In a careless attempt to get a rise out of their readers, mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and Esquire Magazine erroneously reported that the Navy SEAL credited with the assassination of Osama bin Laden had been unceremoniously stripped of health insurance following his retirement last September.
The story immediately went viral, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff from the Post and their massive followings on Twitter. Former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Phil Bronstein originally posted an 'exhaustively researched' article about it on Esquire's site. Upon its publication and online distribution however, some readers noticed just how rife with inaccuracies the story was. Former public affairs officer of the Department of Veteran Affairs Brandon Friedman was among them. (H/T - Twitchy)
In a lengthy article in March's Esquire "reported in cooperation with" the leftist-advised Center for Investigative Reporting, CIR Executive Chairman Philip Bronstein told readers that the unnamed Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011 was a year ago "wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care." According to Bronstein, the answer is (read these words carefully): "[A]fter sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation: Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family."
The "no health care" portion of that statement is inarguably false. Yet Bronstein, as will be seen shortly, stands by it. On Monday, Megan McCloskey at Stars & Stripes explained something which would be known to any journalist genuinely interested in finding out how the military's pay and benefits arrangements work (link is in original; bolds are mine):
Former Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas has written a long piece for The New York Times Magazine declaring that he’s an illegal alien and that he’s created a new advocacy group called Define American (“a project of the Tides Center”) to push for the DREAM Act that would provide permanent residency to illegal aliens brought to America as children.
Vargas, 30, lied to a string of media outlets about his immigration status with a fake driver’s license from Oregon. He came over from the Philippines at age 12. (Vargas told the truth to Post editor Peter Perl, a mentor, but he wouldn’t comment now.) In the Post story on this by Paul Farhi, Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti offered a no-comment on Vargas’s employment at the paper: “We will not comment on individual personnel matters out of respect for the privacy of our employees.”
Yesterday evening (late afternoon West Coast time), Phil Bronstein at the San Francisco Chronicle informed his readers that one of its reporters had been banned by the Obama administration:
The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.
White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.
As your humble correspondent has learned, writing humor can be very dangerous since it can easily backfire. Such was the case with a story written by the former Mr. Sharon Stone aka Phil Bronstein, Editor-at-Large of the San Francisco Chronicle. Just from the very title of his piece, "Should Obama have smoked crack?" you just know Bronstein was going to run into trouble. Some readers didn't know he was trying to be funny and were outraged. Other readers realized he was attempting to write humor but felt it was really lame. So here is Bronstein's backfiring humor attempt:
...His druggie past is not helping him shape the overarching grit of his public character nearly as much as it could be. Weed and cocaine? Who's going to be impressed with that, when his hugely successful contemporaries like Oprah Winfrey have the truly dark and evil specter of crack in their background?
...He needed some rock in that pipe of his youth. If he'd had a crack addiction then instead of an effete taste for powdered cocaine and pot, people might be a little more respectful of him now. It would have been an even tougher journey to the top. The big dog bite needs teeth sharpened by real adversity.
FNC's Bret Baier on Wednesday night highlighted how the former top editor at the hardly conservative San Francisco Chronicle wrote a blog entry (Tuesday morning NB post by Noel Sheppard), “Love or Lust, Obama and the Fawning Press Need to Get a Room,” in which Phil Bronstein suggested “the Obama-press dance is a more consensual seduction where, in the old-fashioned sense, we're the girl” and asked: “Is there an actual limit to the number of instances you can be the cover of Newsweek?”
Using that as a segue, Baier picked up on a quote first reported by NewsBusters as he related how Newsweek's Evan Thomas “provided yet another example of the mainstream media's presidential crush” when Thomas oozed: “In a way Obama's standing above the country, above, above the world. He's sort of God.”
When an editor of one of the nation's most liberal newspapers is disgusted by the media's sycophantic adoration for President Obama, it's a metaphysical certitude the press's behavior has so deviated from anything close to journalism that the entire industry should be put in a time out.