Is there an agenda?
Nov 17 – Democratic Congressman John Murtha calls for a “immediate redeployment of American forces” from Iraq. The BBC makes Murtha’s call the top story on the America’s page of its website.
Nov 18 – House Republicans put resolution 571 to the floor:
Resolved, it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.Following a rancorous debate, the House overwhelmingly defeats the resolution, 403-3. Notably, Congressman Murtha is not one of the three supporters the resolution, despite his call the previous day for precisely the same thing. Instead, Murtha puts forward his own resolution, calling for the withdrawal of troops “at the earliest practicable date.” “Practicable” remains undefined. The BBC apparently finds nothing notable to report about the resolutions, the debate, the vote, or the fact that Murtha has seemingly backed away from his much hyped call for an immediate withdrawal, as its website has no articles on this at all.
Nov 20 – Donald Rumsfeld, appearing on Sunday talks shows, dismisses calls for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The BBC notes Rumsfeld’s statements, and provides background to the issue by mentioning Murtha. It points out that “In Friday’s Congress debate, Mr. Murtha called for troops to leave Iraq within six months, prompting some Republicans to accuse him of abandonment, surrender and even cowardice.” The BBC does not mention a) the resolution that was the subject of the debate; b) that Murtha himself had actually called for “immediate” withdrawal from Iraq prior to the debate; or c) that it was in fact those unmentioned calls for an immediate withdrawal, not a call for a 6 month timetable, which led to Republican vitriol. The BBC does add that Murtha says “he had received great support for his position.” Although this might have seemed like an obvious time to point out it out, the BBC yet again fails to inform its readers that the House actually voted 403-3 against his position.
Nov 20 – President Bush gives a brief news conference in Beijing, following which he finds his self-described "escape" thwarted by locked doors. In contrast to the apparently less important goings on in the House, the BBC makes this the centerpiece of two separate pieces on its website, and adds a video for good measure.
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