Sunday, September 09, 2012

As U.S. casualties mount in Afghanistan, passing 2,000 KIA in June, MSM suddenly forgets "grim milestone" phrase

Remember that phrase -- "grim milestone" -- whenever a round number of U.S. troops had perished in Afghanistan or Iraq? Gallons of ink were consumed to market the phrase during the years George W. Bush served as president.

In August, the U.S. surpassed the 2,000 KIA mark in Afghanistan to almost no fanfare. As Dan Riehl observes, much of the U.S. is numb to the heroic sacrifices of our military, primarily because vintage media no longer has a Republican president to hammer.

In June, the number of fallen U.S. soldiers reached 2,000 in the Afghani theater of operations. More than twice as many U.S. troops have perished in Afghanistan under President Obama's command in three-and-a-half years than during President Bush's two terms in office.

And unlike the Bush era, most of big media completely ignored the grim milestone:

There was no story last week on the Afghanistan death “milestone” on ABC, NBC, the PBS NewsHour – or even on the MSNBC programs found in Nexis, including Rachel “Our Military’s In a Perilous Drift” Maddow.

But the networks were all more aggressive when the 2,000 mark arrived in Iraq on October 25, 2005. The Big Three networks devoted 14 morning and evening news stories to the death toll from October 24 through the end of October, and another 24 anchor briefs or mentions. They used the number to spell “disaster for this White House.”

I did a quick Google News Search (for the phrase "grim milestone" AND ("afghanistan" OR "iraq")) by year to determine whether the phrase had gone out of favor about the time President Obama took office.

Here's what I found:

2004: CNN, CBS News, New York Times, USA Today, the Associated Press
2005: People Magazine, Sacramento Bee, New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Boston Globe, USA Today, New York Daily News, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, BBC
2006: USA Today, CNN, New York Times, CBS News, Fox News, the Associated Press, CNN, NPR
2007: USA Today, msnbc, New York Times, Reuters, CBS News
2008: New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, ABC News, msnbc, US News & World Report, CNN, Sacramento Bee
2009: CBS News, New York Times, USA Today, CNN, msnbc
2010: Boston Globe, Time, CNN, ABC News, USA Today, Reuters, Boston Globe, Business Week, Washington Post,
2011: Seattle Times
2012: PBS

The New York Times and USA Today, in particular, appear to have dropped the "grim milestone" phrase from its style guide.

But don't accuse them of being biased.


suek said...

We had a group that demonstrated against the war on the first Friday of every month. They carried the usual anti-war signs plus the current number of war dead.

Until Obama won the election.

Since then, they have never showed up again.

The_Bad said...

"But we must never forget. This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity." - President Training Wheels, 2009

Exactly what are we doing there right now, and why is it necessary? We were killing, capturing and interrogating al-Qaeda in Iraq. We were doing something else there too ... oh, yeah! We were winning the damn war!

Again, exactly what are we accomplishing in Afghanistan right now?

The MUSEman said...


When Conservatives do it, it's "Jingoism"; when Liberals do it, it's "Humanitarianism".

Just ask any Liberal.

Thanks for reading!