18 March, 2007

Good News Never Sells

Just five articles--three by mainstream media outlets--two by The Times of London (here and here) and one by FOX News--are reporting on the results of a 5,000-person opinion poll of Iraqis recently conducted by Opinion Research Business, a UK survey firm. Five. Think about that for a moment. Major new piece of information about what real Iraqis on the ground think about what's going on there and this new important set of facts and insights is greeted by... crickets.

Contrast that with 771 articles about the recent chlorine gas bomb attack in Iraq and 698 articles about the recent antiwar protests in Washington, DC.

In such a overwhelmingly biased media climate it's no wonder that at the conclusion of a business meeting last Friday an erstwhile partner (devoutly Jewish, no less) concluded with the gratuitous out-of-left-field comment that "Bush should never have invaded Iraq".

As with similar smoke-out questions (e.g., on global warming) by leftie friends, neighbors and acquaintances, I've learned the art of the ambiguous, conversation-ending smile. He's entitled to his opinion. Yet such an opinion cannot and should not exist in a moral or factual vacuum.

One fact that rushes into such a vacuum is this: the Iraqis don't agree.

They don't agree that the U.S. never should have toppled Sadaam. They don't agree that things are worse now than then. They don't agree that their country is in a state of civil war. As the first Times of London article notes (emphasis added):

MOST Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein... the majority [are] optimistic despite their suffering in sectarian violence since the American-led invasion four years ago this week.

One in four Iraqis has had a family member murdered, says the poll by Opinion Research Business. In Baghdad, the capital, one in four has had a relative kidnapped and one in three said members of their family had fled abroad. But when asked whether they preferred life under Saddam, the dictator who was executed last December, or under Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, most replied that things were better for them today.

Only 27% think there is a civil war in Iraq, compared with 61% who do not, according to the survey carried out last month. By a majority of two to one, Iraqis believe military operations now under way will disarm all militias.
I will go out on a limb here and predict the left's reaction to these facts:

1) silence
2) emphasize only the part of the survey that says Iraqis think things will get even better once multinational troops pull out (timeframe unspecified)
3) imply that the Iraqi people are stupid and uneducated and don't know enough to voice a legitimate opinion about what's best for them. (The MSM will be very careful and subtle about this, but the view will be clear.)

Good news never sells.

I'm off for several days of business travel. Hoping to post but itinerary makes it unlikely.

UPDATE (Thurs 3/22): See my update today re. the ABC/BBC/ARD/USA Today poll with a sample size less than half as large as this one that grabbed the headlines anyway (forty times as many citations!) Same methododology; results more in line with MSM bias.