Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On Sanchez, The N&O Deceived Us

Readers Note: Portions of this post are cut and paste from a copy of General Sanchez's speech which was all in capital letters.
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Across the top of the McClatchy Company’s liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer’s October 13 front-page ran the headline:

Iraq a 'nightmare,' general says

A year after his retirement, Ricardo Sanchez, who led U.S. forces during the Abu Ghraib scandal, levels a broad, biting attack
The N&O’s story began:
In a sweeping indictment of the four-year effort in Iraq, the former top commander of American forces there called the Bush administration's handling of the war "incompetent" and said the result is "a nightmare with no end in sight."

Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, who retired in 2006 after being replaced in Iraq after the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal, blamed the Bush administration for a "catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan" and denounced the current addition of American forces as a "desperate" move that would not achieve long-term stability.
There’s a lot more in the story. It all flows nicely with the opening paragraphs.

The entire N&O story is here.

But nowhere in its report of Sanchez’s speech (full text here), delivered Oct. 12 at the Military Reporters and Editors luncheon in Washington, did the N&O tell readers Sanchez said to the journalists:
TOUGH REPORTING THAT RELIES UPON INTEGRITY, OBJECTIVITY AND FAIRNESS TO GIVE ACCURATE AND THOROUGH ACCOUNTS … STRENGTHEN OUR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND IN TURN OUR DEMOCRACY.

ON THE OTHER HAND, UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE ISSUED ULTIMATUMS TO SOME OF YOU FOR UNSCRUPULOUS REPORTING THAT WAS SOLELY FOCUSED ON SUPPORTING YOUR AGENDA AND PRECONCIEVED NOTIONS OF WHAT OUR MILITARY HAD DONE.
About half of Sanchez speech was like that: sharp criticism of unscrupulous reporting of the Iraq War by many journalists and news organizations.

A trustworthy newspaper would have told us that. The N&O didn't

Here’s more of what Sanchez said:
OTHER MAJOR CHALLENGES ARE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO BE MANIPULATED BY "HIGH LEVEL OFFICIALS" WHO LEAK STORIES AND BY LAWYERS WHO USE HYPERBOLE TO STRENGHTEN THEIR ARGUMENTS.

YOUR UNWILLINGNESS TO ACCURATELY AND PROMINENTLY CORRECT YOUR MISTAKES AND YOUR AGENDA DRIVEN BIASES CONTRIBUTE TO THIS CORROSIVE ENVIRONMENT.

ALL OF THESE CHALLENGES COMBINED CREATE A MEDIA ENVIRONMENT THAT DOES A TREMENDOUS DISSERVICE TO AMERICA.

OVER THE COURSE OF THIS WAR TACTICALLY INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS HAVE BECOME STRATEGIC DEFEATS FOR AMERICA BECAUSE OF THE TREMENDOUS POWER AND IMPACT OF THE MEDIA AND BY EXTENSION YOU THE JOURNALIST. IN MANY CASES THE MEDIA HAS UNJUSTLY DESTROYED THE INDIVIDUAL REPUTATIONS AND CAREERS OF THOSE INVOLVED.
Even if you’re a Democrat who worries that if America succeeds in Iraq it could be good for Republicans, don’t you think the N&O should have reported at least some of Sanchez blistering exposure of so much of MSM's Iraq War “reporting?”

Especially this:
THE DEATH KNELL OF YOUR ETHICS HAS BEEN ENABLED BY YOUR PARENT ORGANIZATIONS WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO ALIGN THEMSELVES WITH POLITICAL AGENDAS.

WHAT IS CLEAR TO ME IS THAT YOU ARE PERPETUATING THE CORROSIVE PARTISAN POLITICS THAT IS DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY AND KILLING OUR SERVICEMEMBERS WHO ARE AT WAR.
Don’t you agree the Bush-hating, Moveon.org types at the N&O should have at least reported General Sanchez said some journalists’ and news organizations’ partisan politics “are destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war?”

Sometimes I ask myself whether I’m too hard on the N&O and other such MSM news organizations.

But the N&O’s deliberate deception concerning what Sanchez actually said, which deception most other MSM news organizations also engaged in, leaves me thinking I’m not too hard on the N&O and other news organizations whose actions are, as General Sanchez says, "destroying our country and killing our service members.”

I’ll send N&O executive editor for news Melanie Sill and public editor Ted Vaden links to this post and invite their responses.

Both Sill and Vaden tell readers the N&O observes the very highest of ethical journalism and that its news reporting is fair and accurate. There are many devoted N&O readers who believe that.

You'll get a good idea of their journalism ethics and what they mean by fair and accutate if read the N&O's story here and General Sanchez's speech here.

Americans who want this country to survive and our troops to have as much protection as possible need to do things to lessen the influence of MSM and get the truth out there.

In the coming days I’ll be posting about things we can do to help make that happen.

The Sanchez story reminds of of how urgent and important that task is.

Hat tip: Mike Williams

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

John,

Great post. But I don't know if your blood pressure can handle Barry Sander's column, today.

Anonymous said...

Did they mention that Abu Grahib ended his career?

Did they mention that he had no criticism of policy, strategy, or tactics when McCain visited him?

Is this a new term: He is Swift Boating Himself?

-AC

scott said...

Both Sill and Vaden tell readers the N&O observes the very highest of ethical journalism and that its news reporting is fair and accurate. There are many devoted N&O readers who believe that.

Many fathers and mothers tell their young children wonderful stories about someone known as Santa Claus. There are many devoted children who believe that.

Then they get a little older and realize that Santa, as a real person, doesn't exist. Some stop believing altogether. Others no longer believe in Santa, the person, but continue to believe in what he represents.

Devoted readers of the N & O are just like 4 year olds. They believe the stories that Sill and Vaden tell them about the N & O, but they never reach the age where they finally figure out that those stories are not true.

The difference is the parents' stories about Santa are designed to bring an element of magic into their children's lives during the holiday season. There is a feeling of joy and happiness in the enterprise. Sills' and Vaden's stories that "the N&O observes the very highest of ethical journalism and that its news reporting is fair and accurate..." are designed to support an agenda. Nothing magical there; we must call them what they are ... lies.