Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Armor Follies, Continued... 
So much has been made of some E-4's pointy question of Donald Rumsfeld. I don't have much to add, since I was making the same points a year ago. And at the time I had some readership in the Pentagon.

The story's so old, and the news so old, though, that the only possible reason I can imagine it got so much play is that it fits with the press's rabid hatred of all things Rumsfeld.

From all accounts of those who were there, the Q and A session was far, far from a "grilling." And yet that's exactly the headline the
New York Times

One pointy question does not a "grilling" make.

It's obvious that the only reason this story got the play it did was not because the media gives a shit about the troops. If they did, they would have been covering the issue nonstop. What the press gave a shit about was "getting Rumsfeld."

The story deserved some follow-up. But it deserves follow-up from serious-minded reporters who actually care about troops -- not from some opportunistic hack practicing "gotcha journalism," which is what we have here.

UPDATE: His editor agrees with me, somewhat: "He is there to write stories; not make news himself."

(The irony of a newspaper editor counseling a reporter not to leak emails about how another reporter covers the news is a bit rich, considering how much all reporters owe to people who leak emails and memos not meant for public consumption.)

Splash, out


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