Over at Hullabaloo, Tristero describes this conversation with a respected journalist about the manufactured smear of CBS reporter Lara Logan’s coverage of the Haifa Street battle:
Well, recently, I was at dinner with a friend who is a major journalist at a major media outlet in New York City. (I will not identify the person further, including whether my friend is male or female, or what kind of media s/he works for – video, print, or online). In the course of the conversation, I brought up the Lara Logan video and s/he said, with certain authority, “I know about that. Y’know, there’s a lot of controversy because she used footage from al Qaeda in the reporting.”
“Wha?” sez I, “I never heard that.”
“Yes,” said, my friend. “I was searching around for it and saw there was a huge controversy about her sources. That could very well have been the reason they didn’t broadcast it. After all, it’s not like there’s much reluctance anymore to hold back on damaging reports on the Bush administration.”
I promised to look into it. And I did. It turns out that Michelle Malkin and friends have been up to their old tricks again. You can read all about it at this link to Media Channel, but the short version: it’s a bullshit insinuation meant to smear CBS and Logan, who has done some of the finest network reporting on the Bush/Iraq war.
And it worked, My friend, a highly-respected journalist (and rightly so), was gulled into questioning Logan’s integrity.
The first frustrating thing about this is that there is no accountability from the right wing slime machine. Whenever they get something wrong or just make stuff up, they don’t pay a price: mainstream reporters don’t say, “You’ve burned me multiple times, I’m not listening,” or at the very least, they don’t “trust, but verify” (to steal a phrase). I really don’t know how to stop that–we can keep hounding the right wing slimers (like I did here), but they pay no cost for outright lying or for being so ideologically blinded that they ‘willfully distort’ the evidence. I’m open to suggestions.
The other frustrating thing is Tristero’s friend and Tristero’s response. I realize that one of the insidious things about wars is that, when unpopular, they divide friends and families, and I understand Tristero’s desire not to push his friend on this issue. But at some point the media that eats this shit up also has to be held accountable–and by accountable, I mean called out (either privately or publicly). Personally, I have friends in Iraq, and the feelings of someone who gets to sleep every night in his or her own bed at home hold very little concern for me, compared to the awfulness of Iraq. Until there is a cost to those who unquestioningly repeat the Mighty Conservative Wurlitzer’s lies even though previous experience should convince them otherwise, we won’t stop the Wurlitzer.
And good men and women will continue to die in Iraq.
Another related story: Of course, shit in human form like David Broder is quite capable of slandering the patriotism of Democrats without any help.