Big Media Ignores Pew Poll's Good News in War on Terror

Have you heard the best news in years in the war against Muslim extremism?

The 2007 Pew Global Attitudes survey, released July 24, reports a substantial decrease in Muslim support of suicide bombings and Osama bin Laden.

“The marked decline in the acceptance of suicide bombing is one of several findings that suggest a possible broader rejection of extremist tactics among many in the Muslim world,” said the report, according to a July 24 Reuters article. 

The numbers are remarkable.  Support for bombings and terror tactics has dropped in seven of eight countries where data were available, according to AP.  In Lebanon, Muslims who believe suicide bombings are justified some or all of the time plummeted from 79 percent in 2002 to 34 percent.  In Pakistan, the percentage dropped from 41 percent in 2004 to 9 percent.  Among Jordanian Muslims, 56 percent had confidence in Osama bin Laden as a world leader in 2003; the number has dropped to 20 percent.

Incredibly, none of the major television networks mentioned this survey during the July 24 evening newscasts. 

In a stunning example of news misjudgment, The New York Times story on the survey focused on the growing optimism about the future among sub-Saharan Africans, burying the growing Muslim rejection of terrorism deep in the article.  The Washington Post failed to cover the story, simply posting the Reuters article on its Web site. 

Why would the mainstream media ignore a survey with such significant findings?  Are the media so firmly entrenched in their anti-War on Terror agenda that they can't acknowledge any good news for the war effort? Are they unwilling to report that growing majorities in the Muslim world reject the bloodthirsty tactics of the Muslim extremists? Are the mainstream media afraid to concede that the bad guys in this war are not the American military, but the terrorists America is fighting?

CNN founder Ted Turner actually advocated appeasing Muslim extremists during an interview last September on CNBC's The Big Idea with Danny Deutsch, saying “I think, the two things that the Muslim extremists and a lot of other Muslims, too, would like to see us do, is get our military out of the Middle East. I mean, we're, what are they there for, anyway? And also to be more even-handed in our dealing with the Palestinians and the Israelis.”  

So why isn't Big Media covering this story? 

Maybe it's because there's just not any time or space left after discussing Lindsay Lohan's latest escapade. 

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter.