Roger L. Simon

How the Associated Press writes a headline

With the AP, sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between stupidity and bias. Take a look at this headline for today: Iraqi Shiites burn Bush effigy to protest US pact. Iraqi Shiites? Well, yes. They were indeed Shiites. As almost anyone who has been paying attention knows, Iraq is a Shiite majority country. That being the case, the implication of that headline might well be that the majority of Iraqis are protesting this pact. But in fact, if you click on the link, you discover it was Muqtada al Sadr’s followers who were doing the protesting, a very specific and militant Shiite sect. The better written article makes it clear that the Sadrists represent only 30 lawmakers in the 275-seat parliament. A better head might have been “Sadr followers burn Bush effigy” but apparently the AP headline writers haven’t gotten the new orders. It’s okay to tell the truth now- Obama’s in.