It's one thing for an editor to stubbornly defend a reporter whose story has come under fire when the reporter in question vehemently insists he is telling the truth. It's quite another when an editor stands by a discredited story that even the writer responsible for refuses to vigorously defend.
Such appears to be the case with The New Republic's Franklin Foer.
In a recorded Sept. 6 conversation, the writer, Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, said from Iraq that the controversy had "spun out of control" and had become "insane" and "ridiculous" and concluded: "I'm not going to talk to anyone about anything."
I don't normally follow Ted Rall's work. But when J.M., a member of our military serving in Iraq, wrote NB about Rall's recent column and cartoon, I had a look. I'd say our soldier was being restrained in describing Rall's work as "particularly offensive."
I'm displaying one panel from his cartoon of October 22nd. You can view the whole of it here. As you'll note, the point is to celebrate the death of our soldiers, since they are "idiots" whose removal from the gene pool causes the average IQ back home to soar.
CNN’s Jack Cafferty, in his "Cafferty File" segment on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room," asked how the $2.4 trillion, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would be the cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next decade, could be better spent. Apparently, Cafferty, who is a well-known opponent of the Iraq war, also thinks that money being spent in Afghanistan for operations against al Qaeda and the Taliban could also be put to better use.
Cafferty’s "Question of the Hour" came 11 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room." He included that this figure "amounts to about $8,000 for every man, woman, and child in this country" and that it includes "$700 billion in interest, since these wars are all being fought on borrowed money to begin with. And more than 70% of this money would go to the war in Iraq." Cafferty also included that apparently "as of September 30th, the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost $604 billion. That's more than either Korea or Vietnam, and there's no end in sight to this thing."
Drudge scooped me (arrgghhh!) with two documents related to the Beauchamp/TNR story. I had asked for in a FOIA request submitted more than a month ago to the U.S. Army. Those documents including a transcript of the call between Scott Beauchamp, TNR editor Franklin Foer, and TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic on September 7. I first wrote about the conversation itself previously.
The other document was the Army's official report, which I first discussed with the investigating officer, Major John Cross, on September 10.
Knowing the documents exist is one thing; having them is quite another. Now that they have been posted on the public record, these disclosures should end careers at The New Republic.
With pressure mounting, Democratic Congressman Pete Stark finally apologized today for his reprehensible statements on the House floor last week.
In his disjointed anti-war rant last Thursday, Stark shamefully remarked:
You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement.
Republicans immediately objected, with House Minority Leader John Boehner demanding a retraction and noting that "Congressman Stark's statement dishonors not only the commander in chief, but the thousands of courageous men and women of America's armed forces who believe in their mission and are putting their lives on the line for our freedom and security.''
President Bush has shown that he can be empathetic, sensitive and decisive. But those qualities eluded him for days after Hurricane Katrina . . . He didn't cancel his vacation until two days after Katrina struck and didn't visit the region until four days after the storm. -- "A compassionate Bush was absent right after Katrina", USA Today, 9-9-05
USA Today's broadside is typical of the MSM criticism leveled at Pres. Bush for his failure to visit New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. So, now that President Bush has announced that he will be visiting California on Thursday while the wildfire flames are still burning, naturally the MSM and Dems will put politics aside and laud his decision, right?
CNN decided to not to break away from its almost non-stop coverage of the California wildfires as President Bush formally awarded a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan the Medal of Honor, as its competitors Fox News and MSNBC aired the ceremony at the White House live.
The Medal of Honor went to Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue, New York, who died in the line of duty in 2005 during operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Murphy received the first Medal of Honor awarded from Operation Enduring Freedom. President Bush made the decision to give Lt. Murphy the nation’s highest military honor on October 11.
Nine years have passed since The New Republic came to grips with the fact that it had a serial fabulist on its hands in writer Stephen Glass. Now the liberal magazine is facing more scrutiny for more faulty reporting at the hands of Scott Thomas Beauchamp.
"I couldn't help but be struck by the similarities and differences at The New Republic, then and now," blogger Ed Morrissey wrote after viewing the 2003 film "Shattered Glass," based on the rise and fall of New Republic writer Stephen Glass. What's most damning, Morrissey argues, is that the Beauchamp scandal is much worse in terms of the gravity of the news material that was faked and the disparity in how the TNR editors have responded:
Given his show's modest ratings, it's unlikely that Keith Olbermann would be in a position to make a multi-million dollar donation to charity anytime soon. But let's imagine he did. Do you think that, in a segment on a related subject, NBC might find a moment to mention Olbermann's generosity?
So do I.
But "Today" managed to get through its report this morning about Rush Limbaugh's auctioning off of the Harry Reid letter . . . without mentioning that Rush has publicly pledged to match the $2.1 million winning bid.
A few days after 9-11, President Bush, in an impromptu moment on the White House lawn, referred to the war on terrorism as a crusade. What does that have to do with the vile claim Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) made this week that Pres. Bush sends our soldiers to Iraq to have their heads blown off for his "amusement"?
Nothing that I can see. But on this afternoon's "Hardball," Chris Matthews dredged up that and a couple other statements from the president's past and staged a segment asking whether they were worse than Stark's line. Note the graphic in the screencap, in which MSNBC absurdly asks "who should apologize, Rep. Stark or Pres. Bush?"
The search for bad news relating to Iraq must be getting awfully difficult.
First example -- From the "Looking for, and Not Finding, a Dark Cloud on a Sunny Day"Department(HT Confederate Yankee, who says "you can almost feel their pain"):
'Fragging' Is Rare in Iraq, Afghanistan
American troops killed their own commanders so often during the Vietnam War that the crime earned its own name - "fragging."
But since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military has charged only one soldier with killing his commanding officer, a dramatic turnabout that most experts attribute to the all-volunteer military.
As NewsBusters previously documented, most of the mainstream media highlighted General Ricardo Sanchez’s criticism of the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War, but ignored his criticism of the media’s coverage. The one exception, of course, is Fox News.
Retired Colonel and Fox News Military Analyst David Hunt appeared on the October 17 edition of "Fox and Friends" to discuss Sanchez’s remarks. Although Hunt conceded Sanchez "is the wrong guy to be doing this" due to the Abu Ghraib scandal, he believes that "he’s right."
MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the October 15 "Hannity & Colmes" to discuss the New York Times ignoring retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez's recent complaints about shoddy, biased, and inaccurate media coverage of the war in Iraq.
Among other complaints, Sanchez hit the media for its "unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda-driven biases sometimes contribute to this corrosive environment."
Below is the opening exchange between Bozell and liberal co-host Alan Colmes:
The former top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, addressed the annual conference of Military Reporters and Editors on October 12. While his condemnations of what he called “a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership” have been widely reported, his criticisms of the media’s Iraq coverage has received far less attention. Here is an excerpt of Sanchez’s speech:
As all of you know I have a wide range of relationships and experiences with our nation’s military writers and editors. There are some in your ranks who I consider to be the epitome of journalistic professionalism -- Joe Galloway, Thom Shanker, Sig Christensen, and John Burns immediately come to mind. They exemplify what America should demand of our journalists -- tough reporting that relies upon integrity, objectivity and fairness to give accurate and thorough accounts that strengthen our freedom of the press and in turn our democracy.
On the other hand, unfortunately, I have issued ultimatums to some of you for unscrupulous reporting that was solely focused on supporting your agenda and preconcieved notions of what our military had done.
During an interview by "GQ" magazine's Wil Hylton posted on the magazine's blog on September 20, CNN founder Ted Turner blamed Fox News for pushing America into the Iraq war, tagging the conflict as "Rupert's war," and contended that he is more afraid of America's possession of nuclear weapons than he is of rogue states like Iran obtaining such weapons. Turner: "I'm much more worried about our nuclear arsenal than theirs. Iran, at best, can get a few nuclear weapons. We have tens of thousands. We have to get rid of them." The CNN founder, who has a history of defending North Korea, ignoring the country's problem of starvation, complimented its "thin" citizens as "healthy," and suggested the despotic regime is of no more danger to America than Cleveland, Ohio. Turner: "They were nice to me. There weren't a lot of fat people walking around. They were all thin. And being thin is healthier than being fat. ...
Writing at her "Couric & Co." blog this morning, CBS's Katie Couric gave journalist/feminist polemicist Susan Faludi a platform to flesh out her theory that the mainstream media have harnessed fears of terrorism post-9/11 to socially repress women and resurrect myths of the Old West. Here, for example, is Faludi's response to Couric's question about why Faludi penned her latest book:
"It's not merely despicable, it's transparent," a top conservative blogger fumed of the Washington Post's slanted treatment of Iraq war coverage.:
How they can even continue posturing as neutral fact-finders presenting the news without favor or prejudice is beyond me. Do they not even understand they are lying to claim this posture? Or does it simply not even matter to them anymore?
Ah, those diversity-loving liberals. You know, the kind who would stifle free speech with their Orwellian "Fairness Doctrine," who threaten legal action against mom-and-pop T-shirt makers who criticize MoveOn.org. Wesley Clark would now take things one step further, whacking Rush Limbaugh off the Armed Forces Network radio airwaves.
"Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira interviewed the retired general and former Dem presidential candidate on this morning's show.
Reuters is busy smearing the troops by claiming they opened fire on civilians. But while accusations of misconduct are always good for several months worth of front-page stories, somehow the media never has time to comment on the many good deeds that the United States Armed Forces perform all over the world. And unfortunately, the US military does not do as well as we would wish at getting the word out.
As a country music fan, it often frosts me to flip open the pages of a newspaper and read snide, left-of-center snark from music reviewers about the right-leaning, patriotic sentiments of country musicians. Toby Keith, in particular, has been a favorite target of liberal journalists, although the tide's been turning a bit of late.
So here's something that might just end up "Shock'n Y'All": CBS "Early Show" co-anchor Hannah Storm praising Keith's patriotism, work ethic, and talent in a September 24 blog post:
In an entry entitled, "Protest du Jour," Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Candace Heckman let the paper's "The Big Blog" readers know that, "[c]oast to coast, Sept. 12 has been declared National Call-In Day to End the Iraq War by a conglomeration of advocacy groups."
Oh how nice.
Today's protest is expected to take place all day over the telephone. The idea is to call your congressman or congresswoman (or any congressman or congresswoman) to express displeasure in the United States' continuing involvement in Iraq.
Heckman proceeded to give out the phone numbers for the state of Washington's delegation to the 110th Congress. The P-I blogger noted that "as with all demonstrations, war and troop supporters are also expected to counter-protest, also by telephone."
USA Today lends a big assist in promulgating Chinese propaganda as the paper helps explain away the nature of the forced military training that Chinese children undergo. Calling the compulsory training a benign sounding "camp" and presenting the children's training as if it is a mere summer excursion, USA Today soft sells China's militarization of their youth in theirs titled, "Chinese kids undergo required military training."
As USA Today dutifully reports China's propaganda -- the children go there to "sing songs" with the training only meant to "bolster teamwork" -- we see a disgraceful example of the MSM's practice of not "offending" a totalitarian nation so as not to lose their "access" there. Instead of reporting the harsh truth, we have USA Today offering a sunny and happy report on Chinese warmongering.
The Chinese government forces all children between the ages of 9 and 18 to undergo military training at regular intervals during Summer break from school. They have no choice and neither do their parents. This is the sort of complete lack of freedom of choice that can be expected from a totalitarian government, of course. In the West, we decry militarizing our children by force, so isn't it odd that USA Today so softens this training? Isn't it shameful that the paper helps China promote the propaganda that these military training sessions are really a wonderful time for China's youth?
It's not very surprising coming from the same guys that tried to scare young voters in 2004 with fears of the military draft, but Human Events online producer Ericka Andersen takes a look at the left-wing, anti-war in Iraq slant of MTV.com's political news section:
Not that I expected MTV to be fair and balanced but this is ridiculous. I checked out the MTV site after seeing their recent commercials featuring two musicians strumming along to Spanish music in a cool setting to cool music with two cool looking Latin folks. But the wordless tone is clearly MTV's embrace of illegal immigration. Though they did provide different viewpoints to choose from on the immigration debate on the politics section of their web site, the same could not be said for coverage of the Iraq War.
When you enter the think:Politics section of MTV.com, you can choose to to click Iraq: Take a Stand. Then, there are two sections -- one for if you support the war, one if you do not. The section labeled "If you are against the war" features six different websites and resources to choose from. The section labeled "If you are for the war" lists only one.
John Hinderaker at Powerline has an item about how CNBC and MSNBC are refusing to sell ad time to a group called Freedom Watch which is supportive of winning the war in Iraq:
We wrote here about the television commercials that Freedom's Watch has produced, featuring veterans and their families, that urge Congress and the public to continue supporting the Iraq war. The commercials are well done, and convey the simple message that the Iraq war is important and winnable, and that we should allow our troops to see the mission through. The ads are appearing in the context of a blizzard of anti-war ads by left-wing groups, intended to pressure Senators and Congressmen into pulling the plug on the Iraq effort.
Has Bill Moyers become PBS's Jack Cafferty, Bill Maher, Rosie O'Donnell, and Keith Olbermann all rolled into one crusading, Bush-hating, anti-war propagandist funded by American tax dollars?
After all, on Friday, he followed up last week's disgraceful rant about Karl Rove with an eight-minute segment on how "The Bush White House has launched a massive new P.R. campaign with the message: the surge in Iraq is working. Let's stay the course!"
In it, Moyers offered not one shred of balance to this completely anti-war report by totally ignoring recent statements from liberal think tank members, leading Democrats, and military officials indicating that conditions in Iraq are indeed improving.
Instead, Moyers: disgracefully suggested that the White House is misleading Americans about the surge in much the same way it did weapons of mass destruction; mocked military recruiting ads and techniques, and; cited a British newspaper claiming our army is crippled by fatigue. A full transcript of this abomination follows with video available here for those that can stomach it:
A family in Clovis, California, which is near Fresno, has sadly become the modern day version of the Ryans, real-life brothers depicted in Steven Spielberg's acclaimed film "Saving Private Ryan" wherein all but one died serving his country in World War II.
For the Hubbards, Nathan, the second of three brothers serving in Iraq, died Wednesday in a helicopter accident in the northern part of that embattled nation. This came two years, nine months, and eighteen days after the death of brother Jared there.
The sole surviving brother, Jason, the eldest, returned home Friday, and according to the Associated Press, may not be going back to Iraq:
CNN used an old tactic in the mainstream media’s play book - a person overcome by emotion - to drive home the point they wanted to make - that the only state that hasn’t been visited by President Bush is Vermont. In a segment during the 4 pm hour of "The Situation Room" detailing this apparent "snub," CNN chief national correspondent John King played a clip from an interview of Regina Gilbert, the mother of Kyle Gilbert, who was killed serving in Iraq four years ago. Gilbert fought back tears as she made her plea for a visit from the President.
In an August 19 post at PajamasMedia, journalist and bestselling author Richard Miniter delved into the question of "How the New Republic Got Suckered" in the case of the fabricated stories of military blogger Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Among the questions Miniter raised was if TNR's fact-checking operation is "structurally flawed":
Let’s go into the fact-checking department. Elspeth Reeve was one of three fact-checkers at the magazine.
Did she fact-check her husband’s articles? While it is hard to believe that an established magazine would make such an elementary error, so far no one at the magazine has bothered to address the question. That’s an interesting omission.
Here's something you don't see that often: The major movie studios are engaged in a bidding war over a book written by someone who served in the military and is...an outspokenly conservative Republican.
[T]here's a frenzied Hollywood bidding war going on today over the No. 1 book on The New York Times non-fiction bestseller list: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes Of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell. Studio toppers are interrupting their vacations to try to get this book which was sold to Little Brown by superagent Ed Victor for a seven figure advance.