Saturday, April 19, 2008

Can McClatchy and the Raleigh N&O get worse?

The McClatchy News Co. and the Raleigh News & Observer tilt so far liberal/left that folks often say they don't see how either can get any worse.

Well, before you agree with those folks, take a look at McClatchy and the N&O's latest which comes to us via Mike Williams (Another excellent letter, Mike. You really should start blogging. JinC) - - -

Yesterday I noticed this McClatchy rant in the N&O. It starts off:

The war in Iraq has become "a major debacle" and the outcome "is in doubt" despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon's premier military educational institute….

And here is an excerpt from today’s editorials:

As to the report from the National Defense University, there is simply confirmation of the views of the Bush administration's congressional critics who have long disputed the wisdom of invading Iraq in the first place. And then there were the bumbling strategies that have had to be reconfigured after years of mismanagement of the war effort.

The editors of the Small Wars Journal noted the same article in the Miami Herald and posted this:

The Miami Herald piece on a NDU "occasional paper" (Choosing War: The Decision to Invade Iraq and Its Aftermath), quoted alternately as a Pentagon or NDU study, raised some flags here at SWJ. So we asked the author, Joseph Collins, to provide some context. His reply:

The Miami Herald story ("Pentagon Study: War is a 'Debacle' ") distorts the nature of and intent of my personal research project [my emphasis]. It was not an NDU study, nor was it a Pentagon study. Indeed, the implication of the Herald story was that this study was mostly about current events. Such is not the case. It was mainly about the period 2002-04. The story also hypes a number of paragraphs, many of which are quoted out of context. The study does not "lay much of the blame" on Secretary Rumsfeld for problems in the conduct of the war, nor does it say that he "bypassed the Joint Chiefs of Staff." It does not single out "Condoleeza Rice and Stephen Hadley" for criticism….

SWJ Editors Note: Unfortunately this is not the first instance - nor will it be the last – of highly selective use of source quotes and excerpts as well as distortion of context by members of the “mainstream media” in reporting on recent events and trends in Iraq…

And from Charles Bird at Red State:

This is just the latest example of McClatchy clinging to its narrative of downtalking Iraq despite the facts and despite the actual situation on the ground. A few weeks ago, in the wake of the Basra offensive, Leila Fadel of McClatchy clearly colored her reporting to proclaim Muqtada al Sadr the victor and Nouri al Maliki the loser. The reality is that the situation in Basra has improved since Iraqi forces entered the city.

Leila Fadel of McClatchy is an uncritical cheerleader of that Soros-funded study.

Leila Fadel (and co-journalist Mohammed al Dulaimy) was quick to report a mass slaying of 11 in Baghdad, "underscoring the fragility of recent declines in violence." The problem is that the story is a hoax.

McClatchy was quick to report that twenty headless bodies were found near Baghdad last June. Quote: "A car bomb parked at a crowded Baghdad bus terminal killed at least 25 Thursday morning, while 20 beheaded bodies were found on the banks of the Tigris River southeast of the capital…The beheaded remains were found in the Sunni Muslim village of Um al Abeed, near the city of Salman Pak, 14 miles southeast of Baghdad." QandO compiled other similar reports of the slaughter, but the problem is that the massacre never happened (McClatchy removed the link and, best as I can tell, replaced it with this).

Jay Price and Qasim Zein of McClatchy produced this ridiculous story, lamenting the loss of business for Najaf cemetery workers because of the declines in violence.

I know it's tough being in the newspaper business, but there could very well be a connection between their sloppy, inaccurate reporting and the fact that their stock price has dropped around 70% in the last twelve months.

We’ll give the last word on this to Ed Morrissey:

…what the Miami Herald didn’t report was that the study looked at a specific time period and has little bearing on the current status of the conflict. How do we know that? A blogger decided to do what the Herald couldn’t — journalism….

Does this remind anyone of the paper analyzing the Harmony documents? The initial reporting, based on a leak from the Pentagon, claimed that the paper showed no links between Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and al-Qaeda. When the entire report got released, it turned out to show very specific links to various terrorist groups, including two AQ organizations, one of which was Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

Perhaps the Herald [and the N&O] should rethink its approach to journalism. Wouldn’t it make sense to contact the author of a paper before embarrassing the media outlet with faulty conclusions? SWJ certainly thought so — and showed themselves superior to the layer of fact-checkers and editors at a major-market newspaper. Unfortunately, that’s becoming a dog-bites-man story.


Anonymous said...

Yes, John. Things can get worse.
Especially on YOUR blog.
You rail against others' journalism, yet you set up your joint here with a bunch of hypocrisy.
Why should the N&O consider responding to YOU?
Your tactics are no better than theirs. And we all know that you won't post this because you like to have a one-sided deal.
You post comments from, and are snookered by, an internet imposter.
And you have a few buddies who show up to stroke you.
I think YOU need some work! A lot of work!
Stop criticizing others because you've got your own problems.

Anonymous said...

Can McClatchy sink lower than Sulzberger's New York Times? When your "news" columns are so biased, you are insulting roughly half your audience. Is this marketing geniuis or madness?

Anonymous said...

anon 12:09 sounds like John Drescher.

Anonymous said...

12:09 is entirely incorrect. John's tactics can't be compared to those of a publication which defamed the innocent lacrosse players in 2006 and set the tone for Nifong's criminal frame of the players.

Kevin Gregory said...

I blogged about a McClatchy VP staying at the Umstead the same week N&O staff learned there might be layoffs in Raleigh.

Title: "Champagne wishes and caviar dreams - McClatchy VP slammed for staying in luxury hotel while employees are threatened with layoffs"