Thursday, May 25, 2006

Strange sourcing at the Military Times 
Check this out:

Headline: A dozen Marines may face courts-martial for alleged Iraq massacre

A key member of Congress said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if a dozen Marines faced courts-martial for allegedly killing Iraqi civilians Nov. 19. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., told Marine Corps Times that the number of dead Iraqis, first reported to be 15, was actually 24. He based that number on a briefing from Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Mike Hagee on Wednesday.

Are the Military Times publications going to make a habit of running speculation from secondary sources in their ledes?

Is the Military Times in the habit of subverting the official spokespeople stating on the record policy to Senator Representative Murtha's rank speculation?

I can see calling Murtha for a quote. But Murtha ought to be towards the end of the story. I like to lead with facts.

Well, except when I'm blogging. Then it's wisecracks. But for news pubs, I go with what I know first.

Apparently, editorial standards vary at the Military Times Publications these days.

Splash, out


UPDATE: I sent an email to the reporter asking for a comment. The reporter responds, "Murtha is not a Senator. But nice use of the word "bloviate."

(After sending the email I edited 'bloviating' to read 'speculation.'

I'll send an email requesting a response on the substance of the criticism, and let you know what she says, if anything.


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