Actually, the report from retired General Barry McCaffrey is broken into four parts:
The problemGuess which of the four Ricks led his story with? You got it, "the problem." The problem with that from a journalism point-of-view is the "the problem" outlined all the known and previously reported on problems in Iraq. In other words, old news.
The current situation
The way ahead
"The current situation," a.k.a. what is happening now, according to McCaffery, is dramatic improvement.
Since the arrival of General Petraeus in command of Multi-National Force Iraqâ€”the situation on the ground has clearly and measurably improved.And,
The Iraqi people are encouraged as life is almost immediately springing back in many parts of the city.There's much, much more. Read the report. And McCaffrey is cautiously optimistic about eventual victory in Iraq.
In my judgment, we can still achieve our objective of a stable Iraq, at peace with its neighbors, not producing weapons of mass destruction, and fully committed to a law-based government.The amazing part of the way this story was packaged was the Post's open posting of the report alongside the story on its website. In other words, it laid out for all to see its incredibly brazen anti-war slant on the story.
By all "standards" of journalism, Ricks should have led with the optimism of McCaffrey's report: it was current and fit the definition of news because it cut against the storyline that the war is lost. In other words, man bites dog.
Any thinking person who reads McCaffrey's report and then the Washington Post story will no longer be able to deny that the MSM is effectively an anti-war propaganda machine that should not be relied on for the truth about what is happening in Iraq.
No wonder President Bush quoted from bloggers on the ground in Iraq to describe what is really happening there.