Biased coverage of Iraq

ABC News reports that American soldiers in Iraq are upset about biased media coverage:

In the following days, the press reported on the indiscriminant shooting of civilians. Soldiers were dumbstruck — “They ambushed us.” Maj. Larry Perino was indignant. Although none of his men was involved, he felt the sting.

Many of the soldiers I spoke with were furious.T hey saw the incident as validation of their training as professional soldiers. “If you are a civilian and it’s night during a war and you hear a firefight, what do you do?” Perino asked. “You get out of there.” If you don’t, he implied, then you’re part of the fight. Maj. James Market put it another way: “You don’t put your head into a wood chipper, then say, ‘Hey, what did you do to my hair?”

Michael Novack at National Review, meanwhile, says reporters inflate the casualty numbers to make Iraq look worse:

The news media, which constantly accuse the Bush administration of exaggerating the threat in Iraq, are constantly exaggerating the number of U.S. combat deaths there. I first pointed this out last August. For a while, the exaggeration stopped, but early in January it recommenced. The round number “500” was apparently irresistible. . . .

These 343 (not 500) combat deaths, furthermore, need to be set in context. During 2003, the number of homicides in Chicago was 599, in New York City 596, in Los Angeles 505, in Detroit 361, in Philadelphia 347, in Baltimore 271, in Houston 276, and in Washington 247. That makes 3,002 murders in only eight cities.

Sounds awfully familiar to those of us following media coverage of Israel.

(Hat tip: Instapundit)