In the '70's TV series Kung Fu, David Carradine's Kwai Chang Caine, affectionately known as 'Grasshopper', is told by one of his masters that when he is so graceful that he can adroitly walk upon the rice paper without leaving a trace, his learning will be complete. He will then be ready to wander the world imbued with wisdom, powered spiritually, and armored impervious by the Shaolin arts. The more I read, hear and see of what emanates from the liberal MSM and the foreign press, the more I get the feeling that they demand of the United States a degree of perfection and aplomb that would make Grasshopper green with envy. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
Reading the Washington Post op—ed 'Assault on the Media' at the suggestion of fellow contributor Ed Lasky, I once again find myself literally flabbergasted by the arrogance and prejudice of one of our major newspapers. The article opines the inappropriate behavior of the Bush Administration in chastising Newsweek for their, as the Post asserts, not—quite—so—sloppy reporting regarding Koran flushing.
Let's start, as is usually prudent, with the first sentence:
So it turns out that the FBI has documents showing that detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, complained about the mistreatment of the Koran and that many said they were severely beaten.
'So it turns out...' We knew it all along. We could have told you so. Don't ever believe any government denials. They're all liars. Somewhere down the line the MSM will be vindicated. And what's the proof? FBI documents showing complaints. Complaints by enemy combatants who 'said they were severely beaten' and the Koran mistreated. Combatants instructured to lie about mistreatment, should they be captured.
Where were these journalists during the exhibition of the 'Piss Christ'? — that degrading image of the crucifix resting at the bottom of a pool of urine. Why this deference to the faith of the advocators and perpetrators of beheading and bombing? These people are, for the most part, treated with kid gloves and visited by the International Red Cross — right?
But the Post assumes that their complaints are credible. If they don't, why is it there in the first sentence? One must assume that the topic sentence contains the topic. At least that's what I recall from my creative writing course. Oops! Maybe that's the problem. This isn't supposed to be a lesson in creativity. Second sentence:
The documents specifically include an allegation from a prisoner that guards had "flushed a Koran in the toilet."
This now forms the basis for justifying the Newsweek story that, if it didn't incite, at least furnished an excuse to a radical Pakistani former cricket star, Imran Khan, to incite his own riots that eventually led to the deaths of sixteen persons. An allegation by a prisoner suffices to impugn the United States government and graciously furnish the Islamabaddies with, as if they needed any additional, excuses to defame the Great Satan and rally the troops to Allah's cause. Even if the story were true, what—in—the—world is the compelling reason for giving it this play? Can there be any reason other than to just bad—mouth the Administration?
Even more telling is that once the story is retracted, Newsweek remains 'neutral' as to whether or not the allegation is, in fact, true or false. And they do so on camera for that bastion of journalistic integrity and truth—mongering, Al Jazeera, network to the Holy Warriors!
Putting things into perspective, the Post describes how the Administration reacted to the original Newsweek story:
But, it's also clear, to be charitable, that not all was well in Guantanamo. That's why the administration and its apologists —— more about that word in a moment —— went bonkers over the Newsweek story.
Bonkers? How many did Administration and apologist rioters kill? Unless I've missed something here, the body—count score is Muslim rioters:16, Administration and apologist rioters: 0. If one examines the burned, suicide—bombed or beheaded body count worldwide, those sedate Jihadists seem even further ahead in the tally. Maybe the Post should get someone in the sports department to keep score. They would have to do a better job of it than this.
But what is the author's motivation for writing this you—must—read—in—its—entirety—to—get—the—full—flavor story about a 'bonkers' administration?
I write about it now because of the new reports and because I fear that too many people in traditional journalism are becoming dangerously defensive in the face of a brilliantly conceived conservative attack on the independent media.
How many traditional journalists have died in Administration and apologist incited riots? How many languish in the imagined torture chambers of Camp X—ray? How many have disappeared never again to be seen or heard. What's the Administration—sponsored traditional—journalist—disembodied—head count? But they tremble in fear, shake in their boots, pee in their pants, update their wills, and kiss their loved ones goodbye because of a 'brilliantly conceived conservative attack on the independent media'!
Whatever you may think of David Halberstam as a writer and historian, at least he had cajones.