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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

MRC: Misleading Research Center

Posted by: Hammer / 8:33 AM

The MRC is at it again. They have a new report purporting to demonstrate that the mainstream media hates the military by covering Haditha and ignoring military heroes.

MRC analysts tallied all stories regarding charges of U.S. military misconduct that aired on ABC, CBS and NBC's morning, evening, primetime and late night news shows from May 17 through June 7, before the networks' pessimism was interrupted by the successful termination of terrorist menace Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The analysts then searched those same shows for coverage of top medal recipients, starting in September 2001. They found that none of America's heroes received anywhere near as much attention from the broadcast networks as TV gave the latest allegations of military wrongdoing — and many received no coverage at all.

Here's the jist. In 3 weeks, the networks devoted 3 hours and 30 minutes to Haditha. In 5 years, the networks devoted just 52 minutes to covering our military heroes.

How is this misleading? First, the MRC only counts media coverage of 20 medal recipients. So none of the coverage of Jessica Lynch or Pat Tillman counts. Second, the MRC pimps the 3 weeks vs. 5 years comparison. The alleged massacre at Haditha occurred in November, 2005 -- 8 months ago, not 3 weeks ago. By focusing only on the crest of news coverage, the MRC distorts the picture. More importantly, consider that there was little or no military action back in September, 2001. Combat operations in Afghanistan were limited. It wasn't until the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that most of the service medals were earned.

Note, too, the difference in time between when a medal is earned and when it was awarded. Paul Smith was awarded the Medal of Honor on April 4, 2005 for his heroism in combat on April 4, 2003.

The MRC, as always, is not engaged in any serious study of the media. They have constructed a study to support the results they wanted. They have purposefully ignored the network reports of commitment, valor, and bravery for the thousands and thousands of military personnel who have not won one of the nation's highest honors. And the MRC has offered a misleading time frame to further distort its own specious study. Par for MRC's course.


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