Sunday, June 11, 2006

Who's being dishonest, now?

Paul Mulshine, a columnist for The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.), properly calls bullshit on Glenn Reynolds for trying to paint reporters as insufficiently patriotic for -- and we’re being serious here – not clapping following the announcement of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. We documented the atrocities, but not the clapping issues, previously, here.

Today, Prof. Reynolds responds to Mulshine and offers a snotty, whiny and laughably weak apologia.


Hm. And we wonder, how so?

But wait. Before we explore this topic further, let’s understand the context. Glenn Reynolds is, has been, and will always be a tireless passive-aggressive documentarian on what he sees as the insufficient patriotism of the press. He has whacked this drum so loud and so many times, it has given him tinnitus.

For instance, in the aftermath of the Koran-Newsweek imbroglio last year Reynolds wrote: “people may be forgiven for doubting the patriotism of many folks in Big Media. And there's evidence that they should.”

He then goes on to link to a noted right-wing blogger who “outs” a “source” on the Newsweek matter. Then, finding out she published the name of the wrong person, issues an “oops.”

I don’t know if that’s patriotic, but it sure is despicable.

What else?

Well, don’t you know, reporters are traitors who want us to lose the war?

UPDATE: Michael Barone writes that it's all the bad news that's fit to print. He also asks: "How much coverage would the press have given a World War II-era Cindy Sheehan who camped outside Hyde Park or Warm Springs demanding to meet with President Roosevelt?"But back then, the press wanted us to win.

By the way, did you know that reporters in Iraq want us to lose?

Now, all of this is a pretty long windup to Reynolds’s post today, which reads, hilariously:

When you [read my post], you'll see that the mention that it was Iraqi reporters, not U.S. reporters, who were cheering was there as a correction to Howard Kurtz, who was quoting a report of cheering reporters as evidence that the U.S. press was properly patriotic.

Eeks. Where to begin? First of all, I also encourage you to read that post, which documents the horror (The Horror!) of The Today show actually interviewing Joe Biden the day after Zarqawi’s death and reporting on the remarks of the father of a man beheaded by Zarqawi. He interprets these actions as meaning the press wants to hurt Bush. Really, he does. He then discusses how the press “empowers the terrorists,” and laments that he has to dwell on this stuff at all.

And so, in his column today, Mulshine focuses on the clapping issue. Any cursory reading of Reynolds's post will show, as Mulshine does, the repeated bludgeoned themes of InstaPundit. Media is the problem. Media is rooting for us to fail. Media is losing the war. And no, Reynolds was not just writing to make a "correction" to Kurtz’s column, it was to slap around reporters for not being up to his perceived level of necessary patriotism. This is what he wrote:

STILL MORE: Bad news for the press, though. Howard Kurtz goes out of his way to note that "Loud applause broke out among the reporters" [the phrase does not appear in the article any longer - JM] when Zarqawi's death was announced. That should be a dog-bites-man story, but Howard seems to know better. (Would it have been news if reporters had cheered the death of Heinrich Himmler in 1943? I doubt it.)

Unfortunately, it appears that there's even less to this story, as NBC's Richard Engel reported that it was Iraqi reporters who were doing the cheering. That really is a case of dog bites man.

You read that and tell me it isn’t a smear against the patriotism of the reporters gathered there. To argue otherwise would be, well, dishonest.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:17 PM

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