This particular AP report is an interesting study in how the AP subtly backs the Democrats in their efforts to undermine the war effort and how they present the GOP as somehow lacking all support or being merely a blocking force in Congress instead of actually representing their constituent’s wishes. In the AP’s stylebook, Republican = bad and Democrat = good. In this case, funding for the troops is presented like an average fight over tax money and only the Demos side is discussed with no GOP views offered in the story.

Let’s start with the very first paragraph of the story titled Democrats to Wait on War Funding Debate.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are not expected to take up President Bush’s war spending request until November, giving them time to calculate their next move and see if Republican support for his policies deteriorates.

Well, now, see the good news? The Dems have a strategy! But, this strategy consists of depriving our soldiers of the funds they need to keep moving forward. Yet the AP presents it as a mere political strategy, as if it were a story about funding Social Security or Medicare — just an average funding battle. The AP gives it as benign a presentation as they can.

Then the AP goes on, still ignoring the actual target of the funding debate:

The delay in passing the bill, which Bush says is needed by Oct. 1, is likely to intensify the standoff between the Democratic-controlled Congress and Bush, who says at least 130,000 troops are needed in Iraq through next summer.

“Bush says,” but not a word yet about how this Democratic malfeasance and political triangulation is hurting the troops!

Next the AP gives anti-war Dem, John Murtha, lots of room to spout his anti-war, anti-administration rhetoric and never gives any response from the other side to balance his point of view.

“Just because this administration wears blinders, we cannot afford the limitations of their shortsighted world view,” said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a Vietnam veteran and prominent war critic.

I’d rather say that “shortsighted” better describes the position of the Democrats who want to strand our troops in Iraq with no funding to pay them or supply them as they face enemies there trying to kill them each and every day… not that the AP would give anyone any space in their story to offer such a countervailing view to the Dem party line.

Then the AP throws some pity the Democrat’s way…

Democrats are in a tough spot. Still lacking enough votes in the Senate to pass legislation ordering troops home by spring, they would have to soften their approach if they want to attract more Republicans. But doing so would rile much of the party’s rank-and-file, elected on anti-war platforms and eager to cut off money for combat.

Gosh, I’m all chocked up over their “tough spot.” Maybe if they had an actual mandate instead of a spare majority, they’d have the votes to get their ideas through. But the AP doesn’t seem to notice that nearly as many people in the electorate oppose the Democrats as support them. They cannot easily get their policy ideas passed because they just don’t have that much voter support!

The story gives Murtha several more quotes to urge for defeat in Iraq but offers only one mild quote from the Pentagon to counter his view. Murtha’s last one is the most absurd but is presented straight, again with no counter view.

“As soon as the primaries are over, you’re going to see Republicans jumping ship,” he said.

Wouldn’t the fact that Republicans are not “jumping ship” make it clear to anyone paying attention that they know they cannot do so and WIN an election and that, therefore, many millions of Americans are against Murtha’s surrender in Iraq ideas?

This entire story is presented as that wonderful Murtha being blocked by those mean ‘ol Republicans despite that he was elected to stop the war and the Dems are all presented as shrewd politicians elected to end the war, (some of which is true). But, imagine if it were the GOP that was stalling a bill to fund our troops, soldiers that are currently engaged in a shooting war? Do you think the AP would present this debate over funding like one would present a funding battle over the dogcatcher’s salary, or the local water department’s budget? Or do you think that the AP would have a few harsher words for such a recalcitrant GOP should the reverse of the current situation be true?

I rather think that instead of a headline that says “Democrats to Wait on War Funding Debate,” if the GOP were blocking funds for soldiers involved in a hot war, it would be something more like “GOP Avoids Funding for Embattled U.S. Soldiers.”

What do you think?

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