Patterico's Pontifications blog has done some stellar detective work on a particular L.A. Times story wherein the Times claims that U.S. forces attacked a town with an aerial strike that killed 30 Iraqis, including women and children. The Times also reported that widespread destruction resulted from this reported "bombardment".
A Times correspondent in Ramadi said at least 15 homes were pulverized by aerial bombardment and families could be seen digging through the ruins with shovels and bare hands.
Gruesome, eh? Problem is, the big story that the Times reported upon doesn't seem to have ever happened. As Patterico so ably demonstrates there was no "U.S. airstrike", no buildings were destroyed (perhaps damage to one, though), and, worse, no women OR children were killed. It does seem 30 were killed and there does seem to have been a battle between insurgents and coalition forces, but those killed were all men (read insurgents) and they were all killed by ground forces. No air support was utilized in this fight at all. Not even a helium filled birthday balloon hovered over this battle ground. Patterico has quite a long post filled with his investigation to disprove that Times' story. It is so comprehensive, I will not try to distill it here. Suffice to say, it is fantastic reading and is a must for those who want the truth about our efforts in Iraq. (Patterico's post is titled, Is the L.A. Times Repeating Enemy Propaganda?) Go read this revealing story. It'll make your blood boil. I will say one thing further, though. The biggest problem with the western MSM's reporting in Iraq is that they have NO ONE in the zone actually witnessing, filming, photographing, or reporting live from these events they are so willing to splash across the pages of our papers. The western MSM hires what are called "stringers" to do their in person, ground work. These people are invariably members of the propaganda arm of Hammas, Al Qaeda or any of many recognized terror groups there. These "stringers" take their doctored photos and their fake stories straight to Western MSM sources where they are printed up as absolute fact without a single effort by those western sources to check the facts, look for corroborating reports, or even ask the U.S. military for comment. (Extensively reported here on NewsBusters as Reutergate and Fauxtography, where "news" photos and stories have been faked) The MSM is undeniably unreliable with their reports on Iraq. But, is it out of the question to suspect they KNOW they are printing falsehoods against our soldiers and endangering their lives? Sadly, it is awfully hard to escape the conclusion that they are, indeed, fully aware that their "reports" are pure lies because stories of these so-called disasters in Iraq neatly fits in with their desire to lose this war. The MSM have taken an active hand in the efforts to destroy our war effort. It's fine to have an ideological bone to pick, but when stories begin to harm our soldier's moral and reputations, we have left the arena of discussion of policy and edged dangerously close to treason.