Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fact Check: Nancy Youssef

What’s with Nancy Youssef’s overly pessimisticreport about the Libyan intervention on NPR’s On Point today? During her appearance, wherein she was nominally supposed to update listeners on the status of the Libyan intervention 100 days on:

Youssef: The rebels are trying to hold on to the ground they’ve gained. Interestingly they have less ground than they did a hundred days ago . . . .

Gjelten: The rebels have less ground, they’re actually losing ground? I thought the rebels have been making a little bit of progrees.

Youssef: They have. But if you look at how much land they hand—especially in the east—from, compared to where they were when this began. Remember, they had all the way to Bin Jawad when this began and now they’re not able to take Brega which is about a 100 kilometers east of Bin Jawad . . . .

After challenging her once, Gjelten allows this assertion to go. But Ms. Youssef is flatly mistaken. The Libyan rebels had pushed to Bin Jawad on March 6, 2011—some two weeks before the Libyan intervention began. The rebels were quickly pushed out of Bin Jawad and by March 7, Qaddafi’s forces had reestablished control over Bin Jawad. At that point, Qaddafi’s counteroffensive against the rebels was in full swing and, between then and March 19, 2011, his forces moved east all the way to Benghazi, where Qaddafi’stanks were stopped in their tracks by NATO airstrikes. Subsequent NATO air support for the rebels have allowed Libya’s rebels to push Qaddafi’s forces back to Brega and fight Qaddafi to a stalemate in the east while—as Youssef admits—gaining ground in the west. Notably, rebels did advance all the way back toBin Jawad on March 27—some 8 days after the intervention began—but were pushed back to Brega.

Despite Ms. Youssef’s flawed report, it is clear, as this blog has repeatedly noted, that the Libyan rebels are making slow and steady progress to liberate their country.

5 comments:

Unknown said...

She's worked her ass off since she was 25 and been in and out of a war zone. Maybe you should check your facts asshole and get a real job instead of insulting others.

Unknown said...

You'd be somewhat pessimistic to if you'd seen the horror that she has for a decade of her life. She actually has the guts to tell the truth and your insulting her? You're FLATLY mistaken on your worthless blog.

Ben said...

Thanks for reading, Unknown.

I'd like to note that I'm not insulting Nancy--in fact, I have a great deal of esteem for her and for all the journalists at McClatchy. Nor did I in anyway suggest that she does not work hard.

However, with respect to her description of the progress of Libyan rebels after the intervention began, she was mistaken.

You claim that I am in someway mistaken but don't point to any particular error so I am unable to respond to that point.

Thanks again for reading.

Unknown said...

Go to Libya yourself and come back and YOU report “all jovial” on what you see, she was asked her opinion and gave it. You should hold great esteem for her and her very challenging work, instead of sitting behind a desk criticizing on your blog.

Ben said...

As I said, I do hold her--and journalists like her--in great esteem. However, she was not asked for her opinion; she was asked for facts -- she reportedly a particular fact incorrectly and I pointed it out.