Home > The Guardian vs. ZNet – a case study for Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman

The Guardian vs. ZNet – a case study for Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman

by Open-Publishing - Friday 24 August 2007

Newspapers-mags Movement Wars and conflicts

By Gabriele Zamparini

As everybody else I fell in love with the classic Manufacturing Consent, the propaganda model proposed by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky almost twenty years ago, as soon as I read it.

The following I believe is an interesting case I would like to submit to the attention of my readers, including Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman.

The Guardian

"There have also been around 70,000 Iraqi civilian deaths as a result of the military action by the US and its allies, according to the Iraq Body Count website." [US House calls for Iraq pullout by spring, James Sturcke, The Guardian, Friday July 13, 2007]

After an email exchange with Guardian’s James Sturcke, the author of this article and George Monbiot, I have issued an Action Alert on Thursday, July 19, 2007 and another one on Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Siobhain Butterworth, the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor, finally replied on Monday, July 30, 2007

In spite of her disgraceful argumentation and outrageous conclusion, the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor at least acknowledged in her article the findings of the study published on the Lancet, “The email lobby prefers the Lancet research which estimated that by July 2006 more than 650,000 civilians had died”.


“And dead Iraqis there are. An estimated 68, 347 and 74,753 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the military intervention, according to the log of reported deaths kept by Iraq Body Count. In the chaos of occupation and civil war, this is invariably a conservative figure.” [We Are All Living on Planet Hiroshima, Mark T. Harris, ZNet, August 07, 2007]

I started to email daily Mark T. Harris, ZNet’s Michael Albert and other activists and intellectuals on Wednesday, 8 August 2007. Other people have emailed in the following days. [You may read all my correspondence with Harris and Albert here]

After four days of emails, ZNet’s Editors added the following note at the bottom of Harris’ article:

[ZNet Editors Note: A Media Lens letter to the author points out "Iraq Body Count (IBC) does not record numbers of ’Iraqi civilians [who] have died as a result of the military intervention’. That would include figures for deaths from disease, malnutrition, infant mortality, accidents due to collapse of infrastructure, etc. IBC only records Iraqi civilians who have died as a result of violence, and of these only deaths that have been reported by mostly Western media that are mostly unable to function in Iraq." They go on to point out that the article does not mention the "peer-reviewed science of the 2004 and 2006 Lancet studies produced by some of the world’s leading epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins and published in the world’s leading science journal." End note.]

At that point of course Harris’ article was not on the TOP PAGE of ZNet anymore (after 5 days...) and the damage had already been done. But still the lucky reader now would have to use all her imagination to know that those corpses are 1 million and not 70,000.


That so-called ZNet’s correction is first of all a vulgar insult to those 1 million Iraqis killed by the Anglo-American invasion and ZNet Editors should be ashamed of themselves. But this is just the simple opinion of a blogger. So I offer this case study to Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman and my other readers.