Monday, December 05, 2005
Donald Rumsfeld, media critic
I don’t think we can close a discussion on Iraq without mentioning the media coverage and the current political debate that’s taking place.
Recently, a member of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association reported on the intense discussions within the A.P. over whether or not their coverage of Iraq has been slanted or fair. For my part, almost every time I meet with troops, I am asked the same question: they ask why aren’t the American people being given an accurate picture of what’s happening in Iraq?
We have arrived at a strange time in this country where the worst about America and our military seems to so quickly be taken as truth by the press and reported and spread around the world -- often with little context and little scrutiny -- let alone correction or accountability after the fact. Speed it appears is the critical determinant. Less so, context.
Recently there were claims by two Iraqis on a speaking tour that U.S. soldiers attacked them with lions. It was widely reported around the United States. It is still without substantiation. And yet that story was spread across the globe. Not too long ago, there was a false and terribly damaging story about a Koran that was supposedly flushed down a toilet in Guantanamo, and in the riots that followed in several countries, some people were killed. And a recent New York Times editorial implied that America’s armed forces -- your armed forces -- our armed forces -- use tactics reminiscent of Saddam Hussein.
So I suggest -- and I take for granted the good intentions of the people in the media -- I suggest that we ask: how will history judge -- if it does -- the reporting some decades from now when Iraq’s path is settled?
He's worried how history will judge the press? The press? A man who says he can't be bothered to worry about things in Iraq because it's "4,000 miles away" is worried about how the press will be judged for posterity? What a lunatic.
I might add that this speech sounds like it was ripped directly from a Rush Limbaugh broadcast.
[via the Corner]