December 12, 2006

More Fine Distinctions From the Drive-By Media

Hatched by Dafydd

Take a look at this Reuters headline and see if the same thing catches your eye as caught mine:

U.S.-led raid, suicide bomber kill at least 12 Afghans

My first thought was, whose brilliant idea was it to allow suicide bombers to embed with American military forces? But somehow, that didn't seem to be very plausible. Scratching my brain, I read the lede graf (note the cool journalistic buzz words I incorrectly lumped together):

U.S.-led troops killed at least four people, including a teenage girl, in a raid in southeastern Afghanistan on Tuesday and a suicide bomber killed eight more in the south, residents, officials and coalition forces said.

And at last -- I'm kind of slow, as by now you must have observed -- I realized that what was going on here was that Reuters had casually conflated deaths from an American attack on Taliban militants with deaths caused by a suicide bomber five provinces away. (Evidently, I'm not the only one incorrectly lumping things together.)

Suppose the cops in St. Louis had shot a suspect on September 11th, 2001. I suppose Reuters would then have written, "Metro Police, hijackers kill nearly 3000."

Reading deeper, it appears that once again, we have a conflict of witnesses:

Hours before the blast [approximately 60 kilometers away and completely unrelated to the American action], U.S.-led forces killed at least four people in the southeastern province of Khost where the Taliban and their Islamic allies are highly active.

But there were conflicting accounts about who was killed in the pre-dawn raid in Dornami village.

Residents say the U.S.-led force, backed by Afghan militias, broke into a house, drawing fire from the occupants who thought they were thieves. Four people were killed and some seven wounded -- all of them civilians, they said.

The U.S.-led coalition said in a statement the raid killed five people -- four suspected terrorists and a young girl. The troops requested the surrender of those in the compound.

"The suspected terrorists refused to comply with verbal warnings and began firing," the statement said.

Once again, the claims of completely anonymous, unknown "witnesses," who could be anybody (including conspirators with the targets of the raid), are thoughtlessly placed on the same level of trust as the official statement from a known military spokesman, who is easily contacted for follow-up information or evidence. "Hey, it's he-said, she-said, folks. We can't pick a side -- we're journalists!"

This happens all the time, and it's a major reason why the American people are under the false impression that nothing good is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan: the elite media will take the word of anybody, even known prevaricators like Green Helmet Guy -- even entirely ficticious police lieutenants -- so long as said "anybody" is willing to accuse American forces of indiscriminate, reckless slaughter, war crimes, or crimes against humanity.

If Fang the Wonder Dog barked out an accusation, Reuters would run with it.

President Bush has got to become more active in countering the propaganda from the elite liberal press, something creative and unexpected -- not just having Dick Cheney pooh-pooh the story on Beat the Press:

  • White House teams should fan out across the country with presentations to Kiwanis and Elks clubs, showing undeniable examples of media lies and distortions in service of the Democrats;
  • Eye-grabbing, "Vent"-sized YouTube videos should be launched, a new one every week or so (hire Michelle Malkin to produce them, and the best should also run throughout the year as commercials);
  • Fun, little interactive web pages should be put up under a memorable URL (like, which is available) allowing viewers to compare reality, as told by soldiers who were there, with the AP, Reuters, and NYT/WaPo/LAT/BG biased, funhouse-mirror version.

This vicious, anti-American propaganda (during wartime!) has long since passed the phase of merely giving aid and comfort to the enemy and entered the mad realm of existential societal immolation. It's as if the media want us to lose the GWOT, so that they can be violently dismantled by the jihadis the way the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas.

It's time for all the madmen to be sent back to their cells, and the sane to recapture the free press.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 12, 2006, at the time of 3:46 AM

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The following hissed in response by: hunter

I like the idea in principal. There ahs to be a pushback against this sort of enemy enabling. But I do wonder if the MSM would not just step up their equivalent of holding their fingers in the ears of the American people and shouting really loudly? At every step of this war, they seem to simply get louder in their support of anti-American forces.
Frankly I believe everyone knows at some level we are engaged in a ferocious struggle which at this time ahppens to be in slow motion. I think a lot of the anti-American posturing is from people who are afraid of the implications of what this great struggle really calls for if the side of freedom and liberty is to win.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 6:49 AM

The following hissed in response by: LarryD

A more potent weapon, if we can only deploy it, is ridicule. These practices need to not merely be criticized, but mocked. Imagine the jokes and skits these incidents provide the grist for.

Narcissists have a low tolerance for criticism, being the butt of jokes will make them apoplectic.

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 8:18 AM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

Larry D,
Good point- the devil cannot stand to be mocked.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 8:55 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

I agree completely with your sentiment, and if ridicule will stop these despicable stories then pile on, by all means!

What's astounding is the parrot like functioning of the MSM-- Rueters or AP reports something, and ABC follows right along, then the LA Times, CBS radio etc etc. Ridicule is a difficult tool to use when it's the whole industry you're after.

The industry is just plain lazy, and oh so willing to publish anything at all even if it's pure enemy propaganda. There's no fear of being held accountable.

Bring down AP and we'll attract some attention.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 11:11 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

How about a Washington press conference each day, chaired by Dennis Miller. The purpose would be solely to mock the stunning stupidity/perfidity of the press.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 11:33 AM

The following hissed in response by: Texas Jack

Problems: First, the President and Vice President do not have time to be running around whacking all of these little moles that pop up. They have more important work to do, and we all know just one or two speeches will not do the job. Second, while it's obvious to you and me, fortunately it's much harder to prove evil intent to twelve good citizens in a jury box. Hey, I'd love to see the editors (and some of the reporters) of the old Grey Whore of New York buried about ten feet under the jail, but per the Constitution I swore to preserve, protect, and defend against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic, we can't just grab them and throw them in the hole.
What we can do is more or less what we are doing. Our friends Dafydd, and Captain Ed, and Michelle, and many others let us know what's happening. We can write letters to the editors, and cancel subscriptions, and if we know somebody at the local paper or TV station, we talk to them about the garbage in print and on the air. Call or write your congress-critter about finding and firing the leakers. If he's one of them, work to get him replaced, don't just sit at home and grumble. Dafydd has some good ideas (not the White House teams and the Democrats; that just becomes politics as usual) about answering the Old Style Media. We need to put them to use.

The above hissed in response by: Texas Jack [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 12:02 PM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

By the way, slightly off-topic, but the NYT reports the Afghans recently captured a suicide bomber and the man claims the "school" where he and others of his ilk train is being financed by this guy. Musharref should be making a list, and checking it twice.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 12:31 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

It's time for all the madmen to be sent back to their cells, and the sane to recapture the free press.

Too late. Perhaps it's time to free all madmen, and open the doors of all American to speak.

The Sane World *BAFFLES* the to speak.


The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 5:41 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Excellent catch, Dafydd. I excerpted and linked at CENTCOM says AP’s "Iraqi police source" isn’t Iraqi police -- Part 16 (Yes, I realize this was Afghanistan but it all fits into the same big picture.)

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2006 11:32 PM

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