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CNN spins Shiite Presidents' meeting with Sunni slant
Slant Index: 4 (vote)
President Ahmadinejad was not quoted at all.
According to CNN, Presdient al-Maliki was attempting "to allay Iranian fears over a planned U.S.-Iraq security pact". Street protests in Iraq over the proposed pact were mentioned in the article, but no quotation from anyone involved in those protests appear in the article. Instead, CNN provided significant space for the views of Sunni-Iraqi parliamentarian Adnan Pachachi who, according to the BBC, is believed to be favored by the US State Department.
CNN concluded its fifteen paragraph article with four paragraphs devoted to Pachachi. The final paragraph was just a lengthy quote from Pachachi.
Perhaps more important than CNN's Sunni slant in this story is its lack of perspective. The (until recently) secret "pact" between the US and Iraq are causing street protests in Iraq, spurring congressional hearings in the US, and was the impetus behind Maliki's third visit to Tehran.
Here in the US, Congress wants to know what's going on because the language in the pact make it sound like a treaty--a treaty spelling out the US military and civilian role in Iraq for decades to come. And if it's a treaty, it would require Congressional approval.
According to NPR, the Bush Administration "strenuously denies" that the pact is a treaty. But then why is the Iraqi President's own media advisor, Ali Hadi, calling it one? "The treaty is purely an Iraqi-American treaty," according to Hadi as quoted in the reviewed CNN article.
Again, like the NSA wire tapping scandal and the disregard for the Geneva Convention's rules on torture, the Bush Administration is at it again. But this time, they're trying to bypass Congress by writing their own International treaty. House Foreign Affairs subcommittee Chairman William Delahunt (D-MA) has been getting stonewalled by the Administration on this issue for months.
This is the story behind the story, which CNN.com's article didn't tell. Even though the article contained a signifcant development in the form of a direct contradiction of the Bush Administration's position by the Iraqis, its significance was not noted. And it will be interesting to see if CNN.com picks up on this development or if the Bush Administration responds. Watch this space.
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