Networks Yawn at AP Scoop on Dozens of Mass Graves in ISIS Territory


<p>[<em>More in the cross-post on the MRC&#39;s <a href="…; target="_blank">NewsBusters blog</a>.</em>]</p>

<p>The Big Three networks&#39; morning newscasts on 30 August 2016; along with those of CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News; all failed to cover the Associated Press&#39;s early Tuesday morning report that revealed the 72 mass graves inside current or former ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria. Correspondents Lori Hinnant and Desmond Butler zeroed on such site that had &quot;the bodies of hundreds of members of a single tribe all but exterminated when IS extremists took over their region.&quot; They pointed out that &quot;the known numbers of victims buried are staggering &mdash; from 5,200 to more than 15,000.&quot;</p>

<p>Instead of spotlighting ISIS&#39;s mass murder, ABC&#39;s <em>Good Morning America</em> aired a 50-second news brief on a unicyclist&#39;s stunt on top of a 840-foot tower in Romania. <em>CBS This Morning</em> set aside 43 seconds of air time to a race car in Bolivia jumping over a dog that wandered into the road. NBC&#39;s <em>Today</em> devoted 38 seconds to a Colorado teen soccer player&#39;s running flip over a goalie.</p>

<p>Fox News Channel&#39;s Conor Powell reported on the AP&#39;s revelation during his one minute and 39-second segment:</p>

<p class="rteindent1">GREGG JARRETT: New evidence on the mass murders being carried out by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The Associated Press mapping out at least 72 graves containing the bodies of thousands of victims &mdash; Sinjar mountain, the site of an assault on the Yazidi minority two years ago, scattered with multiple graves.</p>

<p class="rteindent1">Conor Powell is live from our Mideast bureau with more on this story. Conor?</p>

<p class="rteindent1">CONOR POWELL: Well, Gregg, with ISIS losing territory in Iraq and Syria, the devastating aftermath of their brutal rule is beginning to emerge &mdash; the Associated Press mapping out the 72 mass grave-sites.</p>

<p class="rteindent1">Now, I would caution: the pictures and video released by the A.P. are disturbing. It&#39;s not known exactly how many people were killed by ISIS and buried in these graves, but estimates suggest as few as 5,000 or so; and maybe upwards of 15,000. Of the 72 mass graves documented by the A.P., the smallest included just three people; and the largest contained several thousand. Many of the mass graves are just simply out of the reach of experts because of the violence, and because of danger in getting there. Many more of these mass graves are expected to be discovered &mdash; particularly, in places like Raqqa and Mosul &mdash; where ISIS is still fully in control of those areas.</p>

<p class="rteindent1">ISIS, of course, has made no attempt to hide its atrocities. They&#39;ve publicized everything from beheadings and executions; and they&#39;ve really, sort of, taken glee in this type of thing. But as ISIS loses territory, we are getting a fuller pictures of these atrocities; and the A.P. summed this all up in their story today &mdash; saying, Gregg, that this is just a drop in the ocean of what we expect to find in the future.</p>

<p class="rteindent1">JARRETT: So sad and tragic &mdash; thank you very much, Conor Powell, in our Mideast bureau.</p>

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