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email to NYT (Simon Romero) RE Venezuela

 
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joe emersberger



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: email to NYT (Simon Romero) RE Venezuela Reply with quote

Emal to NYT public editor CC: Simon Romero and FAIR
Posted by emersberger on August 23, 2010, 6:19 pm, in reply to "New York Times on IBC : Venezuela, More Deadly Than Iraq, Wonders Why"

RE:Venezuela, More Deadly Than Iraq, Wonders Why
Simon Romero, Aug 22, 2010

Simon Romero's sensationalistic premise - that Caracas is more violent than Bagdad - is based on using the most conservative source available for the death toll in Iraq. Completely unmentioned in his article are studies published in scientific journals that have found a vastly higher death toll from violence in Iraq..

Iraq Body Count (IBC) - the source Romero used - counts violent deaths of civilians in Iraq that are reported in the media.

There have been two scientific surveys of the death toll from violence in Iraq.

One - done by independent researchers with John Hopkins University and published in the Lancet Medical Journal - found a death toll from violence 10 times higher than what IBC captured over the same period.

The other peer reviewed study - published in the New England Journal of Medicine - found a death toll from violence 3 times higher than what IBC reported for the same period. That study was done by the WHO working in collaboration with the Iraqi government.

Simon Romero has, unwittingly, provided another way to show how
unrealistically low IBC's numbers are if used as an estimate of the death toll from violence in Iraq - something IBC itself cautions against.

As for crime surging in Venezuela, Romero mentions in passing that lower levels of government have been under the control of Chavez opponents (which means that police, prisons and judges have been under opposition control), However, Romero does not explore the extent to which the opposition has failed to do anything to reverse the trend in crime. The extent of Romero's analysis of this question is to regurgitate the complaints of an opposition governor who blames his ineffectiveness on Chavez.

Romero also neglected to mention that the "gory" photographs (taken in
Veenzuelan morgues without the consent of victims' family members) which have provoked cries of "censorship" from the opposition controlled media in Venzuela could not have been be shown in the US media:

As Eva Golinger recently pointed out:

"In an interview on CNN en Español with Otero, the US news network
admitted the image published by El Nacional was too graphic to present to viewers and stated, “CNN will not show this image during any of our broadcasts since we consider it could perturbe viewers and is too graphic to show”.[1]

If Romero ever wants to get fired, I suggest he take unauthorized photos in a morgue of dead US soldiers killed in Iraq and sneak them past his editors onto the front pages of the New York Times. He'd lose his job (and get sued), but at least be able to effectively compare press freedoms in Venezuela and the USA.

Joe Emersberger

[1] _http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5581
Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:33 pm
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joe emersberger



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

BELOW IS A LETTER TO IBC THAT MAKES A SIMILAR POINT ABOUT IBC NUMBERS BY COMPARING THEM TO DATA FROM SOUTH AFRICA

Email to Iraq Body Count
Posted by The Editors on August 30, 2010, 10:52 am, in reply to "exchange with guardian regarding IBC numbers"

Dear Sir / Madam

I would appreciate your response to the following:

1) With regard to the media sources you use to calculate Iraqi casualties, on the 'Sources' page (http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/reference/sources/), please could you inform the reader which media are embedded with the US or UK military and which are independent?

2) I am from South Africa, a country in which approximately 20 000 people are murdered each year. Based on this, in the period from March 2003 to March 2010, the number of people murdered could thus be estimated in the region of 140 000. On your website, you estimate the number of Iraqi deaths to be between 97 461 and 106 348 since the invasion of that country in 2003. I find it extremely difficult to believe that a country which has experienced large scale destruction wrought by the US and UK military and ensuing civil war, has fewer casualties than a country like South Africa. How can this realistically possible?

Best regards

Michael Tasseron
Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:42 pm
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