Media Rule of 3 #34,584: US Forces Killed Reporter

Are you aware of the Rule Of 3? That is where what the media wants you to know, what they want to portray, is in the first three paragraphs of a story. Why? Put simply, it is because people tend to either not read past paragraph three or skim the story past paragraph 3. And this story by the Associated "Press" is a perfect example:

OXFORD, England – A coroner ruled Friday that U.S. forces in Iraq unlawfully killed a British television journalist by shooting him in the head as he lay in the back of a makeshift ambulance during the opening days of the war.

The widow of reporter Terry Lloyd called for the perpetrators to be prosecuted for the "despicable, deliberate, vengeful act." And Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker said he would ask the attorney general to take steps to bring to justice those responsible for the death.

But prosecution of U.S. service members seemed unlikely.

Looks bad, doesn't it? Especially with a headline of "Coroner: U.S. forces killed TV reporter."

Nevertheless, the first three paragraphs completely invalidate what the coroner and the widow supposedly said happened.

The coroner inquest was unable to determine whether the bullets that killed Lloyd in southern Iraq on March 22, 2003, were fired by U.S. ground forces or helicopters.

Witnesses testified during the inquest that Lloyd — who was driving toward the southern Iraqi city of Basra with fellow ITN reporters — was shot by Iraqi troops who overtook his car, then died after U.S. fire hit a civilian minivan being used as an ambulance and struck him in the head.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Demoustier said after the ruling that the inquest did not make clear whether the bullet that killed Lloyd was fired by a U.S. tank or helicopter. He said the forces in a tank would have been able to see that they were firing at a civilian vehicle, but a helicopter would not.

While tragic, that is what can happen when people are in a war zone. I give all kudo's to those in the media who go in and try and report, but, it's dangerous, and bad things can happen in the heat of battle. Sometimes civilians and media folks are killed. And the media puts themselves in harms way.

What you had with this story is the media trying to paint a picture about how evil the US and her military are, in typical fashion. What they need to understand is that war zones are inherently unsafe. That's why they are called war zones.

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2 Responses to “Media Rule of 3 #34,584: US Forces Killed Reporter”

  1. Tdothen says:

    I’m a little dubious about the whole thing.
    If he had been struck in the head by a .50 cal round from a tank, he likely wouldn’t have a head left.
    If he had been struck by rounds from an Apache helo, well, those are 20 mm, not quite twice as large as the .50 cal, and would have caused even more damage.
    Or are we still using door gunners on Blackhawks?

  2. Great observation. I suspect that even a shot through ambulance would have retained enough power to do as you wrote.

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