It started with this post at One Oar in the Water, comparing the LA Times' reporting of an incident at Ramadi to portions of a soldier's e-mail about the same incident.
Since it concerned a story allegedly seriously misreported by the Los Angeles Times, it seemed only logical for yours truly to ask Patterico, the blogosphere's designated LA Times fisker, to investigate further.
Thankfully, he did, and, as usual, he has done a splendid job. The LA Times' "Silent Solomon" Moore (you'll see why he gets the nickname from me when you read the post) does not come off looking good. Or maybe he should be called Solomon "Room Service" Moore.
There is no substitute for reading the whole thing, but here are Patterico's core findings:
One of the most extraordinary moments of the 2004 presidential campaign was when MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell went totally ballistic on one of John Kerry’s swift boat compatriots, John O’Neill, on the October 22, 2004, installment of “Scarborough Country.” Roughly two years later, O’Donnell was once again a guest of Joe Scarborough, and this time the object of his disaffection was Republican strategist Terry Holt (video here).
The discussion centered on Rep. Charlie Rangel’s recent suggestion that the draft should be reinstated. After playing a video clip of the Congressman, quite a melee ensued wherein O’Donnell called Holt and basically every person in the Administration that hasn’t served in the military including the President's daughters “cowardly warmongers”:
Reading the Globe's Nov 18th piece about vice President Cheney, one can palpably feel their fingers being crossed, their wishes being cast into the wishing well, that Cheney is on the outs with this supposed "big demotion" the paper sees for his immediate future.
In short, will Rumsfeld's abrupt dismissal finally diminish Cheney's unprecedented dominance of Bush? Or did the always cunning vice president read the writing on the wall and decide that it was time for his good friend Rumsfeld to go?
And typically, as with every story about the VP, one quotient missing in the analysis is the president himself, prosaically fitting into the the Cheney-as-puppetmaster story line the MSM has created for him. (Though, now they want to cast James Baker in Cheney's puppeteering shoes)
They even want us to believe that Cheney somehow strong-armed Bush into the Iraq policy and the War on Terror as if 9/11 never occurred.
It has been interesting, to say the least, to watch the MSM twist itself into knots trying to report this story of Pelosi backing the extremist Murtha for Party leadership over the objections of the so-called "blue dog" Democrats who were recently elected to Congress.
Pelosi has decided to ardently back the extreme anti-war activist, John Murtha (Dem, PA), for the Democrat's Majority leader position in a move that has 'baffled" many Democrats, especially those incoming Democrats who ran as conservative alternatives to Republicans -- as well as other incumbent moderate Democrats -- who are instead backing Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer.
Hoyer is well known on the floor not to be quite as extreme as Murtha is on a pull out from Iraq (Hoyer voted to give Bush the OK to go into Iraq in 2002, but he IS for gradual withdraw to be sure), but few Americans will have even heard of Steny Hoyer, he not being much of a "national" figure. On the other hand, anyone who had paid politics much attention knows that Murtha is against the war and is a vocal critic of President Bush. Murtha is well known for his many extreme positions and statements.
Let's trot out the AP's deepest, most tiresome wish that Iraq is the new Vietnam once more. And THIS time, all it takes is a Bush state visit to the country once enmeshed in internecine warfare to cause the AP to trot out all the old claims and prosaic comparisons.
In a long, presumptuous story Jennifer Loven, our intrepid AP reporter, makes all sorts of wild comparisons making her piece -- titled Bush Vietnam Trip Revives Iraq 'Quagmire'-- almost a parody of itself.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush's recent acknowledgment that the war in Iraq was comparable to the Viet Cong's psychologically devastating Tet Offensive in 1968 was hardly the first time a parallel has been drawn between the Iraq and Vietnam conflicts.
Questions about a "quagmire" have haunted the president's Iraq policy since before a single bomb fell on Baghdad.
The Boston Globe's recent article on Dick Cheney's "fate" after the recent elections is an interesting, if not subtle, attempt to make it seem as if the Vice President were somehow on his way out just like Donald Rumsfeld was. Even painting Bush as "forgetting" the VP was in a recent meeting intimating that Cheney is not included in running the country anymore.(Cheney doesn't need Rumsfeld anymore)
Here is the lead paragraph of the story:
WASHINGTON -- When President Bush and the two top Democrats in the House met with reporters on Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney was largely silent, sitting impassively with his characteristic half-smile. "All three of us recognize that when you win, you have a responsibility to do the best you can for the country," declared Bush, apparently forgetting that the vice president was there to make it a foursome.
Half smile? Is that another way of saying smirk -- their favorite attack word against Bush himself?
Perhaps you've noticed, the left really, really hates Donald Rumsfeld? They won't even let him go away in peace because this very morning the New Yorker has taken the time to give him at least one more kick.
In a piece by Jeffrey Goldberg titled,END OF THE AFFAIR, the New Yorker details the "heartsickness" that long time co-worker Kenneth Adelman has over his failed friendship with Donald Rumsfeld.
The New Yorker's piece beats up Rummy pretty good and ends with this kick in the head:
A few days later, Rumsfeld was out. Adelman is, apparently, still in. “I’m heartsick about the whole matter,” he said. He does not know what to make of the disintegration of Rumsfeld’s career and reputation. “How could this happen to someone so good, so competent?” he said. “This war made me doubt the past. Was I wrong all those years, or was he just better back then? The Donald Rumsfeld of today is not the Donald Rumsfeld I knew, but maybe I was wrong about the old Donald Rumsfeld. It’s a terrible way to end a career. It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.”
In light of the big Democrat win last week, United Press International is doing its best to start the ball rolling against our security with a report from the 11th called Leahy aims at restoring habeas corpus.
In this fawning report, UPI paints Leahy as the hero on the white horse "restoring rights" to those poor enemy combatants the evil, evil Bush administration has been so mean to. UPI is overjoyed that Leahy is riding to the defense of terrorists...
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is expected to take over as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and The (Calif.) Daily Journal reports that Leahy is drafting a bill to undo portions of the new law in an effort to restore habeas corpus rights for enemy combatants.
How nice of Leahy to "restore" something they never had in the first place!
The supposed rights of habes for enemy combatants never existed and still doesn't. The only thing that the last few Supreme Court decisions addressed is if enemy combatants can APPLY for habeas protections, NOT that they should automatically have them.
I’m writing this from the passenger deck of a C-5 somewhere out over the Atlantic, heading toward Rota, Spain. There were a couple of major plot twists before we were able to board. We had initially been told there simply might not be any available seats. As it turned out, that wasn’t quite it. Our plane was to be carrying an exceptionally heavy load of military goodies to be delivered to Iraq and was right at its payload limit. Once it was determined that we could be squeezed aboard, weight-wise [thank you, Jenny Craig ;-)], we learned that Corey, Dave and I were to be – the only passengers!
"Situation Room" host Wolf Blitzer interviewed incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday and continued the fawning media coverage of the liberal Democrat. His gushing tone can best be described by how he closed the interview:
Wolf Blitzer: "Let me just congratulate you and wish you the best of luck. This is going to be an exciting ride. We started off that you are going to be the first woman to be the Speaker of the House. So you have an enormous amount of responsibility that comes with the job, a little bit extra because you're making history."
Nancy Pelosi: "Well, I appreciate your saying that and I think one of my first acts as -- post-election, will be to become a grandmother for the sixth time. We're anxiously awaiting the birth of our grandchild, who is due the first week in November, so a good omen. We get ready for our new grandbaby as we get ready for a new Congress."
Blitzer: "Well, we'll wish you only the best on that front as well."
Pelosi: "As well, thank you. Thank you, Wolf."
Throughout the segment, which aired at 5:28pm on November 8, Mr. Blitzer’s tone seemed similar to that of an excited fan interviewing a celebrity.
Most people know Ted Rall as the highly acclaimed liberal cartoonist with impeccably bad taste as reported by NewsBusters here. What you might not have known is that he is also an op-ed writer.
With that in mind, on Wednesday, Rall published a rather disgraceful piece of hyperbole and vitriol that quite demonstrated just how far off the reservation this man has strayed. It was titled “Our Long National Nightmare Has Just Begun” (emphasis mine throughout): “I'm tempted, in the aftermath of the widest and most stunning electoral repudiation of Republicanism since Watergate, to mark the Democratic recapture of governorships, the House of Representatives (and probably the Senate) as the beginning of the end of Bush's fascism lite, and thus a long overdue vindication of what I've been saying about him since his December 2000 coup d'état.
Stick with this, folks, because it’s going to get worse:
The Washington Post certainly waited until the last-minute, the day before the mid-term elections, to run a story pointing out how soldiers in Iraq are committed to the mission and don't want the U.S. to leave, but they should get kudos for printing the article which contradicts the assumptions of much of the media's reporting on Iraq, “Soldiers in Iraq Say Pullout Would Have Devastating Results” -- though the paper's editors only squeezed it onto page A-13. From “Forward Operating Base Sykes,” Post correspondent Josh White disclosed that he talked to “dozens of soldiers across the country” and they feared “leaving Iraq now would have devastating consequences.”
White reported in the article published November 6: “With a potentially historic U.S. midterm election on Tuesday and the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its effort here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy.” In addition, “the soldiers...expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own.”
Today's Wall Street Journal online edition features an important essay by sociologist James Q. Wilson examining how the American press has turned into an unpatriotic and anti-war entity. He also explains why this matters: because educated people are likely to be swayed by the media's coverage of events, whether that coverage is accurate or not.
A few excerpts:
We are told by careful
pollsters that half of the American people believe that American troops
should be brought home from Iraq immediately. This news discourages
supporters of our efforts there. Not me, though: I am relieved. Given
press coverage of our efforts in Iraq, I am surprised that 90% of the
public do not want us out right now.
Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2005,
nearly 1,400 stories appeared on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news.
More than half focused on the costs and problems of the war, four times
as many as those that discussed the successes. About 40% of the stories
reported terrorist attacks; scarcely any reported the triumphs of
American soldiers and Marines. The few positive stories about progress
in Iraq were just a small fraction of all the broadcasts.
John Kerry shows us that his apology was completely hollow and that his comments about the military being dumb and lazy weren't really a botched joke afterall. Why else would his campaign website have this on the front page?
This isn't just a simple case of software picking up a feed with keywords, as the image above shows Kerry's people took the time to design the torn paper image of the key part of the editorial. It's a link to this editorial from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer entitled:
In another grand example of "journalistic" integrity, USA Today has declared the Iraq war a total failure even as we are still in the middle of it all. With that "truth" reported, I'd like to have their crystal ball to get the next lottery numbers, too.
Now, it is absolutely true to say that the peace in Iraq has been hard to win. It is a fair assessment to say that the Bush administration has made many mistakes in re-building and nation building in Iraq. But, it is not fair to say the efforts in Iraq have been a failure. This project the Bush administration has undertaken will not only take many, many years to develop but it will be many decades to see the full range of effects that the effort at democracy building in Iraq (as Bush duly warned us when he began it all).
Wednesday’s "Early Show" on CBS highlighted Senator John Kerry’s disparaging remarks about the American military in three separate segments, but instead of expressing outrage at Kerry’s comments, CBS seemed more concerned that the Republicans may use them for political gain in the midterm elections. While CBS omitted mentions that some Democrats have refused to campaign with Kerry and others have asked that he apologize, the network pondered if the outrage expressed by Republicans was an effort to "fire up the base" or simply a "desperate" attempt to change the subject.
Co-host Hannah Storm inquired of White House Press Secretary Tony Snow if President Bush’s demand that Kerry apologize to the troops was genuine or:
Laura Ingraham drove home the point this morning that Kerry's remark should have more resonance, not only because of his slurs on American soldiers going back to 1971, but also a pronounced liberal tendency to equate the military with the proverbial poor, uneducated, and easy to command, as the Washington Post once described the religious right. She cited (and Brent Baker originally reported) actor Richard Belzer on the Bill Maher show on HBO in March, who said it was "BS" to ask the soldiers their opinion on Iraq:
Belzer: They're not, they don't read twenty newspapers a day. They're under the threat of death every minute. They're not the best people to ask about the war because they're gonna die any second.”
"I'll see your disgruntled Republican and raise you an anti-war veteran, a pro-illegal-immigrant naturalized American and a Christian conservative who knows others planning to stay home."
That's how you might describe the bidding in the ABC/NBC game of Texas Talk 'Em Down. You might recall that last week I reported here on how NBC's David Gregory unearthed an Ohio bookstore owner, described as a "life-long Republican," who was thinking of voting Democrat.
That all you got, Today? Bookstore-owner high? Good Morning America beat that handily this morning with a full house!
Jake Tapper conducted the folks-in-the-Middle-American-diner segment, an obligatory bit of MSM pre-election shtick. ABC's chief DC political correspondent found himself out at Tommy's Diner in Columbus, Ohio, the same town in which Gregory disinterred his disillusioned Republican. Place must be a hotbed of disgruntled GOPers!
2,808 Americans have died in Iraq the past 43 months. Another 282 have met such a fate in and around Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Likely all are rolling over in their graves as fellow countrymen who sent them to war are threatening to boycott Election Day.
Particularly disheartening to these fallen heroes must be the conservative abstentions, as likely 90 percent of such Americans were in favor of sending soldiers to Iraq in March 2003, while probably 100 percent supported invading Afghanistan after 9/11. It must be unfathomable to these brave souls that the very people who rallied politicians to risk lives for these efforts are now turning their backs on the honored dead, and what they died for.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.—Thomas Paine
During an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Lynne Cheney turned the tables on the cable network and bluntly asked if Blitzer wanted the U.S. to win in Iraq:
Lynne Cheney: "Right, But what is CNN doing running terrorist tape of terrorist shooting Americans? I mean, I thought Duncan Hunter asked you a very good question and you didn’t answer it. Do you want us to win?"
Wolf Blitzer: "The answer, of course, is we want the United States to win. We are Americans. There’s no doubt about it. You think we want terrorists to win?"
The Vice President’s wife was referring to an October 23 segment with Congressman Duncan Hunter, in which he criticized the network for airing footage of insurgents killing Americans. Mrs. Cheney, who appeared on the October 27 edition of "The Situation Room," continued her harsh analysis of CNN. "Why," she wondered, "are you running terrorist propaganda?"
With all due respect to Rush (his rant is behind his firewall), Michelle Malkin (also at Hot Air in a vid with O'Reilly), Allah at Hot Air, and all the others who are justifiably "Venting" at CNN -- You're STILL missing a BIG, BIG point -- We aren't getting "the unvarnished truth" from our military, because they are constrained about issues relating to the safety of soldiers and their families HERE, IN THIS COUNTRY. Since they are limited in what they can show of our soldiers' exploits, it is incumbent on media outlets to be VERY restrained in what they will show of the enemy's.
Let me break it down as briefly as I can (more detail is at my post Sunday at BizzyBlog):
Imagine you're a leading news magazine. You've published a major story claiming that Afghanistan is a brewing disaster in which Al-Qaeda can once again roam with impunity. So bad is the situation, say you, that for purposes of your article you've dubbed the country "Jihadistan."
Now comes the Pentagon, and in painstaking, point-by-point fashion, refutes so many of your article's assertions as to call its overall validity into question. How do you respond?
A. In a rigorous, systematic manner, you contest the Pentagon's arguments and prove that you were correct in the first place.
How much of a network newscast depends on anonymous sources? And isn't it more suspicious when the anonymous sources all agree on the liberal-media thesis (actually, the John Kerry thesis) that the best we can hope for in Iraq is a stable dictatorship? Friday night's NBC Nightly News led with a British general saying all is lost, and notice how Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski presents Pentagon opinion constantly through anonymous sources (and a couple of prominent and regular Bush war critics). Apparently, all the finest military minds are unanimous, and a debate is unnecessary:
Brian Williams, beginning the show: "It was the shot heard around the world, and it came from the commander of the British Army. He is on the record as saying British troops have no business in Iraq and should come home. While he has since changed his stance a bit, his words sent shock waves through British forces. It wasn't what American forces needed to hear, either, as they are already facing an unraveling and violent situation on the ground, counter to their goal of democracy taking hold. We begin here tonight at the Pentagon with our Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski. Jim, good evening."
A phalanx of Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, claims the Bush administration is to blame for the N. Korean nuclear test. John McCain responds, pointing out that it was the Clinton administration's failed "agreed framework" that let Kim Jong Il merrily go about his bomb-and-missile-making ways.
So how does Hannah Storm of CBS' Early Show frame the state of play?
"Sen. John Kerry said that you must be trying to burnish your credentials for the nomination process, he's referring of course to your presidential aspirations. I mean, what do you say to those who say that you're [her voice breaking into a horrifed squeak] politicizing this issue?"
NBC anchor Brian Williams was criticized for skipping out on the Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony that he had agreed to MC. He had another engagement: a two-minute appearance on Saturday Night Live.
“NBC Nightly News” nabob Brian Williams came under fire yesterday after he reportedly beat a hasty retreat from his MC duties at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society soiree in Boston to appear on “Saturday Night Live.”
One event participant griped to the Track that the newsie “was there for the reception, then kicked off the program around 7:30 and was out of there by 8:30.”
With one of his inimitable montages, Rush Limbaugh documented today the way in which the MSM got hung up on a handshake - one the media reported didn't come off between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf during their recent White House visit.
Though WH spokesman Tony Snow has reportedly indicated that the pair did shake hands off-camera, the media tea-leaf readers seemingly imbue The Handshake That Didn't Happen with dire implications for the achievement of US goals in the region. Ironically, on the very same day, the MSM has yet to report on a major, positive development in the region - one that would bring a smile to the lips of even a Nancy Pelosi or a New York Times editorialist - were they not solemnly sworn to ac-cen-tu-ate the negative from now till Election Day.
The establishment news media places too much emphasis on the negative events happening in Iraq, so Defense Department employees need to side-step the media and get a positive message out to the American people, said Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
According to an article by www.CNSNews.com, Pace was asked by a soldier what the department is doing to confront what the soldier called the "negativity in the press [that] is absolutely detrimental to the morale of our forces."
He said the limited coverage now tends to focus on what "captures people's attention" and "not the schools being built."
He said the military is finding ways to have soldiers bring good news about the war directly to the American people. "One of the things we've changed," Pace said, "is as troops come home ... they are given the opportunity to take an extra day or two of leave if they will stay at home and just talk to their local communities, not from a script ... [but] tell the people in their hometown what their experience was like."
Soldiers and others from DoD, according to Pace, have the responsibility "to be very open, forthright about not only the bad, but the good and to present it in a way that our fellow citizens can understand and accept."
A soldierasked the Secretary to define just who is the enemy. In professorial, avuncular fashion, Rumsfeld carefully described how a limited number of Muslim extremists have hijacked their faith and sought to impose their warped vision on their co-religionists. That others were seeking to regain power lost when the United States deposed dictatorial regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. And that still others are simply criminal elements.
The New York Times and Washington Post are now attacking provisions of a defense appropriations bill that would ensure that military chaplains can pray in accordance with their own personal beliefs (i.e., pray in the name of Jesus). A Times editorial calls the bill “an attempt to license zealot chaplains to violate policies of religious tolerance.”
A Washington Post article goes a step farther – calling for calling for a “no prayer” policy at public events, according to an article in CNSNews.com, saying the “best resolution” (to its perceived problem) is to “discourage prayer…as inherently and unnecessarily divisive.”
There are moments when you wonder why, when some legislative initiatives are absolutely doomed to defeat, that liberal newspapers publicize liberal lobbying that’s totally in vain – except for the publicity. Thursday’s New York Times promised on its front page an article on how "gay groups" are once again pushing for a repeal of the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, instituted in the Clinton administration. One "centrist" group told the Times said the proposal has "zero chance" of passing, but Lizette Alvarez wrote a story completely promoting the pro-gay point of view. Shocking.
The gay group in question here is not the usual one, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, but rather the group called "Soulforce," led by Mel White, the gay former aide to Jerry Falwell. Alvarez set the stage right where the gay left wanted it, at a Wisconsin recruiting office: