Friday, April 16, 2004

How "NewsHour" Changed History just did a piece on a factual error during the April 7 NewsHour which has yet to be corrected. NewsHour is a great source of non-propaganda, so we need to do our part to keep it honest, especially during these trying times. The transcript and audio/video archives are available here. I know, nice. The exchange in question occurs at 5:35 into the stream.

Here is my email to NewsHour:

   Sender: Peter Smith

  Subject: Re: Wednesday, April 7, 2004 (Iraq: What Now?)



First, I wanted to complement PBS/NewsHour on a fantastic show and a phenomenally useful website. The website is just top notch - archives, transcripts, audio/video feeds, unbelievable!

Second, I recently read an article at by Norman Solomon entitled 'How the "NewsHour" Changed History' ( It tells us of a factual error in an exchange between Jim Lehrer and retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner. The exchange has Mr. Lehrer submitting 'for the record' what seems to be a factually false statement - that al-Sadr's newspaper was 'calling for violence' against US forces, when in fact the only 'facts' supporting this assertion were from CPA spokesmen who claimed that al-Sadr's newspaper was 'inciting violence'. I'm not a lawyer, but there is a big difference - in fact and 'reality on the ground' - between using very incendiary language and directly calling for attacks. In the US, for instance, the former might be protected by the 1st Amendment - the latter would probably get one sent to prison.

Since so many of us depend on NewsHour to cut through government spin I think it would be very valuable and wise for NewsHour to issue a correction of this misstatement by Jim Lehrer.

Thank you for your attention, congratulations on a job well done, and please keep up the good work!