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Study: In Afghan Debate, Few Antiwar Op-Eds in Nation's Two Leading Newspapers
by via Democracy Now
Tuesday Dec 1st, 2009 7:39 AM
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 :President Obama has issued orders for a major escalation of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan by sending 34,000 additional troops. Has the media helped beat the drum for war? A new study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting reveals pro-war voices outnumbered anti-war ones by a huge margin in the OpEd pages of the nation's two leading newspapers, The New York Times and the Washington Post.
President Obama has issued orders for a major escalation of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed Obama has told military leaders to implement his war plan, which involves the deployment of an estimated 34,000 additional U.S. troops. Obama is also believed to be seeking commitments an additional five to ten thousand troops from NATO allies. Obama is expected to meet with a bi-partisan group of lawmakers before publicly unveiling his plan in a national address tonight from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

This is Obama’s second escalation of the Afghan war following his initial deployment of at least 22,000 additional troops earlier this year. It will bring the U.S. occupation force to more than 100,000 troops. More than half of them will have been sent to war by Obama.

Obama’s plan to escalate the Afghan war comes amidst dwindling public support for the Afghan occupation. Recent polls show a slight majority of Americans believe the Afghan war is not worth fighting, with the country near evenly split on whether to send more troops.

As Obama prepares to unveil his plan, the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has put out a study analyzing how the issue of war escalation has been discussed in the opinion pages of the nation’s two leading newspapers. According to FAIR, both the New York Times and the Washington Post have featured decidedly pro-war views in the months leading up to Obama’s decision on deploying more troops. In the New York Times, pro-war voices outnumbered anti-war ones by a ratio of five to one, while in the Washington Post the was ratio 10 to one.

For more we are joined by Jim Naureckas. He is the editor of Extra!, the magazine of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting that published the report.

Jim Naureckas, editor of Extra!, the magazine of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

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