Military blogger Greyhawk has a great post on his blog about MSM reporting on Iraq. Here is an excerpt.
"When imaginary reporters ask me for advice, I respond.
Cub Reporter: I've got to do a piece on a recent US victory in Iraq, but my editor told me know that even though we're covering this story to claim 'balance' in our reporting I still have to find a way to leave readers demoralized and if possible unaware that the US actually is winning. What advice can you give me?
Greyhawk: Well, the common approach is what's called the 'S*** sandwich, where you write two stories, one the American victory and the other listing every 'successful' insurgent attack over the past couple weeks, then combine them by alternating paragraphs into a fused product. To break it up a little, toss in the phrase 'beleaguered Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who has been rebuked in recent weeks by Republican Senators and Army Privates alike, was not available for comment.' Whatever the story is be sure to mention the upcoming elections and how this makes it less likely for them to be seen as legitimate, then top it with a headline that makes it clear that the country is descending into chaos.
Cub Reporter:The headline isn't a problem, my editor already wrote it, along with all the Rumsfeld parts. But we ran several of those 'sandwich' stories already this week...
Greyhawk: So you need something else?
Cub Reporter: Right.
Greyhawk: Well, here's an idea. It's not new, but it hasn't been completely burned out yet either. Play the 'human cost' card."