Good, Bad, and Ugly

Reader reaction to Reuters news

Murder sentence headline


Iraqi relatives decry life for U.S. rape soldier

MAHMUDIYA, Iraq (Reuters) – Relatives of a 14-year-old girl who was raped and killed along with her family by U.S. soldiers expressed outrage Friday that the ringleader received a life sentence in a U.S. court instead of execution. Why does the title of this article omit the fact that the soldier was a murderer as well?  By omitting this, it makes the Iraqi families seem unreasonable to decry life for a rapist (and wanting the death sentence.)

Of course, the first sentence of the article makes the nature of the crime clear. If I were editor, I would have made the title: “Iraqis decry life for U.S. rape/murder soldier” which is even shorter than the original title:


Several readers made similar objections. They have a valid point. The murder element should have been in the headline: GBU Editor

REUTERS/Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office/Handout

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Nailing a fake?


Man shot 34 times in head with nail gun

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australian police released Friday a shocking x-ray photo showing the skull of a murdered Chinese immigrant shot 34 times in the head and neck with a high-power nail gun.

I believe you have a hoax. If you make this picture from a 2004 article at 50% opacity while making the picture in your article at 50% opacity, then line them up, what do you get?

No hostages killed?


Somali militants fire at U.S. lawmaker

So far, pirates have generally treated hostages well, sometimes roasting goat meat for them and even letting them phone loved ones. The worst violence has been the occasional beating. No hostages are known to have been killed by pirates.

This statement is false.

On May 28, 2007, a Chinese crewman held hostage of the hijacked vessel FV Ching Fong Hwa 168, was executed by Somali pirates.

Bloody assaults?


Somali pirates hijack Greek-owned ship

Some fear the bloody assaults by Washington and Paris to free their hostages may raise the risk of future bloodshed. The pirates have vowed to take revenge on U.S. and French citizens. Everyone, including the U.S. government and military acknowledge that the growing problem of piracy off the cost of Somali requires more than a military solution. But to characterize a carefully considered rescue mission, made possible by expert training and extraordinary oversight as a “bloody assualt” fails to accuratetly report what happened.

Let us not forget that the pirates are the criminals here, and that every attempt was made to reason with them prior to this action.