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Monday, April 02, 2007


Not the news

A few items down blog, I wrote about how AP was reporting an unsubstantiated and rather non-credible claim by an Iranian opposition group, and noted how all it takes to get such an item into the news is to make sure it casts a negative light on "the enemy."

But when the shoe is on the other foot, the standards are rather different. A number of media outlets are now reporting that "U.S. war planes violated Iranian airspace in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan," based on the claim of a local commander of the Revolutionary Guard. However, if you look down the list of outlets reporting that story, you'll find a not-so-remarkable omission. South Africa, India, Cuba, Armenia, Romania, China, United Arab Emirates, Iran - those are the countries where the story has appeared. Not a single Western media outlet among them.

Is this story true? I have no idea, although it's certainly plausible. It certainly has as much credibility as the story AP ran two days ago, which ran all over the U.S. and probably the world.

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