Of the broadcast network newscasts Thursday evening, only the NBC Nightly News took a few seconds to note some more good news from the war front as fill-in anchor Lester Holt reported “combined deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan in November” stood at eleven, “the lowest total since the U.S. invaded Iraq.”
ABC's World News devoted more than two minutes to LBJ tapes, which showed him “anguished about the Vietnam war,” while the CBS Evening News also had no time for the improving news out of Iraq and Afghanistan as the program aired a full story on how the recession is impacting the rich in Beverly Hills who, in Katie Couric's formulation, are being “forced to hawk what they own to pay what they 90210.”
Thursday's USA Today highlighted the few deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan with a front page article, “U.S. combat deaths hit record low: 11 troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in November.” Ten U.S. service members were killed in Iraq, one in Afghanistan.
After a story on how “military re-enlistments are sharply higher and the weak economy is being cited as one of the main reasons,” Holt consumed 20 seconds on how:
With the violence in Iraq down and winter coming on in Afghanistan, there were fewer American combat deaths in those two wars last month. Combined deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan in November, eleven, the lowest total since the U.S. invaded Iraq. The highest toll came four years ago: 129 deaths in November 2004.
NBC made up for neglecting to report the then-fewest U.S. combat deaths in Iraq, 19, back in early June. See my June 2 NewsBusters post: “NBC Nightly News Spikes News About Fewest Troop Deaths of War.”