Iraq: Winning war, losing in Sinistra Media
Recently, a group of retired generals and admirals went to Ft. Carson, Colorado, for a briefing on the Modular Brigade Concept to reorganize and re-equip the U.S. Army to meet the challenges of the War on Terror. One of the admirals posted a thoughtful perspective on both the Modular Brigade Concept and the flag officers’ interaction between three officers just returned from Iraq:
Clearly, the Army is carrying out the directives of Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, to become more mobile. Also, the Army, despite Sinistra Media ignorance, continues to meet or exceed its recruiting and retention goals.
The Admiral concluded: “I came away from the conference [feeling] we have incredibly talented and professional leaders… and we are making inexorable progress toward the goals of our nation. We’re fortunate to have courageous people… on the combat front, even though there seems to be a serious dearth of these same types of people in Congress and the mainstream media.
“We are losing the public affairs battle for a variety of reasons. First, in Iraq, the terrorists provide Al Jazeera with footage of their more spectacular attacks and they are on TV to the whole Arab world within minutes of the event….
“Second, the U.S. mainstream media (MSM) who send reporters to the combat zone do not like to have their people embedded with our troops. They claim the reporters get ‘less objective’ when they live with the soldiers and marines – they come to see the world through the eyes of the troops. As a consequence, a majority of the reporters stay in hotels in the ‘Green Zone’ and send out native stringers to call in stories to them by cell phone which they later write up and file. No effort is made to verify any of these stories or the credibility of the stringers.
“Third, stories filed by reporters very seldom reach the American public as written….TIME Magazine sent a reporter to spend six weeks with the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment as they were in the battle of Tal Afar. When the battle was over, the reporter filed his story, to include close to 100 photographs….TIME published a cover story on the battle a week later, allegedly using the story sent in by their reporter. When the issue came out, the guts had been edited out of their reporter’s story and none of the pictures submitted were used. Instead, they showed a weeping child on the cover, taken from stock photos. When the reporter questioned why his story had been eviscerated, his editors in New York responded that the story and pictures were ‘too heroic.’”
In 1970, in Cambodia, yours truly had a similar experience. We had fought into and captured the largest ammunition dump anyone had ever seen. The NVA had retreated behind a line imposed on President Nixon by Congress, so while we were quietly packing to return to South Vietnam, TIME Magazine sent us a young, female reporter. She was keen to get the: who, what, where, when, how and why of her story just right.
After she toured the mammoth NVA ammo dump, she showed me her story. She reported our Cambodian incursion had robbed the NVA of the means to conduct any more major attacks on South Vietnam for at least a year. History proved her correct.
Back in the States, I looked up her story as printed by TIME. It said our efforts in Cambodia were wasted. The editors used her by-line. But not what she wrote. She caved in, because I still see her on the big TV pundit shows.
So who are the MSM or, as I call them: the Sinistra (Latin for left) Media? Here’s a sampling of outlets numerous studies have shown to have a left-wing bias: New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CBS-, ABC-, NBC-News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting Service, Columbia Journalism Review, TIME, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2006. William Hamilton.