Thursday's NBC Nightly News combined the usual with the unusual for an evening newscast story: A breast cancer survivor story which would appeal to woman and a look at an Army Sergeant who has now fulfilled her 'dream' of getting to serve in Iraq, hardly a view expressed very often on network news. Anchor Brian Williams introduced the profile: “Tonight we have a story of a woman who is serving her country and serving as an example, in her bravery, to the rest of us.” Checking in on the state-side training being undergone by Army Sergeant Elizabeth Cowie, reporter Jennifer London explained how “it's been her dream to serve in Iraq.” Cowie, however, was sidelined by breast cancer. But now that she successfully treated it, her dream has been “realized,” London related, as “this was Sergeant Cowie's final training mission before deployment.” Cowie expressed her idealism and commitment: “We have a lot of liberties, we have a lot of freedoms that other people around the world don't have, and so for me that's important, so I'm willing to do what I have to do and put my own life at risk.”
After London's piece, Williams followed up with how Cowie arrived in Iraq and sent an e-mail to NBC News “with the following request, quote: 'Keep our soldiers in your prayers. They are the best of America.'”
Earlier today Matthew Sheffield noted that Hollywood was "gearing up to release a bunch of anti-military movies that portray veterans of the Iraq war as deranged psychopaths, screwed up by an "unjust" war."
Unfortunately we don't have to wait to whet our whistle on the entertainment industry's full court press to gin up anti-war sentiment in preparation for next year's elections. It seems that they are delivering on that promise already as hinted by last night's 10 separate "anti-war" solos that were performed on the Fox TV reality show, So You Think You Can Dance. (see Video here)
First it was the traumatized Vietnam veteran, now are Iraq vets set to become the next "progressive" cliché?
Being the strapping patriot sort of folks that they are, the Hollywood left is gearing up to release a bunch of anti-military movies that portray veterans of the Iraq war as deranged psychopaths, screwed up by an "unjust" war. The New York Times's Michael Cieply reports (h/t Instapundit):
Now some in Hollywood want moviegoers to decide if the killing is emblematic of a war gone bad, part of a new and perhaps risky willingness in the entertainment business to push even the touchiest debates about post-9/11 security, Iraq and the troops’ status from the confines of documentaries into the realm of mainstream political drama.
Korey Rowe, 24, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, was picked up by deputies at about 10:45 p.m. Monday, Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. said.
Rowe, along with Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas, are members of Louder Than Words, a production company that is working on a third edition of the movie "Loose Change," which contends the U.S. government was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In his bio at the film's website, Rowe referenced his military service, but not that he was allegedly never officially discharged (emphasis added):
As NewsBusters reported Monday, a writer named Corey Mitchell posted an amazingly disgraceful blog at the liberal website Daily Kos Thursday stating that the United States armed forces were creating serial killers and mass murderers.
In the comment thread, Brown confirmed this wasn't satire, stating it was “all about anger, not humour” and offered a sarcastic (non) apology to an offended Koz Kid, “It was not my intent to defame or offend anyone who might sign a piece of paper saying they are available to kill whoever their marginally superior officer tells them to, wherever they are sent, for 1200 dollars a month.” That's nice. Enjoy (bold mine):
Hello, I’m A. Whitney Brown, and I support our brave troops overseas. We all do and we all should. But what about those troops who are not so brave? Perhaps they just signed up hoping for some extra money for college, for the medical insurance, or even some hot gay military sex. (...) But do I still support the individual men and women who have given so much to serve their country? (...) I think they’re a bunch of idiots. I also think they’re morally retarded. Because they sign a contract that says they will kill whoever you tell me to kill. And that is morally retarded. (...) To to sum up, I don’t like our troops, I don’t like what they’re doing, I don’t like their fat, whining families...
Doubts about the veracity of highly sensationalized accounts from Iraq written by a pseudonymous person claiming to be an American soldier have finally compelled the liberal New Republic magazine to launch an investigation, the New York Times reports:
The author, who used the pen name Scott Thomas, has written three articles for the magazine since February, describing gruesome incidents in Iraq. Last week, The Weekly Standard questioned the veracity of the New Republic articles and invited readers with knowledge about the military or Baghdad to comment.
Is Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas growing weary of the vitriol being expressed at his blog?
It appears so, as without explaining what incidents precipitated the need for such, Moulitsas posted a warning to his readers Monday referring to "nasty rhetoric" that is "rampant in the primary war diaries."
Maybe Charles Johnson was prescient Sunday when he wrote, "Just doesn't look right to be dissing the military when Kos is trying so hard to be the voice of the Democratic Party."
With that in mind, Markos began his "With Us or Against Us" posting (emphasis added throughout):
The hatred for America's military emanating from the left in this nation reached a new low on Thursday when a blog was posted at Daily Kos entitled "KILLITARY: Are America's Armed Forces Creating Serial Killers and Mass Murderers?
In it, Corey Mitchell, a crime author and editor of In Cold Blog, addressed the "list of serial killers and mass murderers who have spent time in the military" while making the case that "a seemingly normal, everyday, All-American soldier [can] turn into a brain scooping cell phone camera posing beast."
Or, even Son of Sam or Jeffrey Dahmer. "It's all about the training."
Last Saturday, NewsBusters shared a truly disgraceful Ted Rall cartoon that depicted a United States soldier as a suicide bomber.
On Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in its "Cartoons From Around The World" section, featured a rather revolting "comic" by German cartoonist Rainer Hachfeld. In it, a panel showed children in Afghanistan shooting toy guns playfully at an American military plane, with panel two dramatizing the same plane attacking the kids with gunfire clearly hitting one as the other ran screaming for cover.
As this is the property of cartoon syndicator Daryl Cagle, copyright laws prevent unauthorized distribution. However, as the above link indicates, Hachfeld's piece was also published at Cagle's MSNBC.com webpage.
NewsBusters' member Saw the Light, who forwarded this piece to me, made the following sage observations about the cartoon which he has given me permission to share:
Those who oppose the Iraq war are always adamant that they support the troops, but how do you characterize people who think it's good television programming to portray Iraq war veterans as violent criminals? This Sunday at 9pm EDT/PDT, the Spike TV cable channel, part of the CBS/Viacom empire, starts The Kill Point, a four-part, eight-hour mini-series “event” revolving around a group of Iraq war veterans who rob a bank and take hostages. John Leguizamo (IMDb bio page), “Dr. Victor Clemente” on NBC's ER, stars as the leader of the heavily-armed robbers and the Spike Web site for the show describes his character as a man who is “fighting his own personal demons from the Iraq war.” Spike TV, best known for incessant re-runs of CSI, will air The Kill Point in two-hour blocks over four successive Sundays, starting this Sunday, July 22.
Quick -- which is Hillary Clinton's bigger liability as a candidate?:
A. She's an insufficiently ardent feminist; or B. Her personality is cold, calculating and unfeminine.
If you've been living on Planet Earth since 1992, surely your answer is 'B.' So when Elizabeth Edwards adds fuel to that fire, accusing Hillary of behaving like a man, that is very newsworthy stuff. Unless you're NBC or ABC, that is.
"Today" and "Good Morning America" ran segments this morning on Mrs. Edwards' recent interview with Salon.com in which she made comments critical of Hillary. The networks focused on Elizabeth's relatively innocuous line:
She's just not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see. John is.
But both shows airbrushed out the more controversial comment that immediately preceded it:
I'm sympathetic, because when I worked as a lawyer, I was the only woman in these rooms, too, and you want to reassure them you're as good as a man. And sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues.
It’s approaching two weeks since an Air Force Airman was shot by an anti-war protestor in Willingboro, New Jersey.
Yet, apart from an Associated Press article which conveniently ignored the apparent motives of the assailant, a New York Post op-ed by Michelle Malkin, and a mention by Glenn Beck on CNN's Headline News, not one major mainstream media outlet has reported the horrific event in print or on the air.
To set this up, the Associated Press reported the day after the shooting (h/t NB reader CSM Robert E. Wilson, currently serving in Iraq):
With an ever-increasing discussion that the Iraq surge is working, the old guard in the MSM is frantic to deride the administration’s war effort. This scenario played out in Bob Schieiffer’s interview of National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley on Sunday’s Face the Nation.
During the interview, Hadley stated the administration’s familiar position that it would give the surge a chance to succeed, at least until September’s assessment from General David Patreaus. A clearly perturbed Schieffer snapped, “With all due respect, [the Bush administration] set out this policy and it’s not working.” When Hadley disagreed, Schieffer responded, “I understand that’s your position,” and further commented that he wasn’t sure he agreed with Hadley. Further prodding Hadley to retreat from his position, Schieffer said, “I will give you a chance because we have to end this.” Hadley didn’t oblige.
You have to wonder what the heck is the deal with this photo Time Magazine published accompanying a Joe Klein screed?
They have cut off the heads of President Bush and the troops he was posing with, quite a disrespectful "artistic" choice, wouldn't you say? Even if they don't respect the president, to treat our troops in such a way is obscene.
But, who imagines that they respect the troops in the first place?
Video (3:15):Real (2.38 MB) or Windows (1.99 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.11 MB).
It starts with Helen Thomas insisting that President Bush is responsible for al Qaeda in Iraq and ends with Martha Raddatz of ABC News misconstruing a new report on al Qaeda to conclude the terror network's threat is "greater than ever now." NBC's David Gregory and CBS's Jim Axelrod are also included. All questions betray an alarmist and defeatist tone on Iraq and/or push President Bush to consider hypotheticals involving Democrats passing legislation to curtail his management of the war.
President Bush is taking questions from the White House press corps about the Iraq report. I'll be live-blogging it. Hit refresh for updates. We may post some video later with highlights (or is it lowlights?). All times below are Eastern.
Helen Thomas, Hearst newspapers columnist, 10:45: Presses Bush on bringing in UN peacekeepers to Iraq. "Don't you understand, you have brought al Qaeda into Iraq," she insisted.
unidentified reporter, 10:48: "Mr. President, you're facing a rebellion from Republican senators" on Iraq.
unidentified female reporter, 10:50 on changing course on the Iraq war: "why are you so resistant to that idea, and how much longer" will the President continue with the surge before changing course.
Of late, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been arguing that the mainstream media persistently exercise the "management" of the news. That is to say, aside from slanted and biased reporting on the news of the day, they frame news developments in a way that manage events to fit a preconceived meme or storyline.
The media's coverage of Army recruiting numbers is no exception.
Bear in mind these facts included in some of the stories I cite below but usually well after the lede:
The Army is nonetheless ahead of its year-to-date recruiting goal
July, August, and September are traditionally the best months for recruiting
Many potential enlistees are turned away from being overweight or lacking a high school diploma
Some experts, such as former Defense undersecretary Edwin Dorn, marvel that "the big surprise is that Army recruiting has remained as healthy as it has been" given the Iraq war's falling support in the polls.
Nope, instead the lede is two straight months of numbers that aren't up to par and immediately Iraq is blamed.
Voila! A "trend" story waiting to happen for a media bent on managing the news.
On May 17, NBC reported a blockbuster exclusive on the superiority of Dragon Skin body armor over Interceptor, the body armor that the US Army issues to soldiers in combat zones. But NBC’s story has a major flaw: It’s wrong about nearly everything.
Watch the latest installment of Hot Air's Vent and actually hear an Army official, Brigadier General Mark Brown, conclude that NBC News possibly committed "emotional terrorism" after airing an "exclusive" segment on body armor. The segment, aired by NBC senior correspondent Lisa Myers, was "simply bogus," concludes Preston.
If American media fails to cover this with the same amount of gusto that they have pursued Haditha and Abu Ghraib, they will be demonstrating their preference for whom they wish to win this conflict. The press has to tell the story that evil really does exist in this world. Imagine if the story of the Holocaust was never told because the media was only interested in reporting Allied atrocities. Yes, by failing to treat this war objectively, the media does indeed enable massacres such as this one and history will judge the coverage of this war very harshly.
On Tuesday's The Situation Room, CNN's Wolf Blitzer noted that it was the 14th anniversary of a cruise missile attack on Iraq, ordered by then-President Clinton, in retaliation for a plot to assassinate former President Bush in Kuwait earlier that year. CNN also played a clip of the CNN correspondent from June 26, 1993 in which, referring to President Clinton's speech to the nation, Blitzer relayed the Clinton administration's desire "to make sure that the Iraqi government does not engage in what the U.S. describes as state-sponsored terrorism." (Transcript follows)
Below is a complete transcript of the item from the June 26 The Situation Room on CNN:
Saying that it "perpetuates a subtle myth," a senior Pentagon official has responded to an AP story that appeared earlier this week, attracting considerable national coverage, regarding the drop in military enlistment by African-Americans. In comments to this NewsBuster, Bill Carr, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy [photo], said that "the AP left readers with an impression that something sinister was emerging, but one must by unusually cynical to miss the real story."
The AP story reported that the number of blacks joining the military "has plunged by more than one-third since the Afghanistan and Iraq wars began. Other job prospects are soaring and relatives of potential recruits increasingly are discouraging them from joining the armed services."
The story describes a Sean Glover in Washington, D.C., who "said he has done all he can to talk black relatives out of joining the military," quoting Glover to this effect:
"I don't think it's a good time. I don't support the government's efforts here and abroad. There's other ways you can pay for college. There's other ways you can get your life together. Joining the Army, the military, comes at a very high price."
Said Carr: "this perpetuates a subtle myth that minorities suffer death or injury disproportionately. The opposite is true as a function of voluntary career selections -- choices that we celebrate. In fact, African-Americans continue to advantage their futures through valuable job training in fields such as medical or dental technician."
As Newsbusters documented, CBS ran more than onestory on the U.S. soldiers’ heroism and compassion in their abused Iraqi orphans’ rescue. The June 26 edition of "The Early Show" ran another story on their heroism, this one focusing on an individual soldier and his wife.
Lieutenant Jason Smith has a wife who teaches special education and a brother in law who is mentally disabled. Lt. Smith, as anchor Maggie Rodriguez put it, "was unknowingly training for his mission for years." The story then ran footage of Smith nurturing the recovering Iraqi children and his wife offering words of praise for her deployed husband.
The MSM delights in highlighting President Bush's anemic poll numbers. Congress's approval rating in the latest Gallup poll was so shockingly, historically, low at 14% that the MSM could hardly ignore it.
But there was another finding emerging from that same Gallup poll that has received very little media attention: the societal institution that enjoys, by far, the highest confidence among Americans is, at 69%, the military.
Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Bill Carr discussed the Gallup findings on last night's "Right Angle," the Ithaca-based TV show that this NewsBuster hosts. While clearly pleased by the military's achievement in that regard, Sec. Carr was also duly diplomatic about it, as this exchange reflects.
RIGHT ANGLE HOST MARK FINKELSTEIN: So 70% for the military, 14% for Congress, which if my mathematics are correct, that's five times more confidence in the military than in the Congress. So perhaps some of the Pentagon officials should keep that in their back pocket the next time they're being grilled up on the Hill.
DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE BILL CARR: We would never raise that.
Tuesday mornings’s Democratic presidential candidates forum, aired live on MSNBC and moderated by Chris Matthews, had a few, to put it mildly, strange moments. Billed as a forum, the event was little more than a union-sponsored soapbox for the three leading Democratic candidates, Senators Clinton and Obama, and former Senator Edwards.
The left-leaning American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, which organized the soapbox, was quick to cheer for the most mundane of liberal catch phrases while descending into boos and hisses at the very mention of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
After reporting on the compassionate U.S. soldier rescue of abused Iraqi orphans, CBS’s Lara Logan ran a follow up story on the June 21 edition of "The Early Show." To her credit, Logan continued to defend the soldiers. She noted that an Army captain went "back to check on the 24 boys he and his soldiers rescued" and "thanks to these soldiers...the boys’ lives were saved."
Upon reporting that the Iraqi labor and social affairs minister accused Lara Logan of reporting a "lie" and that the U.S. soldiers that rescued these emaciated boys "have no compassion," Logan played a gracious remark from an unidentified U.S. soldier.
I have been a huge fan of Michael Yon for years. He risks life and limb as an embedded reporter to report the news in Iraq from the soldiers' point of view and he is honest in his assessment. That honesty has often been met with scorn and resistance by some decision makers in the military who in my assessment have been their own worst enemy when it comes to getting the word out about progress as well as the hardships endured by our fine fighting men and women overseas.
But Michael knows the importance of giving a voice to the voiceless heroes that protect our shores so that we at home may tuck our children in to sleep peacefully at night. For this reason Michael provides us an alternative, more rounded message; a beacon in the darkness of the mainstream media's one sided narrative.