I was working on a piece for my own blog today when I noticed CNN had removed a paragraph from their front-page story on the Iraq death toll.
The story is about the Iraq Body Count project, but initially made reference to the Lancet casualty study as well.
Some of you may recall the Lancet Medical Journal published a report that put civilian casualties in Iraq at about 100K. This was disputed by many, and the complete account is here
I started writing my piece at about 11:30am PDT. As I wrote I would refer back to the original piece for further bits of info. On reload at about 11:45 I noticed the paragraph about the lancet study was gone, and it remains gone.
I would be interested to know why they chose to remove the paragraph. I think the Iraq Body Count numbers MUST be quite low, given they are based solely on media reports. The media has not and cannot be everywhere in Iraq. In fact, the situation is likely the opposite, given the graphic video footage we have seen of journalists being killed. I've seen reports that have most journalists simply holed up and unable to travel at all. So the numbers in the media cannot be comprehensive. I'd be suprised if the have caught even the majority. This is why the Lancet study is so important. Yet, CNN chooses to edit it out completely after initially including it.
Why does a good day for the truth - the story about civilians casualties making the front of CNN - have get turned into another question about media backbone? I watched Woodward and Bernstein on DS last night and Bernstien pretty much said it. "We're not doing our job."