Marc Herold is unimpressed with Medialens
|Posted by ALP
on October 25 2007, 16:27 » Uploaded
As mentioned in a previous post, the website, Medialens, has
continued its long smear campaign against Iraq Body Count with,
among other things, an attempt to use a quote from Professor Marc
Herold to discredit IBC:
IBC's methodology was devised by Marc Herold [...] It was
Herold's Afghan Victim Memorial Project that inspired John Sloboda
to set up IBC. Herold's most conservative estimate
of Afghan civilian deaths resulting from American/NATO operations
is between 5,700 and 6,500. But, he cautions, this is probably
a vast underestimate. [...] There is no reason to believe
that the application of the same methodology in Iraq is generating
very different results. But IBC has never, to our knowledge,
accepted that their own count is "probably a vast underestimate"...
This is wrong in several respects (a few already mentioned here).
Professor Herold has written to ZNet (who republished the Medialens
piece) to correct the errors made by Medialens. As a result, the
ZNet editor has had to insert a prefacing remark to the offending
paragraph in the Medialens piece, pointing to the correcting comments
[ZNet Editors note] Marc Herold, referenced above,
has sent the following clarification:
"I helped form Iraq Body Count in early 2003. The inspiration
for IBC was not my Afghan Victim Memorial Project but rather
the data base at http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mwherold,
specifically Daily Casualty Count of Afghan Civilians Killed
by U.S. Bombing (Copyright © 2004 Marc W. Herold). The
Afghan Victim Memorial Project was only begun in September 2004
I did indeed employ the phrase probably a vast underestimate,
but let me explain. First, the population density of Afghanistan
in areas where most of the fighting has been taking place since
the fall of Kandahar around December 10, 2001, is extremely
low. Hence, the numbers of civilians killed in US/NATO operations
is nothing in the order of Iraq (which is far more urban). I
do employ media AND OTHER NON-MEDIA REPORTS (including from
persons on-the-ground at times when available). Secondly, by
that phrase I am thinking of a maximum order of twice the number
of deaths I capture and report. As to the inference implied,
my efforts (begun in October 2001) to count the dead
in Afghanistan should not and cannot be used to critique, invalidate,
dispute that which Iraq Body Count has been undertaking."
What I find "remarkable" about this is that Medialens
would be so transparently lazy/sloppy in their research.
After running a smear campaign against Iraq Body Count since early
2006, they must realise their claims on these important matters
are going to be closely scrutinised by well-informed people. Yet
still they can't get the facts right.
The boys at Medialens have self-promoted their
little smearfest all over the internet, and Herold's corrections
will probably only appear at ZNet. And so... the web of distortions
peddled by Medialens continues...
Rave reviews for Medialens on CloneNet:
"A major contribution..." -
Norwich Buddhist Society
"Narrow [...] intolerant" -
"Lovely Stuff" - Shakin' Stevens
One of their traits is that they don't correct
their own errors, even when the case against them is overwhelming.
It seems they'd rather have their own subscribers thinking something
which isn't true than have them thinking that Medialens have got
The errors raised here will be an interesting
test for them. Will they issue a clarification to their subscribers
pointing out Herold's response to their misuse of his quote (the
only really honourable route - and, thankfully, the route taken
by ZNet) or will they hope that nobody notices?
Somehow, I suspect the latter will be the case.
I also doubt that the few Medialens fans who post here (dav, Stephen,
Woofles?) will encourage them to correct their errors. One mustn't
upset one's leaders, after all.
From my (admittedly fairly limited) experience,
the Medialens MO in these cases is to make vaguely suggestive, insulting
remarks about the people who raise these errors. Always politely
worded, of course, but the result is, in effect: "don't listen
to this person, as he/she is an agent of darkness".
interesting exchange in the comments section
here on this point :
I've copied the thread from democratsdiary.co.uk
to a new
thread at Media Hell, as David Wearing (who runs the democratsdiary
blog) didn't want to continue with it.
[Last line of above post removed we
don't allow speculation about the identities of other posters -