I’ve never come across a case of journalistic misrepresentation as absolute and transparent as Patrick Cockburn’s piece on U.S. troop withdrawal in today’s Independent. The headline reads: “Obama’s Iraq plans vindicated as US agrees to pull out by 2011.” Since Barack Obama has been vacillating between a call for immediate withdrawal and a 16-month drawdown, I was mystified as to how this headline could be justified by the contents of the story.
It can’t. Obama is mentioned in a single sentence near the end of the article: “The Democratic candidate, Senator Barack Obama, wants combat troops home by the middle of 2010, which was also the date originally proposed by Mr Maliki.” Huh?
Imagine Cockburn’s possible November 5 headline: “Obama victorious as McCain elected 44th U.S. president.”