Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

Find the Propaganda

Posted by Dan Draney on May 3, 2005

Three versions of the same story about the Italian government’s report on the tragic death of Nicola Calipari. Find the professional journalism and the propaganda. Follow the links back to the complete versions of the stories. First the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China:

Xinhua – English: “ROME, May 2 (Xinhuanet) — The killing of an Italian intelligence agent in Baghdad by US soldiers was not deliberate, but as a result of stress, inexperience, fatigue and a lack of rules among the US troops, said the Italian Foreign Ministry on Monday night.

A probe found no evidence that the March 4 killing of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari was deliberate, said the ministry in a report.”

The New York Times (“All the news that fits, we print”):

The New York Times > International > Europe > Italy Rebuts U.S. Report That Cleared G.I.’s in Killing: “ROME, May 2 – Italy on Monday issued a strongly worded rebuttal to an American report clearing United States soldiers of responsibility for the shooting death of an Italian intelligence agent at a roadblock in Iraq, saying ‘inexperience and stress’ on the part of the soldiers were major reasons for the agent’s death.”

The USATODAY, hardly worth being called a “newspaper” as far as Times readers are concerned:

USATODAY.com – Italy says ‘stress,’ ‘inexperience’ played a role in death of Italian agent: “ROME — Stress, inexperience and fatigue among U.S. soldiers played a role in the shooting death of an Italian agent in Iraq, according to a 52-page report released Monday by Italian investigators.

The probe found no evidence that the March 4 killing of intelligence agent Nicola Calipari was deliberate. Calipari had just secured the release of journalist Giuliana Sgrena from her Iraqi captors.
‘It is likely that the state of tension stemming from the conditions of time, circumstances and place, as well as possibly some degree of inexperience and stress might have led some soldiers to instinctive and little controlled reactions,’ said Italy’s report.”

The difference is even more striking when you read the whole articles. Xinhua and USATODAY stick mainly to the facts, while the Times can’t resist throwing a few extra punches: “strongly worded rebuttal” and “major reasons.”

So the US military gets more of a fair shake from the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China than from the New York Times. How pathetic when the PRC is giving lessons in objective journalism to the “premier” US newspaper.

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