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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More Evidence of Media Deceit

The following article originally appeared in the Roanoke Times on Thursday, October 19, 2006.

Over their dead bodies
By Jerry Fuhrman

Deceit is probably too strong a word. It implies the intention to defraud. And, without evidence of intent, that might be a stretch. Laziness is part of it, though. Perhaps willful ignorance. Certainly sloppy journalism.

I'm reminded of the news account in July, accompanied by fantastic photos, of an ambulance that had been destroyed by an Israeli missile as it was being used to care for innocent Lebanese civilians in Cana. The photos clearly showed a gaping hole in the roof of the vehicle, centered in the large red cross that had been painted there to signify the fact that the vehicle was being used by non-combatants. Very damning stuff. And a complete fabrication.

It was only after the BBC, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and countless other organizations reported, in sober tones, the horrific circumstances of the incident that someone took the time to enlarge the photos and found that the metal around the hole in the roof of that ambulance was badly rusted, meaning the damage was clearly ancient. But the damage had been done, and the story was quickly forgotten as the news organizations involved moved on -- to another fabricated photo, this one of Beirut enveloped in billowing smoke. Shameful episodes both.

Which brings us to ABC News and its treatment of Southwest Virginia's very own 1173rd Transportation Company of the Virginia National Guard.

On July 27, ABC aired a report, and accompanied it with spectacular video, of an attack on a civilian convoy in the streets of a village near Balad, Iraq. The video, shot by the driver of one of the supply trucks in the convoy, clearly showed the line of vehicles coming under assault, followed close on by the disabling of one of the trucks, and the cold-blooded execution of one of the American civilians. Disturbingly, the video also seemed to show a 1173rd Humvee fleeing the scene of the fighting once the escort came under attack, leaving, as reported by the driver and by correspondent Brian Ross of ABC News, the civilians in the convoy to their fate.

In ABC's report, Ross asked the driver, Preston Wheeler, who narrated the video: "You were abandoned?" Wheeler's reply: "Yes, sir."

To many of us who watched the video at the time, it was clear that there was more to this story. In the first place, the video distinctly showed the Humvee that was reported to have abandoned the field to have, instead, simply moved forward with the lead trucks. And one was prompted to ask the obvious: If the driver was left alone to die, why wasn't he dead?

It was only after the broadcast of the incriminating account that the rest of the saga became known. It turned out that Wheeler's truck was being protected all along by other members of the 1173rd throughout the attack, men and women, America's finest, who heroically and selflessly risked their lives to save his.

What's most galling about this, beyond the gross misconceptions created by the report, are the excuses made afterward. In a feeble attempt to "provide the opportunity to respond," ABC noted in the report itself that the Army was "unaware of the incident" and could therefore "not comment."

When a far more factual account of the events that occurred emerged, ABC reacted with all too familiar weasel words: "The report accurately portrayed Wheeler's experience during the ambush." Other news outlets and editorial pages around the country repeated ABC's response and many tried to blame the military for the inaccuracies, writing that, had the Defense Department been more cooperative and less secretive, the full scope of the incident would have been revealed and there would have been a more balanced report provided.

Sure there would.

We often hear people on the left saying, rather incongruously, "We support the troops but not the war." We now have another glaring example showing how delusional -- or deceitful -- they are. ABC News attempted to destroy the reputations of soldiers who had risked their lives in mortal combat in order to, once again, denigrate our actions in Iraq. That is without question.

Here's to the 1173rd. No greater story of heroism and devotion to duty has ever, finally, been written.

You Want More Of The Same?

Nobody personifies the Republican party that went down to humiliating defeat in the recent election debacle better than does our Senator John Warner. He is a holdover from an era when countryclub types held sway and proved through their actions to be, when it comes right down to it, hard to distinguish from Democrats. The man has a record:

John Warner over the years has been accepting of certain tax increases (though not the sweeping increases that the Democrats have proposed). And not just on the federal level. He is on record as supporting a transportation tax increase here in Virginia.

Warner is willing to dilute the 2nd amendment (but perhaps not gut our right to keep and bear arms completely as the Democrats are hell-bent to do). He voted for the Brady Bill and to close John McCain's mythical "gunshow loophole."

He supports affirmative action.

He supports the Democrats' pet project - the lavishly government-funded National Endowment for the Arts.

He is pro-abortion (though he's not as fervent and zealous about the killing of America's little children as are the Democrats).

Warner has a shameful history of intruding on the side of Democrats in certain election contests here in the state of Virginia, including those involving Mike Farris, a highly qualified candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1993 who, it was rumored at the time, was too close to the religious right for Warner, and that of Oliver North, who apparently was too close to the American people, the overwhelming majority of which adored him at the time, in 1994. In both races, with Warner's help, Democrats won.

He supports an increase in the minimum wage (just not as high an increase as the Democrats have demanded).

He sides with the Democrats with regard to legislation to expand hate crime laws (an affront to libertarian ideals in themselves) to include sexual orientation.

He sides with the Democrats on embryonic stem cell research.

For this we should vote for a Democrat. Send up the right candidate, and I'm prepared to do just that.

I bring all this up for a reason:
Sen. John W. Warner hints at sixth term
By Carlos Santos, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

CHARLOTTESVILLE - Sen. John W. Warner is edging closer to seeking election to a sixth term in 2008, reiterating that experience in the Senate is needed with the nation at war. (link)
We should appreciate his experience. What we've experienced from this guy over the years has been betrayal, opposition, a willingness to throw us over the side to get along with his buds up in DC, and that dangerous patrician mindset that allows for Democrats to make outrageous demands and Republicans like Warner to be willing to always, always meet them halfway. And halfway. And halfway ...

You all want Democrat-lite? Vote for Warner again. And watch your national party, a once-proud conservative party, the party of Reagan, sink further into obscurity.

Not me. Not in this lifetime. I know we can do better than John Warner.

There'll Be No Christ In Christmas

It begins. The city of Chicago, run by Democrats since Christ was a teenager, has asked that Christmas not offend non-Christians:

'Nativity' Booted From Ill. Holiday Fair
By Don Babwin, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- A public Christmas festival is no place for the Christmas story, the city says. Officials have asked organizers of a downtown Christmas festival, the German Christkindlmarket, to reconsider using a movie studio as a sponsor because it is worried ads for its film "The Nativity Story" might offend non-Christians. (link)
We certainly can't be offending non-Christians, a group comprising about 10% of America. No, the twits who run Chicago find it more acceptable to offend the 90% of America that still equates Christmas with Christ.

By the way, wasn't the homegrown Islamist al Qaeda terrorist who was convicted of attempting to blow up a commercial jetliner and kill hundreds of passengers from Chicago? Was anyone there offended by that? Have the city employees there have nothing better to do?

They Turn To The Super-Legislature

The American people have given a big yawn to Al Gore's global warming scare tactics. Congress has been even less interested. Notably, a Democratic-run Senate, at a time when the White House was in the hands of the Democratic party, was so put off by the notion that humans were causing the planet to warm and even more displeased by scientists' call for the radical remodeling of our way of life that it rejected out of hand Crazy Al's Kyoto global warming treaty and refused to even vote on it.

Well, that didn't stop the rabid left. They know where to turn when they need laws favorable to their side written. The courts:
Global Warming Goes to Court
New York Times editorial

A group of 12 states, including New York and Massachusetts, is suing the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to properly do its job. These states, backed by environmental groups and scientists, say that the Clean Air Act requires the E.P.A. to impose limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted by new cars. These gases are a major contributor to the “greenhouse effect” that is dangerously heating up the planet.

In a friend-of-the-court brief, climate scientists from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Stanford University and other respected institutions warn that “the scientific evidence of the risks, long time lags and irreversibility of climate change argue persuasively for prompt regulatory action.” The Supreme Court can strike an important blow in defense of the planet simply by ruling that the E.P.A. must start following the law. (link)
"The Supreme Court can strike an important blow in defense of the planet." It's come to that.

We've allowed it to come to that.