An ABC News headline on the recent airstrike in Mosul, Iraq. (Screen shot via ABC News)

Earlier this month, a U.S.-led coalition in Iraq conducted an airstrike that killed hundreds of Iraqis. Iraqi officials and the U.S. watchdog organization Airwars state that numerous civilians were killed in the attack — a charge about which U.S. military officials remain vague.

The attack was one of the deadliest in the region since 2003, and some critics contend that mainstream media’s coverage of this significant military event has been lacking.

“[L]eading news networks went out of their way to craft some of the most euphemistic headlines imaginable,” Ben Norton writes for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. “If you read the headlines of major corporate media outlets, you’d think hundreds of Iraqi civilians coincidentally died in the same location that just so happened to be hit by a US airstrike.”

Norton analyzes numerous mainstream media headlines about the incident, finding that ABC News, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and some foreign publications all used watered-down headlines.

“These latest whitewashed titles are remarkably reminiscent of those composed to cover (up) a previous high-profile US massacre of civilians,” Norton continues, noting that headlines are of extreme importance because they are often the only piece of a report that Americans read.

Norton continues:

Defenders of corporate media might argue that news outlets had to craft carefully worded headlines as the US government was still investigating the attack. But again, this simply reflects media’s deference to power. If the government says something, there are countless journalists waiting in line to obediently echo it. Corporate media have a long, tried-and-true history of acting as stenographers to power. …

The incredulity exhibited in the reports on the US attack in Mosul starkly contrasts with the dogmatic certitude reflected in the incessant barrage of thinly sourced stories on Syria, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, China and beyond.

This is how US media operate: Staunch skepticism is reserved for reports on the crimes of the US and its allies, whereas rumors and myths are reported as facts when they shine negatively on government enemies.

Read the entire piece here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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