Washington comPost borrows page from CBS News
You know, sources "too good to check"? The post at the American Thinker gives the relevant excerpts and timelines, and I encourage you to read it. Here's the summary:
Jessica Lynch was on Capitol Hill to talk about her experience in Iraq as a POW and subsequently as a media darling. This article from the Charleston Daily Mail typifies the coverage given to this topic by the media for years now. It portrays Lynch as a victim of military propaganda that pushed her forward as a hero.
The recent hearing was to cover Lynch's 2003 kidnapping and rescue in Iraq, which the Department of Defense painted as a story of heroism, despite a differing account from Lynch.
There are two facts that get left out of this type of reporting:
a) Jessica Lynch is a hero just by serving her country whether she fired a shot or was knocked out immediately during the ambush that injured her severely and
b) the story of her shoot-out with Iraqi forces was not a product of the US military but of the US media.
The US media created this recounting of her exploits from vague, unofficial statements by "undisclosed officials" and having been revealed as rumor mongers started looking for someone to blame. Who else would they pin it on but the US military?
We all know it is hard to prove a negative, in this case that the US military did not create the shoot-out scenario reported by the media. So we have to instead ask questions. If the US military did so, who specifically did it? Do we have a name in all this media hype about the misleading Pentagon reporting? Where was the claim first made? Who was the source?
(Proof that the Washington Post was the source here)
So let's get this straight, The Washington Post single-sourced this story from one official that they couldn't even identify. Ask yourself why they couldn't identify a military official praising a soldier. Is that really a secret? This isn't a whistle blower or Bush Administration insider. It would more than likely be an officer or NCO at the tactical operations center if this person existed.
So why couldn't The Washington Post name the source? The answer is obvious; because the reporters don't even know who it was, or if the incident even occurred. It sounds very much like one person's ruminations in passing, chatting about rumors from unofficial sources. Then The Washington Post ran with the information despite army officials warning them about the veracity of such rumors. And this is the military's fault? Are you kidding me?
Isn't the media supposed to be superior to citizen journalists because of all the editorial safeguards and fact checking? But yet in this reporting, one unidentified source who may indeed be a fiction - a literary device to whom to attribute overheard conversation - trumped the military spokesperson. I challenge The Washington Post to identify this source so that this person can be questioned in the current proceedings.
Allahpundit quips that an alternate headline could be "Media outraged at military for not doing more to prevent media’s awful journalism."
Labels: media bias