Cute but no cigar

Chi Trib's page oner today, top left, is from Liz Sly out of Baghdad with help from Omar Salih, about "Omar" as the name "no Iraqi wants" because it's a Sunni name and Shiite gunmen will kill you.  A story like this is a way to keep the civil-war argument in readers' eye, Alinsky-style rubbing raw the sores of discontent with U.S. policy, or it's just an easy-reading breezy piece to help people thank God it's Friday.

As the number of sectarian killings in Iraq soars, and Iraqis on both sides of the Sunni-Shiite divide feel increasingly nervous about mingling with the opposite sect, name-changing is on the rise.

OK.  But deep in the story, we have:

[R]eports [counting] 24 Omars among the 700 or so Sunnis killed in recent weeks [is] hardly statistically significant. [boldface added]

. . . .

But the report has been widely disseminated, and now men named Omar are convinced they are being singled out by the Shiite militias and Interior Ministry forces suspected of carrying out the sinister killings of Sunni men whose bodies are found almost every day, dumped around town.

So. A story about the madness and panic of crowds, bolstered by misinformation and the words of one Omar saying:

"The only safe way is to leave the country. But if you can't do that, you have to do something to survive."

This is on-the-ground reporting?  Nothing from sources such as Brookings Institution's Iraq Report that give an overview or grounds of comparison, even to use a Trib section title, perspective?  Not that I can see.


Add this, 5/7: 

Reader Jennifer: You've nailed it. Thanks. Ms. Sly's name fits all too well.
Me: Someone in her position, however, can be the creation of editors (with whom she goes along to get along).  They say what they are looking for, or she gets it without their saying it, and they place it, deciding where on what day.  Either way, it's bad; in fact, it's worse when you think editors, on whom I place primary blame.

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