TODAY’S LETTERS: Readers Respond to a Column About Journalists As ‘Surge Protectors,’ A McClatchy Story About Falling Iraq Deaths, And Joe O’Donnell

By: E&P Staff

Readers wrote in this week reacting to a column about journalists as “‘surge protectors’,” the online response to a McClatchy story about the decline of Iraq deaths, and the death of Joe O’Donnell.

Will the Press Again Serve as ‘Surge Protectors’?
The administration seems very adept at setting a news agenda that is not at all the issue.

The issue in my opinion is not whether “the surge is working.” The issue is whether we should be in Iraq in the first place, not how many troops we have there.

Please keep up the excellent work.

Richard Berman
Chappaqua, N.Y.

Criticism Of McClatchy Surge Story Sparks Online Response
By simply looking at the Iraq casualty statistics readily available from any number of sources, one can easily see what McClatchy International Editor Mark Seibel refuses to. In August, the 84 Americans kia in Iraq represent the most since 85 were killed in 2005, and the second most since the war began. In July, 79 Americans lost their lives, the most killed during that month since the war began and, in June, the 101 dead were far and away the most for that month.

Seibel gives new meaning to the axiom, “Figures don’t lie, but liars
figure.” McClatchy’s careful juggling of statistics aside, the numbers speak
for themselves.

Mike Hudson
Niagara Falls Reporter

Questions Raised About Claims By Photographer — His Son Responds — ‘NYT’ Corrects
Concerning the photo of John John saluting at his father’s funeral, I was on the picture desk at the New York Herald Tribune that day, and I distinctly remember running an identical picture on the front page of the paper, taken in Washington by Ira Rosenberg. It was the day Jimmy Breslin began his report on the funeral by interviewing the grave digger at Arlington National Cemetery, and got away with it.


Tony Gieske
The Hollywood Reporter

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