An open letter to Lt. Col. Ryan (or, blaming the messenger)

Lt. Col. Tim Ryan has written a lengthy piece criticizing the media coverage in Iraq that has attracted a lot of attention. A rejoinder.

Dear Lt. Col. Ryan,

Thank you for your service in Iraq. I wish you the best, and hope you are home soon. However. A few bones to pick with your recent article.

I am sorry you think the media is “aiding and abetting the enemy.” The reporters I know are working hard, risking their lives, to bring the truth to the American public. I certainly wish the news out of Iraq could be more positive. And yes, some of your complaints are very familiar, about the media “highlighting the negative.” Ten thousand planes can land safely; it’s only when the jet crashes do the reporters show up. That’s just how journalism works. To some extent, that can give a distorted view of neighborhoods and everyday life, and I agree that balancing the two is a challenge for journalists.

You write that “In Fallujah, the enemy death toll has exceeded 1,500.” Forgive me for being skeptical. But I’m curious how much confidence you have in that figure. My understanding is that enemy kill totals are little more than best guesses by commanders on the ground. Yet when the Times’ Dexter Filkins toured Fallujah, he found

little evidence of dead insurgents in the streets and warrens where some of the most intense combat took place … The absence of insurgent bodies in Falluja has remained an enduring mystery. Roaming American patrols found few on Sunday in their sweeps of the devastated landscape where the rebels chose to make their last stand, the southern Falluja neighborhood called Shuhada by the Iraqis and Queens by the American troops.

In any case, you write that, “As soon as there was nothing negative to report about Fallujah, the media shifted its focus to other parts of the country. “

Well, yeah. Doesn’t that have something to do with how the insurgents raided police stations in Mosul, killing Iraqi police officers and burning the governor’s house to the ground? You continue,

More recently, a major news agency’s website lead read: “Suicide Bomber Kills Six in Baghdad” and “Seven Marines Die in Iraq Clashes.” True, yes. Comprehensive, no. Did the author of this article bother to mention that Coalition troops killed 50 or so terrorists while incurring those seven losses? Of course not.

Despite searches on Google News and Nexis, I’ve been unable to find any story headlines, “Seven Marines Die in Iraq Clashes.” I find it hard to believe that any reporter would knowingly leave this detail out and would like to see a citation.

Why aren’t papers leading with items like, “Coalition Crushes Remaining Pockets of Insurgents”? Hmm. Well, I’ve a give you a clue: In the three days since your article was published in the World Tribune Jan. 18, insurgents have detonated five truck bombs across Baghdad, released an audio tape warning of holy war and beheaded an Iraqi soldier in broad daylight. Even as I write this, CNN just reported an ambulance plowed into a wedding party and exploded.

So unfortunately, I don’t think an article headlined, “Coalition Crushes Remaining Pockets of Insurgents” would be particularly accurate. Do you?

You continue,

What did the the media show or tell us about Margaret Hassoon, the director of C.A.R.E. in Iraq and an Iraqi citizen, who was kidnapped, brutally tortured and left disemboweled on a street in Fallujah?

First off, the woman’s name is Margaret Hassan. Second, the mutilated body found on the streets of Fallujah was not Hassan’s, as was reported Dec. 1. Her remains still have not been recovered. If you’re going to mention the poor woman, at least get her name right.

Alas, your shoddy attempt at journalism continues:

What the media didn’t show or write about [in Najaf] were the two hundred-plus headless bodies found in the main mosque there, or the body that was put into a bread oven and baked.

I’ll let Alex Berenson, the New York Times reporter who was embedded with the Marines and covered the battle of Najaf from start to finish, handle this one:

The massacre of hundreds of women and children inside a sacred Muslim shrine would have been front-page news worldwide for days. We didn’t report it because it never happened. There were almost no women and children, living or dead, anywhere near the shrine by the time the battle ended. We did get — and write about — reports that Sadr’s guys had tortured and killed a handful of Iraqi police officers and other people unfortunate enough to run afoul of the Mahdi Army.

Berenson, incidentally, was taken captive and almost killed by the Mahdi Army. Your words are an insult to him and all the other reporters who risked their lives covering the battle.

Continuing…

Recently, when a Coalition spokesman tried to let TV networks in on opening moves in the Fallujah operation, they misconstrued the events for something they were not and then blamed the military for their gullibility. CNN recently aired a “special report” in which the cable network accused the military of lying to it and others about the beginning of the Fallujah operation. The incident referred to took place in October when a Marine public affairs officer called media representatives and told them that an operation was about to begin. Reporters rushed to the outskirts of Fallujah to see what they assumed was going to be the beginning of the main attack on the city. As it turned out, what they saw were tactical “feints” designed to confuse the enemy about the timing of the main attack, then planned to take place weeks later.

Once the network realized that major combat operations wouldn’t start for several more weeks, CNN alleged that the Marines had used them as a tool for their deception operation. Now, they say they want answers from the military and the administration on the matter. The reality appears to be that in their zeal to scoop their competition, CNN and others took the information they were given and turned it into what they wanted it to be. Did the military lie to the media: no. It is specifically against regulations to provide misinformation to the press. However, did the military planners anticipate that reporters would take the ball and run with it, adding to the overall deception plan? Possibly. Is that unprecedented or illegal? Of course not.

Here’s what Lt. Col. Lyle Gilbert of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit told CNN Oct. 14: “The troops crossed the line of departure. It’s been a pretty uncomfortable time. We have two battalions out there in maneuver right now dealing with the anti-Iraqi forces and achieving the mission of restoring security and stability to this area. It’s going to be a long night.”

Of course, the attack didn’t come until weeks later. The LA Times broke this story Dec. 1. Here’s CNN’s story, which never uses the word “lie.” It does quote a Pentagon spokesman as saying, “Gilbert’s remarks were ‘technically true but misleading.’ It was an attempt to get CNN ‘to report something not true,’ the official said.”

I’ll leave it to readers to decide whether Gilbert’s words constitute “misinformation” … perhaps they can parse the meaning of “is” at the same time.

You are right about one thing, though: as long as American soldiers are getting killed nearly every day, we’re not going to be giving much coverage to the opening of multimillion dollar sewage projects.

American lives are worth more than Iraqi shit.

P.S. I’m a 32-year-old MSM reporter. These opinions are just my own. I’ve never been to Iraq, but have written about it from the comfort of my desk. Here’s some of what I wrote about Fallujah; also here.

P.P.S. I use the term “insurgents” when the enemy attacks U.S. soldiers. I have no problem calling them “terrorists” when they attack civilians. Hell, when I reported about Saudi authorities finding Paul Johnson’s severed head in a freezer we called ’em “sickos” in a headline. And that WAS sick. Ugh. Anyway, if anyone has a more appropriate term than “insurgents,” feel free to suggest it.

P.P.S. Inspired by the some of the comments here, I had a close look at Chrenkoff’s latest “good news from Iraq” update to see the news the media’s been missing. Hmm. I expected to see a stuff from soldier and Iraqi blogs, but looking at the sources … there are articles from the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the LA Times (via the Contra-Conta Times), USA Today, the London Times, the LA Times again (via the Register-Guard), Business Week, the BBC, the Washington Post, the News-Record (link doesn’t work), the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the New York Times, the AP, the Asbury-Park Press, the Grand-Rapids Press, and the AP via CNN.

So tell me — what’s that complaint again?

P.P.P.S. – Hell, there’s even been articles about Iraqi sewage projects. It’s kind of interesting, actually. Other stories by the same reporter, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette staff writer Amy Schlesing, can be found here.

But this is horrible — terrorists bombed a street celebration of a sewer project in Baghdad Oct. 1, killing 41 civilians, including 35 children.

129 comments to An open letter to Lt. Col. Ryan (or, blaming the messenger)

  • Media Bias: An Overview
    A comprehensive overview of media bias and possible reasons behind the evidence and data.

  • Socrates' pig

    Wow. Reading the responses to this article has been immensely educating. I could not understand why so many reasonable journalists seemed to be bending over backwards to please the right-wing blogosphere. But now I see it; write a column that suggests that criticism of Iraq policy and coverage of Iraq is *not* some left-wing Chomskyite brainwashing exercise, and they’re on you like a million fleas.

    I don’t think I have a “liberal mindset”, just a skeptical one. But whatever my mindset is, it told me:

    Be skeptical about the administration’s claims that Iraq has WMDs. And it was correct. And the right wingers whining about bias were wrong.

    Be skeptical about the administration’s claims that Iraq has ties to Al Qaeda. And it was correct. And the right wingers whining about bias were wrong.

    This war will not be a cakewalk. And I was correct. And the right wingers whining about bias were wrong.

    This war will not be self-financing. And I was correct. And the right wingers whining about bias were wrong.

    This war will require additional troops. And I was correct. And the right wingers whining about bias were wrong.

    Claims of “Mission Accomplished” were false. And I was correct. And the right wingers whining about bias were wrong.

    Claims that our troops were fully armored were false. And I was correct. And the right wingers whining about bias were wrong.

    And the list goes on…

    And now they say the problem is that you, Derek, are not doing enough stories on sewage plant repair because somehow that would give us “the big picture”. Sheesh.

    Whatever mindset I have, your critics should switch to it. They’d be right more often. But somehow I think that’s not the point. The problem with the mainstream media, Derek, is that we inhabit a world in which fact itself is becoming obsolete. Since the purpose of mainstream journalism is largely to bring us facts, to present a factually accurate view of the world, it’s inevitably slipping relative to the Fox Newses of the world.

    You may be aware of the study data indicating that Fox News actually makes its viewers more ignorant of Iraq. This is not so surprising. What is surprising is the reaction of Fox viewers that I have shown it to. They don’t care. Facts are not what they’re interested in.

    I may have a liberal mindset, but at least I’m not so weak as to have to lie to myself to keep fighting. And I don’t think most Americans need to be lied to either.

  • Bravo,
    Sorry it’s taken so long for you to get a reply on this – I’ve been hiking and kayaking and generally away from computers. My sense is that in the summer of ’03, yes there were American troops getting killed, but people were under the impression the fighting was pretty much over and all that was left was “dead-enders.” Things didn’t start to go to hell until that fall, or at least the Aug. 19, 2003 bombing of the U.N. building that killed Sergio Vieira de Mello. As KRT Baghdad Bureau Chief Hannah Allam put it,
    “We hadn’t yet been introduced to a Jordanian militant named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, so we wrote stories about the horse track and American troops watching the Super Bowl.” (Her essay is worth reading in full, btw)

  • Socrates,
    Interesting comment. Of course, I did invite the “fleas”, to some degree, with aggressive trackbacks and by emailing Chrenkoff, who quite decently linked to me in the name of open discussion. (I did try to get attention from one or two liberal bloggers as well, but wasn’t successful, which is understandable because they hadn’t linked to Ryan’s essay in the first place).

    But yeah, there are definitely some subjects where, as a journalist, you triple-check to make sure you’ve dotted all the “i”s and crossed all the “t”s…

  • The Washington Post’s Jackie Spinner in an online chat, after spending nine months reporting from Iraq:

    When I write a story that some perceive as critical of the U.S. military, I get nailed from people accusing me of being anti-American. I think what these people don’t get is that I am not for or against anything. I am in Iraq to find the truth and at great risk to myself and at great worry to my family. So when I go out and report a story, it’s not tell a side or to make point, it’s simply to tell a story. I think that is perhaps my greatest frustration. I know from talking to fellow journalists in Iraq that we don’t feel we have the support of the American people. There are no yellow ribbons for us, and I’m not advocating that there should be. It’s just an observation after months of sharing a war zone with soldiers and Iraqis.

    I thought this was a powerful point. But she did go on to say:

    I don’t like the way the “press corps” always covers Iraq. I can’t really offer any specifics except to say that not everyone is interested in being objective. There are reporters who come in with agendas. I’ve heard their loaded questions at press conferences. I’ve read their files. And we’re not perfect either at the Washington Post. But we try to be unbiased. I can’t tell you how much we try to go in asking questions, not looking for specific answers, just the truth. It is our highest goal. It is the reason I became a journalist.

    No names, alas.

  • nancy

    Ive got news for you Socrates pig NOTHING of what you claim you got right…you got right.

    Like Derek you refuse to admit that liberal bias exists in the MSM….thats the same shit Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings tried to feed everyone after Bernard Goldbergs HONEST op ed appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

    The MSM media DOES and HAS for over 20 yrs now, framed everything they report from a liberal bias. Not deliberately..well that can be debated..but mostly because they seem to beleive that their elistiest POV is representative of ALL Americans..or as they are inclined to remind us…those Americans that are truly enlightened, Liberal Journalists frame stories from a liberal POV. but polls show and have shown for years now..that A LARGE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS have rservations and conflicted feelings when it comes to gay marriage and any teaching in school that amounts to an endorsement of homosexuality. But to the liberal MSM thats irrelevant..its viewed as nonsense and homophobia.

    The point of Lt Col Tim’s

    FYI – Derek its was NOT TIM CHAVEZ that my last post was refering to..the embedded reporter was a former Marine whose comment about all perspectives being important was torn down by you. Tim Chavez supported that comment.

    The point of Lt Cols Tim Ryans complaint about the MSM seem to be lost on you Derek and on your “supporters”. He DOESNT have to be fair and balanced. he can offer an opinoin based on what he is reading for himself in the Press. However JOURNALISTs like Dan, Tom , and you Derek have an obligation and duty to report the news in a fair and balanced way. NOT from simply a LIBERAL POV that supports your position.

    The point Tim Ryan was making is that the liberal MSM is reporting on Iraq from their liberal biased POV. ALL MAJOR NETWORK and CERTAINLY THE NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, THE LA TIMES all LEAN LEFT..FAR LEFT.
    They frame the stories from that perspective.

    This isnt a new concept..this is what they have been doing for …a very long long long time…and Dan Rather paid the price for his liberal bias.
    Well CBS has paid for that for years now…in ratings that have diminished consistantly and continously for 15 yrs. Ditto CNN NBC AND ABC!

    There exists a liberal tendency to root for the underdog…and in this case..the underdog appears to terrorists…who denounce a free liberal press ironically but yet seem to be continously supported by one.

    News, Derek, as Im sure you know, isnt just a collection of facts – its how reporters /editors see those facts- how they interpret them – and what they consider newsworthy.

    While rebuilding Iraq may not be as much of a ratings grab as reporting how many troups insurgents killed, its is very important in helping to frame a better balanced view of whats happening in Iraq.
    That the obligation our news media is under…to inform us of the facts in a balanced way…NOT to impose their liberal bias agenda or pov on us.

    The news networks are part of the same machine that determines what gets greenlit and seen on prime time television…they are the liberal titans of culture…and their liberal sensibilites are constantly represented…and represented as the “norm” as “mainstream”. You’d think that MOST american women support abortion based on their POV – but in truth – MOST american women DO NOT…and I don’t mean red state women..I mean East and West Coast working privileged women. But hell..I’d never guess that based on the way the MSN news coverage frames that story.

    I worked in Hollywood for yrs…and I know how adamently Hollywood denies its all too obvious liberal agenda. That lie is an insult to anyone with a brain. both liberal and conservative! …better to admit..”yeah were liberal and our viewpoint is being reflected 90% of the time.. deal with it.”.which I and others would respect..than to deny deny deny. I know first hand that conservatives are written in a less than flattering light in most Hollywood “stories” portrayed as ultra conservative bible thumping religious uneducated close minded mean spirited fools, while liberals are viewed as enlightened, educated, forward thinkers who are sharing their views with us….views such as this from Julianne Malveaux: “I hope his ( Clarence Thomas) wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease” and this comment is “approved of” by the liberal media elite. NOT one Liberal media elite member batted an eyelash at that comment. Now Im NO FAN of Clarence Thomas, but if Rush Limbaugh had said” I hope Jesse Jackson’s wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies like most black men do, of heart disease” how much do you want to bet that the LIBERAL MEDIA ELITES, would have called him a nasty right wing nut akin to a KKK Grand Wizard. And They’d be right to say that of him…but they needed to say that of Ms Malveaux…and they refused.

    For anyone (within Hollywood – the Hollywood elites) to claim that Hollywood does not have strong liberal bias and agenda that they present as the mainstream POV(while in fact its not) – and like wise for anyone (within the MSM and the MSM elite) to claim that the MSM media (both print and tv) does not have a strong liberal bias and agenda that frames their stories is bullshit.

    Thats what you Derek are saying when you fail to acknowledge that Tim’s perspective and opinion is both valid and true, and when youdeny any liberal bias/or deny the reality that MSM is a left wing liberal institution that frames its stories from that perspective ALL THE TIME and that The majority of the stories about Iraq and Afghanistan are biased in their presentation to Americans.

    Denial is a river in Egypt Derek, ..and your standing knee deep in it…Be careful …its a river that filled with dangerous crocodiles…as Dan Rather and Eason Jordan both found out!

    Hell Chris Mathews DENIED for the first 24-48 hours that the Iraq election was valid, was monumental, and successful…hell he barely acknowledged that it had occured. FINALLY two weeks ago HE admited HE HAD BEEN WRONG about Iraq, the Iraqi people, the resounding success of the election and the positive implications that were being felt in the Arab world. THIS IS AN ADMISSION OF HIS INITIAL LIBERAL BIAS which had led him to DENY the truth even in the face of overwhelming evidence – simply because it didnt reflect his POV. To admit success would have been to admit that Pres Bush and the conservatives that voted back in for a second term were right! At least he had the decency albeit quietly to admit he was wrong. He brushed over that admission very quickly…but I commend him for making it!

    Do you NOW understand what LtCol Tim Ryan was really trying to say?
    The stories coming out of the MSM on Iraq are tainted with liberal bias, meant to support a liberal agenda which has never been supportive of Pres Bush or the War on Terror.

    You seem incapable or unwilling to acknowlege what is so obviously tru to the majority of Americans. Denial is a river in Egypt ,Derek,a nd your standing knee deep in it! It’s a river that filled with dangerous crocodiles…as Dan Rather and Eason Jordan both found out!

  • Ive got news for you Socrates – most of what you claim you got right……you didnt!

    Like Derek you refuse to admit that liberal bias exists in the MSM….thats the same shit Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings tried to feed everyone after Bernard Goldbergs HONEST op ed appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

    The MSM media DOES and HAS for over 20 yrs now, framed everything they report from a liberal bias. or POV if you prefer.

    And they do that , perpahs not maliciously, because most definately because they seem to believe that their elitest POV is representative of MOST Americans..or as they are inclined to remind us…those Americans that are truly enlightened! ( i.e. only liberals)

    Liberal Journalists frame stories from a liberal POV claiming they represent not a liberal slant…but simply “the mainstream”….on issues like abortion and gay marriage……while polls show and have shown for years now..that A LARGE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS have reservations and conflicted feelings when it comes to gay marriage and any teaching in school that amounts to an endorsement of homosexuality, as one example. But to the liberal MSM thats irrelevant..its viewed as nonsense and homophobic…spouting from the mouths of conservative fundamentalist close minded christans. In fact…my dad in neither conservative nor closeminded and he can’t bring himself to watch Will and Grace…the idea of a show based around homosexual males…well..its doesnt sit well with him!

    FYI – Derek its was NOT TIM CHAVEZ that my last post was refering to..the embedded reporter was a former Marine whose comment about all perspectives being important was torn down by you. Tim Chavez supported the reporters comments as did the NYT Times, ironically!.

    The point of Lt Cols Tim Ryans complaint about the MSM seem to be lost on you Derek and on your “supporters”. He DOESNT have to be fair and balanced. he can and did offer an opinoin based on what he is reading and watching in the Press.

    However JOURNALISTs like Dan, Tom , and you Derek have an obligation and duty to report the news in a fair and balanced way. NOT from simply a LIBERAL POV that supports your position./agenda/perspective.

    The point Tim Ryan was making is that the liberal MSM is reporting on Iraq from their liberal biased POV. And he is RIGHT…ALL MAJOR NETWORKS and CERTAINLY THE NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, THE LA TIMES all LEAN LEFT………..FAR LEFT.

    And They frame the stories from that perspective.

    This isnt a new concept..this is what they have been doing for a very long long time…and Dan Rather has now paid the price for his liberal agenda even as he continues to deny it.

    CBS has paid for their liberal slanted POVfor years now…in ratings that have diminished consistantly and continously for 15 yrs. Ditto CNN NBC AND ABC!

    There exists a liberal tendency to root for the underdog…and in this case..the underdog appears to terrorists…who denounce a free liberal press ironically but yet seem to be continously supported by one.

    News, Derek, as Im sure you know, isnt just a collection of facts – its how reporters /editors see those facts- how they interpret them – and what they consider newsworthy.

    While rebuilding Iraq may not be as much of a ratings grab as reporting how many troups insurgents killed, its is very important in helping to frame a better balanced view of whats happening in Iraq.

    That the obligation our news media is under…to inform us of the facts in a balanced way…NOT to impose their liberal bias agenda /POV on us.

    The news networks are part of the same machine that determines what gets greenlit and seen on prime time television…they are the liberal titans of culture…and their liberal sensibilites are constantly represented…and infuriatingly represented as the “norm” …as “mainstream”. You’d think that MOST american women support abortion based on their POV – but in truth – MOST american women DO NOT…and I don’t mean red state women..I mean East and West Coast working privileged women. As Planned Parenthood found out in a survey that was commisioned two years ago. It came as such a shock to them..so much so that its been kept on the down lo……N one would ever guess that the majority of women do not support abortion…and want limits but on access to abortion… based on the way the MSN news coverage frames that story.

    I worked in Hollywood for yrs…and I know how adamently Hollywood denies its all too obvious liberal agenda. That lie is an insult to anyone with a brain. both liberal and conservative! …better to admit..”yeah were liberal and our viewpoint is being reflected 90% of the time even if its NOT the mainstream viewpoing….. deal with it” which I and others would respect…..rather than to deny deny deny. I know first hand that conservatives are written in a less than flattering light in most Hollywood “stories” and are portrayed as ultra conservative bible thumping religious uneducated close minded mean spirited fools, while liberals are viewed as enlightened, educated, forward thinkers who are sharing their views with us….views such as this from Julianne Malveaux: “I hope his ( Clarence Thomas) wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease” !!! Wow – how very sophisicated and forward thinking of her…. and this comment is “approved of” by the liberal media elite. NOT one Liberal media elite member or network..on radio, tv or in print, batted an eyelash at that comment.

    Now Im NO FAN of Clarence Thomas, but if Rush Limbaugh had said
    ” I hope Jesse Jackson’s wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies like most black men do, of heart disease” how much do you want to bet that the LIBERAL MEDIA ELITES, would have called him a nasty right wing nut akin to a KKK Grand Wizard. And They’d be right to say that of him…but they needed to say that of Ms Malveaux…and they refused. That Derek is only ONE example of how the MSM media shapes all news stories to suit their liberal agenda. Apparent introducing someone as a “conservative ” Senator…is de rigeur for MSM…but introducting Diane Feinstein or Barbara Boxer as “liberal” Senator is un necessary. After all..we must make it clear that a conservative has entered the room. Right wing alert…Danger Will Robinson…Danger!!!

    For anyone (within Hollywood especially the Hollywood elites) to claim that Hollywood does not have strong liberal bias and agenda that they present as the mainstream POV(while in fact its not) – and like wise for anyone (within the MSM and the MSM elite) to claim that the MSM media (both print and tv) does not have a strong liberal bias and agenda that frames their stories and is presented as the “mainstream” is pure unadulterated bullshit.

    Thats what you Derek are saying when you fail to acknowledge that Tim’s perspective and opinion is both valid and true, and when you deny any liberal bias/or deny the reality that the MSM is a left wing liberal institution that frames its stories from that perspective ALL THE TIME and that the majority of the stories about Iraq and Afghanistan are biased in their presentation to Americans.

    Another example: Chris Mathews DENIED for the first 24-48 hours following the Iraq election – that the election was valid, was monumental, and very successful…hell he barely acknowledged that it had occured.

    FINALLY two weeks ago HE admited HE HAD BEEN WRONG about Iraq, the Iraqi people, the resounding success of the election and the positive implications that were being felt in the Arab world. THIS IS AN ADMISSION OF HIS INITIAL LIBERAL BIAS which had led him to DENY the truth even in the face of overwhelming evidence – simply because it didnt reflect his POV. To admit success would have been to admit that Pres Bush and the conservatives that voted him back in for a second term were right! At least he had the decency albeit quietly to admit he was wrong. He brushed over that admission very quickly…but I commend him for making it!

    Do you NOW understand what LtCol Tim Ryan was really trying to say?
    The stories coming out of the MSM on Iraq are tainted with liberal bias, meant to support a liberal agenda which has never been supportive of Pres Bush or the War on Terror.

    You seem incapable or unwilling to acknowlege what is so obviously true to the majority of Americans. Denial is a river in Egypt ,Derek,and your standing knee deep in it. Be Careful….its filled with dangerous crocodiles…as Dan Rather and Eason Jordan both found out!

  • Huntress, I’ve never alleged that liberal bias doesn’t exist in the media. My thoughts on this are a bit complicated, though; I plan to explain them in a future blog-post. But in a nutshell, I don’t deny that the mainstream press leans left.

    On valuing perspectives — I think that Carl Prine, the reporter who actually made the remark, put it very well in his comment on this site. What he said, basically.

    And of course Ryan doesn’t have to be “fair and balanced” (though I hope he’d try to be fair). But doesn’t he have some obligation to get his facts right? And doesn’t WorldTribune.Com, the website that published his letter? I wrote to them over a month ago about the inaccuracies in Ryan’s letter, yet there’s been no correction, and the errors are still up on WorldTribune’s site.

  • But they inaccuracies you site ( at least the ones you mentioned on this blog ) I have all but disproven to you.
    Altho you insist on denying that as well.

    Look Derek…If you think Tim is alone in this then do me a favor and check out Steven Kiels blog…http://stevenkiel.blogspot.com/
    and then check out this blog: http://armymanblog.blogspot.com/

    and read exactly how much the MSM is filled with inaccuracies and deliberately misleads the american public on ALL matters concerning Iraq.

    That you write to the the WorldTribune.com “deal” with Tim Ryans inaccuracies ( most of which don’t exist – even tho you refuse to acknowledge that) seems abit arrogant to me.
    Why don’t you write to the the NYTIMES, WASHINGTON POST, LA TIMES, BOSTON GLOBE, CNN, AP, REUTERS, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, AND ABC, about their inaccuracies and liberal bias on many different issues…starting with their portrayal of whats really going on ir Iraq, the ING, their lack of any noteworthy positive changes that have resulted in Iraq, and throughout the Arab world…hell even ARAB papers and commentators are acknowledging the truth…that the winds of change towards democracy are now blowing through the arab world and that small changes are happening..all as a result of the election in Iraq. No mention of any of that in any of the MSM.

    They don’t just lean left Derek….the colour EVERYTHING they write or talk about from their liberal POV…and imply that their POV is representative of the “mainstream” when its clearly not.

    I find it interesting that you would take the time to write WorldTribune.com over ONE possible commentary that YOU feel is inaccurate ( its not) but you couldn’t care less about journalistic integrity when it comes to all the above media platforms.

    You know Derek..I consider you to be intelligent and well meaning…and kute judging from the pic I saw on your blog recently….so if Im being hard on you its because I expect you NOT to follow the same party line as the MSM.. and thats starts by doing MORE than simply telling me that you don’t deny the MSM “LEANS” left. Derek it does way more than lean left.
    It falsely presents itself as a the voice of sane, rational, intelligent, people, of mainstream Americans, of all that is good and right, of the ONLY bearers of truth. CNN claims to be America’s most trusted news network. BULLSHIT….its not..its ratings keep dropping..and as the Eason Jordan fiasco proved…CNN cannot be trusted. Dan Rather is still denying that his liberal bias tainted his professional judgement when it came to MOST of what he reported when he sat at the anchor desk..and that he took part in a fabricated lie about the President.

    I mean even Chris Mathews admitted his error! Dan Rather refuses…why are you NOT WRITING TO HIM about ALL HIS INACCURACIES and MISLEADING broadcasts?

    Maybe the so called errors are still up on the Tribs site because they in fact DID their due diligence and found none?? Why is that SO hard for you to even consider? Dan Rather is proven guilty..and he still denies he did a damn thing! Maybe he didnt forge the documents..but he did worse..he allowed his personal agenda and that of CBS to affect his judgement. And NO ONE in the entire organization STOPPED him. NO ONE said..this is wrong..no one! Why? Because the MSM doesnt just lean left Derek…because it IS left! And it refuses to offer up fair and balanced news….opting to colour and frame everything thru its liberal left wing POV.

    For the record…I am not a christian conservative, or live in a red state. I live in Toronto Canada now…in a country so liberal that gay marriage and teen sex and legalized marijuana and the right to an abortion are almost widely accepted. I am a moderate republican – of the Guiliani and Schwartznegger type- and many staunch right wingers find me tooooo liberal for their personal taste. So Im not looking at the MSM through staunch right wing eyes…but rather with a more moderate POV..and Im appalled at what I know to be more than just a left leaning tendency on the part of HOllywood and the MSM.

    Lt.Col.Tim Ryan would NOT risk his entire career over
    ” inaccuracies”. And had he been the ONLY member of our military making those same comments, sharing that same information, I ‘d say you have a point…but he isnt Derek.
    Lt Col Mark A Smith, USMC, the guys who blogs I just referenced, the hundreds of other milbloggers who are there and were there previously, including ARMOUR GEDDON..who risked OPSEC issues to report what he blogged. all share the same stories..and they are not about to risk distinquished careers over “inaccuracies” and lies.

    Too bad Dan Rather couldnt say the same about himself.

    I am the biggest critic of the Hollywood agenda…particularly when it comes to films they plan on making like No True Glory..read my blog and you’ll see how much I rag on a business I was and am still a part of (albeit now more indirectly). What my friends are afraid to say outloud they whisper to me at night.
    Yes…we do have an agenda…yeah I can’t write about conservatives and their values in a more positive light…yeah Im afraid to admit Im a christian who reads the Bible..or that Im a republican..my career is at stake! How said is that!
    So if you think I don’t smell the same shit coming out of the MSM when its the same people OWNING both those two industries… think again.

    I am very interested in reading your thoughts(complicated or not) on the issue of our MSM being unabashedly biased…unabashedly liberal….and aggressively advancing their agenda through slanting stories on all major issues by framing them based on their liberal sensibilities and justifing their POV by claiming it represents “mainstream” thinking…or worse..denying that their POV is slanted. I don’t know whats worse..the fact that they deny that liberal bias exists…or that they justify it by claiming to represent the “mainstream”.

    I didnt know it was CNN job to represent the mainstream…I always thought news organization were supposed to offer me the facts…good bad and ugly…and offer them to me honestly.

    The MSM media reminds me daily of the body count..1400 americans forces have died in Iraq. 1401-1402-1403 …..but no one mentions the positive achievements that these young men and women died for….no one but the bloggers and Fox!

    For the MSM To let americans think that their efforts were for nothing is a sad way to honour the lives of our fallen heros.

    Don you realize that you disrespect what those young men and women have done in Iraq ( the building of schools, the guarding of bridges that are the only avenue to freedom, to rebuilding the cities, sewers, water plants,oil lines, training of ING forces) as they continue to plant the seeds of freedom in the heart of the Arab world – and you dishonour those that paid the ultimate price- when you tell me…”doesnt Tim Ryan and WorldCom have an obligation to the facts right” but neglect to mention how many times a day you fail to write to ALL MSM to ask them to get “the facts right”!

    Tim Ryan got the facts right Derek. Its you and the MSM that has them wrong!

  • Huntress,
    Is there anything that would persuade you that Ryan is wrong on a number of these factual points? Because I’m beginning to think that there’s not — and if so, why are we bothering to debate?

    I will admit that maybe I didn’t have sufficient grounds to publicly question the Fallujah casualty figures. Other than that, I stand by what I wrote.

    But, being the reasonable guy that I am — I’ll tell you what would start to persuade me that I’m wrong on the supposed Najaf mosque massacre: statements from named individuals who say they saw the 200+ headless corpses (or the severed heads). Photos. Autopsy reports. Allegations from institutions such as governments, human rights groups, the mainstream press… I don’t see why this is too much to ask — I mean, really, is everyone covering up the mass beheadings?

    You write that the mainstream press hasn’t once mentioned the positive things going on in Iraq, or the “winds of change” in the Arab world. Hmm. I did read those bloggers you mentioned. Will you take a look at this ABC News report, this CBS News report, and this Washington Post report?

    I’ve never heard of a soldier getting in trouble for saying something inaccurate on a blog… why do you think Ryan and the other military bloggers would be “risking their careers” by presenting inaccuracies? There’s no accountability for them — or any other type of blogger. Unlike Rather, who did apologize and admit his mistakes. He’ll be gone as of Wednesday. Would it be that certain bloggers would also acknowledge their errors!

    Saying I “couldn’t care less about journalistic integrity when it comes to [mainstream] media platforms” is really unnecessary and over the top. (Because I disagree with you, I don’t care about integrity???) I’m sorry, but I think I’ve been very patient and civil with you. If this is how this discussion is going to go, we should end it here and now.

    P.S. – How do I know that World Tribune didn’t investigate my charges and find them unfounded? Well, a) they never responded to me (rather bad form) and b) Margaret Hassan‘s name is still misspelled in Ryan’s piece.

  • nancy

    So some dick who is not even in Iraq is going to criticize a soldier in Iraq. Fuck off Derek Rose you little piss ant. I will definitley take the word of a man in Iraq over a blogger. Any police man or Soldier knows that the media is biased & unfair toward the rightousness. If ww2 was reported the same way the War in th emiddle East is reported then well we would all be speaking German or Japanese. Secondly just because a soldier gets a name wrong doesn’t mean a little man such as yourself should criticize. May the terrorist visit you

  • nancy

    As far as human rights groups or the media why would anyone believe them? As far as I am concerned they would cover up the executions by that thug Alsadr. When as human rights or amnasty international come out & condenm the terrorist army of sunnis in Iraq for cutting off heads. Or what abouty the illegal execution of Petty Officer Roberts in Afghanistan. Look Any redblooded american will tell you the socialist groups of the world would like nothing more than to see the great USA fall. It sill gets my panties in a bunch to see a person a blogger criticize a Lt. Col in the US army for reporting what he sees as biased news reporting beause it shows what to be true about the 5th column in the US media. How you can sleep at night is truely a miracle. Now if this great man & patriot was speaking out against the war & how fair the media was you’d put on your knee pads to suck his you know what in a new york minute. Muslims are the damnation of humanity. Look @ all the major conflicts on planet earth & see how many have to do w/ repressed muslims who cn’t get along w/ their neighbors. How much suffering do these peacefull muslims cause this great planet. Talk about racism how diverse are muslim countries.

  • Yeah, we in the media should just sit back and let people in the military accuse us of treason, and it’s wrong to point out what they’re saying is based on lies and half-truths?

    Fuck that. I for one am sick and tired of being a punching bag.

  • nancy

    One last thing one can only hope that more fair journalist like Kevin Sykes will be killed reporting fair news. I mean a piece of shit get kills in a so called mosque & you fools lynch the MArine before he even gets a trial. Most of ww2 soldiers wouls be prosecuted w/the way the rules of engagement are today. My pops served 2 terms in vietnam & had the same opinion of reporters. You people are vultures nothing more nothing less. You make it seem like these reporters killed in Iraq are honorable men but I know better. They were jackasses trying to get a sensational story to make the US military out to be huns

  • nancy

    Punching bag you dickheads bring it on yourself. You trash the military at every turn. Whenever a bomb goes off target it’s a feeding frenzy @ the so called news. Yet when a mudering bomber drives a car into a mosque it’s on the back pages for a day then it goes bye bye.
    How can you say the news media isn’t anti military. What this man was trying to say is if the news media reported the same on good news as bad news then maybe the rebellion or holy war wouldn’t be as fierce. I wonder if you have ever served your country for even a day. If it was front page news every time a success was achieved then maybe “repressed ” muslims wouldn’t be so quick to hate America. Lets go back to Somalia we fed those people but because some tribal leaders were killed & that was a bigger story then feeding hundreds of thousands. My point is you people in the media are turn coats. By the way how do you know that he is reporting in-accuracies. Maybe he has classified info that regular joe smoe reporter doesn’t have. I can guarentee Sadr baked humans. I can bet my house that if you pinkos in the media today were around during WW2 we would have lost that war because it would have eroded public support for the war. Now I wil admit Bush’s bumbling style has a lot to do w/it but still you traitors & that is how I feel have caused many deaths against are men. Reporters are responsiable for a lot more than they take credit for. You can fuel a rebellion as well as repress it, & what does the news media know about truth. If it bleeds it leads if it burns it earns. Take ridney king for example. Here is a guy putting many people @ risk & because he got the shit beat out of him & the last thirty seconds was shown it got a riot started. Why was the truck driver notr reported like that

  • Yup, that’s us in the news media, traitors and turncoats responsible for everything bad in the world.

    I don’t really feel like getting into a debate over whether the media is anti-military (or how the Rodney King incident was reported) with someone who calls me a dickhead and a traitor, sorry. And of course you’re welcome to believe what you’d like to believe regarding the documented inaccuracies in Ryan’s article. Sometimes I don’t think all the evidence in the world would persuade you.

    P.S. I just think it’s mind-boggling that some people think it’s somehow wrong to criticize Lt. Col. Ryan’s essay because he’s a member of the military or served in Iraq. I guess you think they should have the freedom to criticize, without being criticized in return?

  • nancy

    WEll I think it is wrong for a blogger not ever been to Iraq to criticize a soldier who is In iraq fighting for the freedoms we all take for granted especially reporters. If I said you were a traitor I meant the media in genral terms. I don’t know you but the tone of your article was very condescending toward the soldier which is why I criticize you

  • But don’t bloggers who’ve never been to Iraq feel free to criticize reporters who are over there?

    Look: I started my letter thanking Lt. Col. Ryan for his service. One thing we should all be able to agree on is supporting the troops… it wasn’t my intent to be condescending. But he was basically accusing the media of treason, and y’know, as someone who’s been involved in our Iraq coverage (from the safety of our New York office) I guess I got myself worked up about that.

  • nancy

    Look you don’t know if his article is factually inaccurate. He is there & we are not Personally I’ll take the word of a fighting soldier over a reporter anyday. I have absolutely no faith in todays media. I see it like this. As soon as we were in Irq & Afganistan the media was calling it a quagmire a disaster. Not hardly one good story every negative. Look @ how abu graib was reported. Yet how many beheadings did the America public see. We are not even being shown the brutality of this weel orginized & well supoorted enemy. Shit the America public has forgotten we were attacked throughout the nineties & 9/11. Now I know Iraq had no part in it,but to me all countries that support terrorism are responsible. my opinion.

  • Yet how many beheadings did the America public see.

    Well, I spent three days outside the home of Nick Berg, and wrote a number of stories about Daniel Pearl. Both atrocities were very well-reported in the press. I believe they are the only Americans whom we know have been beheaded. I don’t know if you saw those videos but they were absolutely horrible, far too disturbing for TV.

    I also wrote about the beheading of Korean Kim Sun-Il.

    Lastly, absolutely no one here in New York has forgotten about 9/11. How could we?

  • nancy

    Maybe NY hasn’t forgotten but everyone else has. I did see the beheadings not to disturbing for tv. Atleast we would know what we are up against, & let me ask you how come to this day we still see pearl harbor footage & the atrocities committed by the Nazis. That was all horrible stuff. It was not reported enough to me & to say other wise is just protecting your comrades in the turncoat US meida. Like I said all you have to do is ask any policeman or soldier & ask them how they feel about the media

  • No doubt there’s many more people than just police and soldiers who loathe the press (although I’m certainly friendly with some of both).

    Our profession has been under attack for years by ideologically-inclined commentators who really have very little clue about our business, and aren’t inclined to learn. Obviously, that’s had an effect.

  • nancy

    Look bro I am not brainwashed. I have a father who served 2 brothers who are police & I served a while, & I know for a fact that the media is anti military. It started in the vietnam era. After the Mao light revolution in this country. let me ask you do you really think the meida should have the right to report every single aspect of a war. How many troops are here when they are coming home names. That we are haing recruting problems. What weapons are being used. people like Kevin sykes going on missions. It’s all rubbish. No way in ww2 would FDR let the news in the way bush does. Have the troops would have been court martialed in ww2 if the meida today was there in the 40’s. I mean when japs ran out of caves on fire they were shot. Now you have to give them medical attention. The fact is like I said if you clowns were around in the 40’s hitler would have won & this world would be under the thousand yr Reich

  • Well, this isn’t World War II. And I don’t think “victory” in Iraq is worth the price of a free and independent press. If that’s what we have to do to win, we should just declare victory now and bring the boys home.

  • nancy

    Derek, you ask “how could we?” (forget about 911). The problem today goes far beyond someone forgetting an event, or any of the many events of the recent past, USS Cole, etc. The problem lies in the millions of us who have forgotten what this country was founded on. Whether liberals, conservatives, democrats, or republicans want to admit it or have the stones to face it, this country was founded as One Nation Under God. Read some of the many letters and speeches of our noble (and yes, imperfect) founding fathers. Little by little we have, by our actions or apathy, forced Him to a place of insignificance at best, in some quarters. God, in His grace, gave us victory after victory since our militia put up a brave stand against what was at the time, the mightiest nation on the planet (Brittain). Today we fight a war on terrorism. And instead of being able fight it as if we are intent on defending our God-given right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” we’re hog tied in the name of political correctness to pretend we DON’T remember the image of Americans jumping from a high-rise because it seemed the better option. We are at war with an enemy that fights with no rules, no fear of death, no honor, no decency, no sympathy, and no desire for peace, truce, or co-existance? How do you fight an enemy who will only be appeased by our destruction? How do you fight such an enemy? You kill them. I’m sorry to say that, yes, some civil rights may be stepped on, but if we can get our heads out of it for a minute, civil right vs. right to life should not keep Omar from being searched from head to toe at JFK just because some civil rights organization may take up a lawsuit, and some news organization will “report” how horrible we are for taking a longer look at Omar because he happens to look just like the 19. Oh, and have we forgetten the 1 that didn’t make it onto the plane? The 1 that looked like a terrorist. Thank God his civil rights took a back seat that day, or his four compatriots may have been able fight off the passengers who kept that plane from it’s intended target.
    In all of our bickering, and blame placing, we have indeed forgotten one of the most important elements of our freedom. So important was it to our forefathers, that they placed it where every American would be sure to see it, on our money. “IN GOD WE TRUST”. And lest we forget, “he who does not take care of his own, especially they of his own house, is worse than an infidel”.

  • well, this is getting beyond the scope of this blog, so i’m not going to get into a big debate with you … I try to limit myself to journalism-, running- or BoSox-related topics…

  • Dustin Medeiros

    Pretty amazing this forum has gone on this long. i really don’t have time to have much in the way of a discussion but I would like to clear up some facts and throw in a quick 2 cents that will maybe help out with everyone elses.
    I was a member of 2-12 CAV (LTC Ryans battalion) but attached to 1-5 CAV throughout the duration of 1st Cavalry Divisions deployment to Iraq. 1-5 CAV was one of the 2 army battalions (the other was 2-7 CAV) that were sent from Baghdad to both Najaf and Fallujah to augment the Marines. I was on the ground for both of those fights so I think I can clear a few points up. I didn’t have time to read everyones comments so I might be repeating a few things, but I doubt it.
    First, LTC Ryan is a soft-spoken, extremely intelligent leader. I was surprised to see an article with so much emotion from him. He wrote that article to try and raise awareness to a problem, not to try and bring anybody down. I will also say that 100% of the soldiers that have seen the article have agreed with it wholeheartedly. Some of the details may or may not be correct, but I guarantee that the overall message is absolutely true. Here are some of the facts:
    1. The body count from Fallujah is a good conservative estimate. We know this from 24/7 Unmanned Arial Vehicle thermal camera coverage AS WELL AS reports on the ground from people like me. Trust me, we were not inflating the estimates in order to look good. There is no prize for killing the most. The mission was complete when the city was cleared, whether we had to kill 2 or 2000 to do it was irrelevant. A LOT of bad guys died in that fight. Also, 500 lbs. bombs, tank main gun rounds artillery typically don’t leave bodies to find. They are either disinigrated, spread over a few hundred yards or buried under a couple of stories worth of rubble. The bad guys just vanish a lot of the time when we escalate force like we did in Fallujah.
    2. No we did not find hundreds of bodies in the mosque in Najaf. In fact, we never entered the mosque (far too politically sensitive). I stood about 75 meters away when Sistani ended the fight. We DID take hundreds of mortar rounds from behind the walls and did see fighters leaving it with RPG’s and other weapons constantly. The parking garage next to it had THOUSANDS of weapons, explosives, etc. Despite this, we never targeted the mosque and actually fought with an extremely restrictive No Fire Zone around it to protect it. Some richochets hit it when we got really close but thats about it.
    3. Yes there are an almost limitless number of “groups” fighting us in Iraq. Some want control of Iraq, some just want to kill Americans, some want both, some are foriegn, some are local, some are religious, some are political, some are just poor guys trying to earn money, some are idiot 22 year olds trying to be tough, etc. Trying to even remotely group them is impossible. I can go into the detailed explanation of the way I group them and how I based decisions about how to act in certain areas depending on the demographics but it would take a thesis. Its complicated. Just understand that and avoid generalization. It makes for a convinient news clip but it is misleading and misinformative.
    4. Some reporters really do want to report the truth BUT some do not. I ended an interview with an extremely right wing reporter because he was trying to twist what I said to fit his pre-formed agenda. The same thing happened with left-wing reporters although I did not personally have to do it. To think that all reporters are well meaning and are not just looking for the big story to make them famous is naive. Some are and some aren’t.
    5. Reliance on Iraqi’s as “eyewitnesses” is amazingly stupid. It is extremely easy to find someone around a car bomb that says they hate the americans. In fact, the bad guys ensure that they have people there to find the first reporter on the scene. 10 bucks and most Iraqi’s will say ANYTHING. Even without that, you can find an Iraqi that hates America and one that loves us in any crowd. Pick and choose the one you show and you have your story. This is VERY different from the U.S. but find JUST ONE soldier to disagree with me on this last statement.
    6. Very, very, very, very few reporters were willing to leave the IZ for anything less than a big fight and only then surrounded by A LOT of US Military. I understand this and really dont blame them. Dying sucks. I wouldnt either. I also have a lot of respect for the ones that do. I actually love embeds because they provide, by far, the most accurate reporting. Just dont presume to have a story because of a PHONE CALL FROM A RANDOM IRAQI THAT YOU HAVE ABSULUTELY NO WAY TO CHECK HIS CREDIBILITY. Come on, you would get slaughtered in the States for something that stupid.
    There are a few other things but this is getting long.
    You mentioned that the the reporters over there are reporting events – true. You also say that the news focuses on the extreme because that is what the people will watch – true. THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT. In the effort to capture the microscopic attention span of the average US citizen, the news reports on extreme events that fill a 5-10 second clip. The issue arised when the analysis of the ENTIRE MISSION is based on all of these extreme events. If you only want to report the “if it bleeds-it leads” stories, fine, you give up your right to make any kind of analysis of the overall success whatsoever. The success of one of the most complicated, delicate, problematic, and MEANINGFULL missions that the United States has ever undertaken cannot be evaluated in a 5 minute sound bite and certainly not without taking in all of the factors. “American lives are worth more than Iraqi shit” (I think I misquoted that slightly) is one of the most true and most ignorant statements ever, all at the same time. I completely agree but these multi-million dollar shit projects are part of the entire key to winning this war. Reconstruction, political progress, and the training of the Iraqi Security Forces are the ONLY measure of success in Iraq. Killing every person that poses a threat to US and Iraqi forces would be a welcome accomplishment but basically unrealistic. The other three factors WILL GET US OUT OF IRAQ AND WIN THIS WAR. LTC Ryans primary issue is that the American public has NO WAY of assessing how well we are doing because so few stories about good things actually come out of Iraq. The extreme stories are shaping peoples opinion of the entire country based on incomplete (not inaccurate, usually) information. His views are echoed by the VAST majority of soldiers in the military, including mine. I did 14 months on the ground over there. We have made mistakes, but come on; Have you ever tried to build a nation in the Middle East? Things are getting better rapidly over there. The issue is that we had much farther to go when we started than we had planned on. 2 steps forward and 1 step back is how I described it last year. Question whether we should have gone there at all, but realize that that is a non-issue at this point because we cannot pull out until we are done. There is a reason why I was inundated with emails throughout the deployment asking me for the “real” story. Many, many people want a real analysis of the progress of Iraq and you simply cannot get it from the news. That is the point that LTC Ryan was trying to make.
    Actually more like 20 bucks than 2 cents but there it is.

  • Dustin: Thanks for that very informative, intelligent and I think very fair post. You make a lot of good points. The one thing I wanted to say was about the “Iraqi shit” comment. I was actually talking about the SEWER PROJECT when I wrote that. I was certainly not trying to refer to any of my fellow human beings as crap!

  • There has always been a certain segment of the population, on both the left and the right, that feels that the advancement of science and technology is the reason for the world’s troubles instead of the solution. In fact, it was a common theme in many science fiction films during the 1950’s.

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