Cheney Derangement Syndrome Strikes the Chicago Sun Times

You seriously have to question why the mainstream media feels compelled to hire activists to pose as reporters in their precious newspapers.

I contemplated taking the higher road in this article and setting emotion aside. But I feel compelled to call it like it is. Why should I or anyone else sit idly by while feckless reporters such as Abdon M. Pallash of the Chicago Sun Times use the power of an irresponsible press to push their one sided agenda as if it was news?

Here's how I see it. Vice President Cheney visited the Great Lakes Naval base last night to give a graduation speech to 4000 sailors who have decided that they wanted to be part of the greatest military in the world despite the fanatical antics of anti-war Berkeley types and their supporters in the press. Given that American soldiers have repeatedly been branded by the mainstream media in the false context of cold blooded killers, who are depressed and too stupid to get a real job you would imagine that these recruits decided the press was full of it and that a military career was the path they wanted to take anyway.

So rather than get a quote from any of the many recruiters that were probably honored to have Vice President Cheney at the ceremony Abdon M. Pallash of the Chicago Sun Times decided to find the one veteran that would give the paper its fill of Cheney Derangement Syndrome.

Marcus Perkins, 39, of Colorado Springs, a Naval training officer who has served five tours in Iraq, was not impressed.

"It took him eight years to get here ... at the end of his tenure," Perkins said of Cheney. "This was more like a pep rally. He could have sent an e-mail for that."

Perkins, who has served under every president since Ronald Reagan, said he had doubts about the War in Iraq.

We went to Iraq in ’03 looking for mass destruction,” he said. “We haven’t found them in five years, I’ve been all over that country, north, south, east and west looking under every rock, every tree and every bunker. We own the place and we still haven’t found them. The longer we stay in Iraq, the more training it gives to terrorists to learn how we fight. It’s a training ground: ‘You want to learn how to fight Americans? Go to Iraq. Learn how they fight. Learn their tactics. Then take that knowledge back to your camps.’”

This is one of those things that Ann Coulter spoke about. The left thinks we can't be critical of their actions if only they commit them under the cover of soldiers that speak out against President Bush, Vice President Cheney or the War in Iraq.

Wrong.

I don't take exception with what Perkins says; he has the right to speak his mind. I do however find it strange that these guys seem to pop up at the most opportune of moments for the liberal press.

I take exception with the well established fact that the opinions of the type as spoken by Marc Perkins are just about the only opinions that many outlets in the mainstream media care to reprint in their yellow tinged pages. When is the last time you opened up the New York Times and read a front page article that had any positive comments from anyone that reports from inside Iraq? Reporters such as Michael Yon who has covered this war on multiple fronts and been compared to the heroic journalist Ernie Pyle.

The lack of balance being practiced by previously reputable institutions in today's media world shows an astounding deficit of professional conduct and journalistic leadership.

Even ABC news covered the Cheney visit to Great Lakes in a manner that has me questioning their motives for a couple comments.

The Navy would not let ABC7 speak with the youngsters in light blue, and their discipline prevented any from stepping out of line to speak. But the officers responsible for their training reflected on the ceremony and what America's newest sailors would be thinking.

"The biggest thing to understand is there is something bigger," said Tom Lestikow, Navy chief petty officer.

"To hear him speak is something that I'll never another get, and I know the rest will not or the recruits," said Elita Hans, Navy chief petty officer.

At least they managed to get something positive in. But then again, the insinuation is "psss, the troops applauded but we all know they wanted to speak out against the war but the Navy wouldn't let them."

Not all newspapers covered Vice President Cheney's visit in the same light as the Chicago Sun Times. The Chicago Tribune reported it without opining as did the local Daily Herald. So there is hope.

Nonetheless the Sun Times article is already meandering its way through the left side of the internet. I imagine this was the point of Pallash's article in the first place.

Update: The astute readers at NewsBusters want to know how a 39 year old veteran managed to serve in the military under President Reagan. Good question.

Final Update: Another reader noted:

People, I don't want to nit pick but the article is NOT saying he served under Reagan, every Pres "SINCE" Reagan, meaning not including, meaning all pres after Reagan.

I think this is exactly right. I don't want this article to be something that takes exception with the training officer as I give him the benefit of the doubt. My issue is with the Sun Times. The officer may have served under Reagan in his first year or signed up under George H. Bush. Hard to tell.

In any event the focus on whether or not the soldier served under President Reagan takes away from my point. I believe the Sun Times injected bias into the article by using Vice President Cheney's visit as an opportunity to paint him as a person who really couldn't care less about the troops. They frame his visit as a pep rally using commonly repeated liberal talking points. All of that is completely out of place with reporting about the event.

The Sun Times article may as well have been written by MoveOn.org.

Terry Trippany is the Editor and Publisher of Webloggin. Read other articles I have posted on NewsBusters here.