The Cutline
  • President Obama announces U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, Oct. 21, 2011. (AP/Susan Walsh)

    On Friday, President Barack Obama announced the withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq by the end of the year. But the news was actually first reported on Saturday, Oct. 15, by the Associated Press:

    BAGHDAD (AP) -- The U.S. is abandoning plans to keep U.S. troops in Iraq past a year-end withdrawal deadline, The Associated Press has learned. The decision to pull out fully by January will effectively end more than eight years of U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, despite ongoing concerns about its security forces and the potential for instability.

    At the time, the report--by Lara Jakes and Rebecca Santana--was denied by the White House and the Pentagon:

    A Pentagon spokesman said Saturday that no final decision has been reached about the U.S. training relationship with the Iraqi government.

    [...]

    A White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said discussions with Iraq about the security relationship between the two countries next year were ongoing.

    But:

    A senior Obama administration official in Washington confirmed Saturday that all American troops will leave Iraq except for about 160 active-duty soldiers attached to the U.S. Embassy.

    A senior U.S. military official confirmed the departure and said the withdrawal could allow future but limited U.S. military training missions in Iraq if requested.

    Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

    Read More »from AP reported Obama’s plan for Iraq troop withdrawal six days ago
  • If you were wondering how the news media would've handled images of Osama bin Laden's corpse--had the White House decided to release them--the killing of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi provided a clue.

    While cable news outlets showed a graphic video--obtained by Al Jazeera English--that appeared to show a dead Gadhafi on Thursday, most American newspapers chose not to publish the images on their front pages on Friday.

    Of 424 U.S. newspaper front pages uploaded to Newseum.org, Poynter pointed out that just seven published images of Gadhafi's bloody corpse on their covers. The list includes New York's two major tabloids:

    • The Dispatch, Casa Grande, Arizona
    • Express, Washington, D.C.
    • Hartford Courant, Hartford, Connecticut
    • El Nuevo Herald, Miami
    • New York Post
    • Daily News, New York
    • St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida

    The Daily News published the largest, most graphic image of Gadhafi; the Post latched onto the fact that the Libyan rebel who is taking credit for killing Gadhafi was wearing a New York Yankees hat, running the headline "KHADAFY KILLED BY A YANKEES FAN." (The Post subhead took a swipe at Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez: "Gunman had more hits than A-Rod.")

    Most newspapers, including the New York Times and Washington Post, opted instead to show jubilant Libyan rebels celebrating Gadhafi's death in the streets, or historical images of the fallen dictator.

    The rest of the world, however, had no qualms. Dozens of international newspapers--including London's Guardian and nearly all of Spain's dailies--went with a photo of Gadhafi's corpse on their covers. The images and a partial list are below:

    Read More »from Most U.S. newspapers opt against publishing bloody images of Gadhafi dead; world’s newspapers had no qualms
  • (AP)

    Fox News announced on Thursday that it is hosting two more debates during the GOP presidential primary.

    The first of the new events will take place in Sioux City, Iowa, on Dec. 15, with the Iowa Republican Party serving as a co-sponsor; the second will be in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Jan. 16. The moderator for both debates will be Bret Baier, and both will be live-streamed on the Fox Network YouTube channel simultaneously with the TV broadcast.

    There have been a total of eight Republican debates to date. The addition of these two latest events brings the total of remaining debates on the primary schedule to 15. There were a total of 26 Democratic primary debates and 21 for the GOP during the 2007-2008 presidential election cycle.

    The last Republican debate broadcast by Fox News--co-produced with Google--drew the biggest television audience of any debate of the 2012 campaign cycle to date.

    Read More »from Fox News adds two more GOP debates to 2012 campaign

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