Seymour Hersh of “The New Yorker” has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq for many years. This certainly should come as no surprise to folks familiar with his name, his work, and his style of dangerously activist journalism.
On March 11, Hersh added a new wrinkle to his résumé by not only doing a radio interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, but also actually discussing what he believes is the American military strategy towards Iran including what he called "an intensive planning for an air strike" and "some sort of on the ground operation."
It is always interesting to me how a story can be published as if it is serious work, a story that almost seems plausible until you step back from it to realize that not a shred of proof to support the supposition was ever offered. After you're done reading it you realize that all you ended up with were empty phrases like "some say" or "many are" instead of any statistics, studies or other proof. Such is the case with the Washington Post's story titled, "War Causing Split Among Evangelicals". In fact, writer Julie Sullivan flat out admits that there is no proof for her supposition that “many” evangelical Christians are turning away from the war... but she postulates the premise any way.
No polling data show conclusively that opinion has shifted among conservative evangelicals.
This is only the fourth paragraph (the previous three being one sentence affairs) so you'd think she could just retire the piece right there. But, no we have to start right up with the "some say" routine.
On Friday morning, news broke that 15 British servicemen (eights sailors and seven Royal Marines) were seized by Iran. Not the regular naval forces of that country, mind you, but the Revolutionary Guard naval corps, a wing of the military closely controlled by the country's extremist Islamic clerics.
Happening as it did one day before the UN voted on new sanctions on the nuclear power-hungry, terrorist-funding Islamist regime, you'd think the story would be worthy of front-page coverage in the largest broadsheet in Washington, D.C., right?
Wrong.The story earned page A11 real estate in the Saturday Post and a follow-up story was buried below the fold on page A12 in the March 25 edition. [continued...]
The more things change, the more they stay the same. That was the focus of Bob Franken's report on CNN's "American Morning," which focused attention on the pork barrel spending proposals in the emergency funding bill for the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The key excerpt:
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: "With today's convening of the 110th Congress, we begin anew."
FRANKEN (voice over): "That was the rallying cry from the newly in-charge Democrats, the wheeling and dealing and hidden pork barrel spending would be no more. Fast forward just 10 weeks. Democratic leaders face their biggest challenge so far. The legislation providing $124 billion in war funding, combined with a troop pullout from Iraq next year. And they're using every tool at their command. The same tools they criticized the Republicans for using -- good, old fashioned pork."
"View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell displayed her disdain for opposing "views" when she shut off the show’s only non-liberal, Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Rory Kennedy appeared on the March 20 edition to promote her film for HBO, "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib."
Hasselbeck gently asked what our government should do to extract vital information from captured terrorists. Rosie jumped in and asserted "before you answer that" then proceeded to ask an unrelated question regarding a general’s transfer from Guantanamo Bay to Abu Ghraib. Elisabeth responded by noting that detainees at Guantanamo are allowed to pray five times a day, and are well fed.
At that point the "Queen of Nice" cut her off, stating that Elisabeth "can’t just blather on" her "opinion" and she needed to ask a question. Obviously offended, Elisabeth stated that she did ask a question when Rosie interrupted with her own question. Rosie said it was because Hasselbeck dared to imply that Abu Ghraib was a result of a few bad apples and not condoned by the government. Those beliefs are not allowed in Rosie’s world. The transcript of the exchange is below.
Video clip (1:40): Real (2.8 MB) or Windows (3.2 MB) plus MP3 (500 KB)
It has been argued for years that the media typically focus on images from Iraq and the war on terror which paint American and Israeli military in a bad light while always presenting the enemy as victims.
In fact, this effort often includes the doctoring of photographs as well as the staging of events in front of rolling cameras which will be broadcast or published by an antiwar press without the slightest investigation into authenticity.
With that in mind, the picture at the right represents a rather startling image of terrorism that media would never dare share with the American people. As the MEMRI Blog shockingly reported (h/t Charles at LGF, emphasis added):
The Washington Post highlighted Saturday’s anti-liberation of Iraq protest march to the Pentagon on the front page, splashing a large color photo of a crowd of leftist demonstrators over the headline "4 Years After Start of War, Anger Reigns: Demonstrators Brave Cold to Carry Message to the Pentagon, as Counter-Protesters Battle Back." Counter-demonstrators won an article and two photos of their own in the Post, but Post reporters repeatedly referred to jeering conservatives giving the leftists a battering of abusive comments. The Post used no ideological labels or explained the communist origins of the organizers of the ANSWER Coalition – unlike The New York Times, which did both in their Sunday coverage.
The lead sentence of the front-page Post article by Steve Vogel and Michael Alison Chandler mentioned that the "anti-war" protesters were "jeered along the way by large numbers of angry counter-demonstrators, but the rest of the front page was devoted to the left, especially the standard sympathetic rookie protester: 72-year-old Korean War veteran Paul Miller "making his first appearance at an anti-war rally" who felt "so bad for the young Marines who are getting their legs blown off and losing their lives."
So how many Gathering of Eagles (GoE) counterprotesters were in Washington yesterday, and how did their numbers compare to the Answer Coalition's protest count?
The New York Times (may require registration) reported "several hundred counterdemonstrators" (HT Michelle Malkin, who has the priceless quote of the day -- ".... the NYTimes relied on 'several veterans of the antiwar movement' to give them crowd estimates of the Gathering of Eagles. It's the domestic equivalent of MSMers relying on dubious Iraqi stringers to provide them with war coverage...." -- THWAP!)
The Washington Post, in its article about the protest, wrote of "thousands of counter-demonstrators."
A reader of the Washington Post wrote the paper today to tell editors they need to brush up on their military jargon:
Regarding the March 13 Metro section headline "City Council Considers Slavery Apology, Cadet Case":
Former Navy quarterback Lamar S. Owens Jr. is not a "cadet." He and all students at the U.S. Naval Academy are midshipmen. Midshipman is a rank in the Navy. Students at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., are cadets.
I would expect The Post to know this, given that the Naval Academy is in your back yard.
On the March 14 edition of "Imus in the Morning" guest and "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney discussed the possibility of a draft with Don Imus. In that exchange Rooney, like Senator Kerry and Congressman Rangel, implied that those who volunteer to serve do so out of desperation rather than patriotism.
DON IMUS: Tell me about your thoughts on re-instituting the draft.
ANDY ROONEY: Well, I think a draft produces a better army than the one we would have with all volunteers. Because I think you get average Americans if you, if you have a draft. And if it’s an all volunteer army, you get people who join up because of some problem in their own lives. They don’t have anything else to do, they don’t have a job, or they can’t find what they want to do, so they join the Army. And it doesn’t produce the best army.
I wonder if the MSM ever gets tired of trying to make evil look good? And if they aren't trying to make evil look like good, they are trying to soft peddle evil with a they-are-really-just-like-us analysis of evil’s actions. Such is the case today in the Boston Globe wherein writer H.D.S. Greenway equates Iraqi insurgents to being just like America's founding revolutionary generation.
In 'Surge' doomed to final failure, a badly garbled reading of history is foisted upon an unsuspecting reading public that culminates with H.D.S. Greenway boiling down the entire American Revolution to the claim that British soldiers were a "conquering force" in the Colonies and the Colonists were mad at them for it.
The AP is protesting a decision made by U.S. Military officials in Afghanistan claiming an oppression of a free press and saying there was "not a reasonable justification" for erasing an AP photographer's pictures taken of the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Barikaw, Afghanistan. The decision protested by the AP was made March 4th by officers on the scene of a bombing that killed 8 Afghans, wounding 34. But, is the AP correct that this was somehow an outrage against a free press?
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The U.S. military asserted that an American soldier was justified in erasing journalists' footage of the aftermath of a suicide bombing and shooting in Afghanistan last week, saying publication could have compromised a military investigation and led to false public conclusions.
"Bush Iraq Strategy Has No Option for Failure," read the headline on the Washington Post home page when I accessed it at 1:30 this morning. [UPDATE with some thoughts from Captain's Quarters tacked to bottom of post]
But is that just a statement of fact or a lament about a lack of a "failure option" for the war in Iraq itself. Here's the blurb that followed teaser headline:
Eager to appear resolute and reluctant to provide fodder for skeptics,U.S. officials rebuff questions about failure with a mix of optimism and evasion.
And what exactly does the Post find evasive? You need look no further than the first two paragraphs of Karen DeYoung and Thomas Ricks's front page March 5 article to find that it's a determination to win the war in Iraq.:
WASHINGTON, D.C.-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's demand to have regular use of a luxurious C-32 for flights to her San Francisco home and other official trips was publicly rebuked by the U.S. House today via the Cantor amendment to the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act (H.R. 547) by a vote of 385-23.
As originally reported in the New York Post, the aircraft has a game room, stateroom, showers, a communications center and seats 42 to 50 people and it costs taxpayers $22,000 an hour to operate, according to the Air Force.
"The request by Speaker Pelosi to have a private jumbo-jet is an extravagance that taxpayers should not have to pay for," said Cantor.
Before the 30-day window of Google News expires, let's see how much coverage the rebuke received (searching on "Pelosi rebuke" and "Pelosi rebuked," both without quotes; the first search was narrowed to February 7-11 to avoid hundreds of listings relating to the Iraq Troop Surge Resolution "rebuke," as spun by the press, of President Bush) as of 9:30 PM on Sunday, March 4:
The ABC News web site currently features a dramatic picture of a nuclear bomb blast (a cropped version of which appears at right) along with a story blurb that matches Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim that the U.S. is hypocritical to seek to prevent nations like Iran and North Korea from getting the bomb while we still preserve our nuclear arsenal.
The headline: "You Can't Build Nukes. But We Can" followed by this short story tease: "A decision has been made to update and redesign America's aging stockpile of nuclear weapons, even as the U.S. demands that Iran and North Korea not build up their own arsenals."
When you click on the actual AP report, written by Scott Lindlaw, readers see a much more neutral headline, "Bush Administration Picks Lawrence Livermore Warhead Design," and the story mainly focuses on the technical reasons for updating the country's nuclear technology. Deep in the story, however, Lindlaw cited critics who thought the U.S. was sending the "wrong signal" to the world's rogue regimes.
It's a tried and true tactic of interest groups seeking to influence public opinion -- and legislative policy -- on a controversial issue. Find the most sympathetic individual case you can, and get the media to focus on that, rather than on the broaders merits of the matter. A prime example of the phenomenon was on display today at Good Morning America. Congressman Marty Meehan [D-MA] has introduced legislation that would repeal the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell policy, with the result that gays would be able to serve openly in the military. Hearings are scheduled to begin soon.
ABC senior national correspondent Jake Tapper narrated a segment on Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva [ret], described as the first member of the US military seriously injured in the Iraq invasion, losing a leg and part of a hand. In conjunction with the debate on the bill, Sergeant Alva publicly announced, apparently for the first time today, that he is gay.
Tapper interviewed Sergeant Alva at the offices of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. Later in the segment, we heard from Dixon Osburn of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, another gay rights group that focuses specifically on gays in the military. It seems likely that one or both of these groups have identified Alva as a spokesman, then took his story to ABC, which ran with it.
As NewsBusters previewed here and here, CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired a segment Sunday dealing with a small group of American troops that have signed a petition called “Appeal For Redress.” Simply put, these soldiers want U.S. troops to come home from Iraq immediately.
CBS and 60 Minutes just can't help themselves. They keep letting their anti-military bias show. Case in point, Lara Logan (not exactly a fan of the military) is doing a piece on 60 Minutes this Sunday about Appeals for Redress. You remember Appeals for Redress? I did a post on them back in October 2006.
They present themselves as a "grassroots" organization when in fact they are another concoction of Fenton Communications. Jonathan Hutto, one of the main spokesmen, was a photographer for the Navy while in Iraq. He was an activist before he was an media darling, working with the ACLU and Amnesty International. In an interview with Revolution, the media outlet for the Revolutionary Communist Party, Hutto had this to say about his fellow soldiers...
Talk about creating a false dichotomy geared to discrediting a policy! The AP has generated a doosie in theirs titled "Rural America bears scars from Iraq war" and subtitled "Nearly half of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq came from a small town".
Their main thrust is that small towns are somehow seeing their sons fall on the field of battle in "unfair" numbers.
Across the nation, small towns are quietly bearing a disproportionate burden of war. Nearly half of the more than 3,100 U.S. military fatalities in Iraq have come from towns like McKeesport, where fewer than 25,000 people live, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. One in five hailed from hometowns of less than 5,000.
At first blush this might seem to be alarming. But, when one lets that first emotive rush fade and allows a little common sense to be applied to the situation, it doesn't seem so outrageous. The fact is, youngsters from rural areas are simply far more prone to joining the military in the first place and always have been. So it is a natural matter of strict statistics that more from those areas would fall in battle. After all, there are more of them.
So, what we are left with is a naked, emotive effort to cause some sort of outrage over the perceived unfairness of this statistic, even as there is no "fair" or "unfair" component to it. It is simply a fact.
A senior Pentagon official has rejected as false and misleading recent media headlines, based on an AP story, depicting military recruits receiving waivers as 'ex-cons.' An example is this story: Military Accepting More Ex-Cons. Said Bill Carr, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy:
"For those who have a felony waiver, not only are they not ex-cons, they are not felons for the most part. If one is charged with a felony offense, even if the charge is dismissed or the conviction is reduced to a misdemeanor, even under those circumstances the waiver still goes forward under our rule, simply so that we can be sure that the person, as a whole person, is going to be a good fit in the military. And so assertions that we're discussing ex-convicts are simply false, and frankly for a felony waiver we're typically not even discussing felons."
Carr made the remarks in a recent interview on rightANGLE, the TV show that this NewsBuster hosts. In comments made subsequent to the show, Carr observed:
"Society generally has a stereotypical view of felons as hard-core convicts. The majority of felons allowed to serve do not fit this stereotypical image. The press has headlined these as 'ex-cons,' yet in many of these cases imprisonment was not part of equation and the felony circumstance is a single instance and does not represent a criminal propensity.
NBC military analyst Ken Allard, a former army colonel, has resigned from the network, citing a general drift to the left at MSM outlet, especially following NBC's inaction over scurrilous remarks made by one of its other analysts, a leftist named Bill Arkin, that implied the military was full of "mercenaries" raking in "obscene amenities."
(This was the same Bill Arkin who has hated the military for years and released a book called "Code Names" in which he exposed classified military codenames to the world. Of course, the same media that has clamored about "treason" and "scandal" in the Valerie Wilson nonsense has no such compunction when it comes to this type of exposure of military secrets.)
After NBC failed to take action against its rogue analyst, Allard decided that he would, detailing why he has resigned in a column for a San Antonio newspaper:
Has anyone else noticed the network's precipitous retreat from journalistic and
ethical standards? Not only were no apologies given and no pink slips
issued for Arkin's outburst, but on his MSNBC show last week, Keith
Olberman went out of his way to defend this "valid criticism" of our
In keeping with their constant quest to saddle the USA with the fault for the growing unrest in he Middle East, the Washington Post has unleashed another article, replete with some efforts to blame-the-USA-first, titled "Across Arab World, a Widening Rift".
In the first paragraph, writer Anthony Shadid illustrates the traditionally intertwined nature of Egypt's Sunni and Shiite communities showing us how they have so easily coexisted in the recent past but quickly gets to the warnings of the danger of the Shiites "rising".
Naturally, this is the fault of the USA who has left Arabs with a sense of "powerlessness and a persistent suspicion of American intentions." The rise of unrest is also blamed on the "United States and others for inflaming it".
The AP has found a new way to attack TV's 24. They say that because of the depiction of character Jack Bauer's, shall we say, short-cuts in interrogating prisoners his ways have now infected the US Military. Absurdly, the AP is advancing the case, in "Does Jack Bauer Influence Interrogators?", that "there are indications that real-life American interrogators in Iraq are taking cues from what they see on television."
Are they indeed? Says who?
Predictably the AP reports these claims are from the "advocacy group Human Rights First".
I guess to show he is a real meterosexual, Milbank starts his piece off with an observation on Bremer’s choice of footwear and draws the wild conclusion that it must say something about his mental state.
Jerry Bremer wore black dress shoes instead of his trademark combat boots yesterday as he testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But except for that concession, the former American viceroy of Iraq had lost none of his swagger.
Holy Cross College Professor Jerry Lembcke's 1999 column, "We Are What We Remember" (HTML link), was originally published in the April edition of Holy Cross Magazine (original PDF of the entire magazine is here; Lembcke's column is on Page 74).
Lembcke's core claim is that "the image of the spat-upon veteran is mythical ....." This is a narrative that at least two Greater Cincinnati-area bloggers appear to have fallen for hook, line, and sinker (here and here; BizzyBlog's "debunk of the debunkers" post from earlier today is here; be sure to read the Updates and the comments). Apparently others around the country have also been taken in.
Lembcke's fallback position is that:
But while I cannot prove the negative, I can prove the positive: I can show what did happen during those years and that that historical record makes it highly unlikely that the alleged acts of spitting occurred in the number and manner that is now widely believed.
There's a teeny tiny problem with Lembcke's claim. As Former Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Bill Sloat notes at his Daily Bellwether blog, Jerry Lembcke's "search for evidence" apparently overlooked a couple of contrary items that were very close by -- so close that he would not even have had to leave his easy chair after reading the article he wrote. That's because Lembcke is debunked in the VERY SAME issue of the VERY SAME Holy Cross Magazine -- not once, but twice, by two separate Holy Cross alumni who served in Vietnam!
The first alumni vet is Jim McDougald '51. The second is Steve Bowen '65. The story, along with its individual portrayals, covers Pages 18-31 of the original publication. Extracts with the two spitting stories are these:
Blogs such as NewsBusters play a key role in helping the truth bypass the filter of the mainstream media. That was the view that Rear Admiral Mark Fox expressed to this blogger today.
I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call for bloggers with RADM Fox, a Silver Star recipient who scored the first Navy MiG kill in Operation Desert Storm, and who now serves as the Communications Director for MNF-I in Baghdad. Given NB's mission, when I had the to ask a question I naturally focused on MSM coverage of the war. I cited to Admiral Fox the headline and opening paragraph of the New York Times story on the recent battle in Najaf in which Iraqi-US forces killed over 200 enemy fighters and captured more than 400. Predictably, the Times sought to cast the success in the most negative possible light.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported Monday night from the Center for the Intrepid, the new rehabilitation facility for wounded soldiers in San Antonio, Texas. Cooper announced he had a problem that this facility was privately, not publicly funded, as if raising private funds for Iraq vets was outrageous and inappropriate. This prompted the CNN anchor to ask Hillary Clinton a softball question using a quote from partisan hack and unwavering Clinton supporter Paul Begala about how the government could fund Halliburton and tax cuts, but not its heroes. Hillary said: "And I say Amen." But Cooper unintentionally answered his own question later in the show as he fussed over bureaucracy stalling funds for Hurricane Katrina recovery.
Throughout the show, Anderson Cooper was horrified that this $50 million state of the art facility was funded through the generous donations of the American people rather than government funds. He inquired to Bill White, president of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund: "This center was $50 million in donations from corporations, and even individuals, school kids giving them dollars here and there. Why didn’t the government do it?"
Skip the boring bulk of Public Editor Byron Calame's latest innocuous, inside-baseball column and skip straight to the brief shirt-tail, "Drawing a Line."
Apparently some liberal Times readers complained that Times military reporter Michael Gordon had the bad taste to go on the PBS talk show"Charlie Rose" January 8 and say he wanted the United States to win the war in Iraq.
So, here is a question: Why is CBS using propaganda film originally posted on an al Qaeda website and claiming it is merely "CBS obtained" with no mention of the actual source for Lara Logan's report on The "Battle of Haifa Street"?
The anti-Iraq website called Iraqslogger posted a story about how CBS reporter Lara Logan is crying that CBS seems to have spiked her "Haifa Street" story. Logan has sent out a mass email to all her friends and colleagues in the world of journalism in hopes that they will pressure CBS to show her report that has not yet made it to TV. It has, though, appeared on the internet.