrong. As Conde Nast Portfolio's Mixed Media blog points out:

No, you don't see that story there...if you go looking for it before the month of October has even ended. See, those casualty figures have a funny way of creeping up on you if you start talking them up prematurely. Today, citing the release of the official monthly death toll -- 39, not Wallace's 34 -- both papers noted that it was the lowest such casualty figure since March 2006.

Wallace could be forgiven for missing the Times's story, which was "buried" on page A12, but not the Post's front-pager, headlined, "In Iraq, a Lull or a Hopeful Trend?" According to Nexis, the falling-death-toll story got play in a slew of other newspapers as well as on CBS News, NPR and, yes, CNN.

In other words, the only way Wallace could have not heard it "anyplace except Fox News" is if he gets all his news from his own network.

Any chance Sheppard will correct the record for his NewsBusters readers? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EDT

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