Sunday, November 21, 2004

Dumbass Local Talk Show

My blogroll says good-bye to Flynn & Larrimore. I read this post on their blog this morning. In it the criticize the News Journal's Beth Miller for using the word "prisoner" to describe the insurgent shot in Fallujah the other day. Steve Larrimore basically calls her a liberal shill and concludes with this paragraph:
You may think that I am over reacting to this, but the subtle leftist propaganda in the NJ annoys me and the right gives the press too much "benefit of the doubt". It encourages the next step to forging documents.
No Steve, we're saying that you're over reacting because YOU ARE. Beth Miller is actually one of the few conservatives on the News Journal staff. She goes to my church and we have run into each other several times outside of the church as well, like at the Fair Hill Highland Games (Beth loves bagpipes). I've even met her mother. Did I mention Beth has taught several classes at my church about media bias? Well she has and they were quite well attended too.

I especially love the parting straw man. Yes using what may be a technically accurate word like "prisoner" is just a hop, skip, and jump from accepting forged documents from a known political partisan with a grudge against the president.

Whoops. Nice going, way to shoot your fellow conservative in the foot. Next time you decide to criticize someone for shoddy reporting why don't you do some legwork first? Why don't you pick on the Pope for being a bad Christian next? He has other people reading his sermons for him these days after all.

See I can do parting strawmen too.

UPDATE: Steve Larrimore has asked me to re-edit this to clarify that it was his posting and does not reflect Mike Flynn's opinion on the subject. I think I've done that and I apologize to Mike Flynn for inadvertently tarring him with my brush. If I missed a plural somewhere please let me know in the comments and I'll fix it.

I will freely admit the use of the word "prisoner" here is pretty contentious. He was certainly not a prisoner in the "searched and processed into custody" sense of, say, a prison inmate. On the other hand if he was wounded and had surrendered to the Marines, what word would you use to describe him?

Sorry folks, but we really are getting into semantics here. At some point you are trying to inflict your connotations of "prisoner" on me. Its especially bothersome because I know folks who work in the criminal justice system. The idea that, say, a prison inmate is incapable of being a threat to a guard is foolishness. The only place where "prisoner" is equated to "helpless non-combatant" is in your head. You are over reacting.

I talked to Beth about this stuff briefly after church. When I mentioned an story she wrote made someone mad, she started talking about a completely different piece. I had to point her toward the autopsy story. People being mad about that one was news to her. She said she has had people on both sides of the political aisle mad at her lately. It sounded like she considers that a good sign objectivity-wise. I tend to concur with her.

Have I mentioned that Beth was sent to Iraq on assignment for the News Journal a while back? Well she was. It was probably a year ago now. Not sure what she covered specifically because I prefer not to give the New Journal any of my money. While I don't share Steve's opinion of Beth, I do basically share his opinion of the New Journal as a whole. It is a rag. I may buy a few copies soon, but that's only because I need kindling for my fireplace as the weather gets colder.

FINAL UPDATE: The reporter who shot the footage has a blog. Here is his post on the subject telling the whole story. Long story short, the "insurgent" had been wounded and presumably taken prisoner during earlier operations at the mosque. There is very little likelihood that the "insurgent" was capable of doing anything other than slowly bleeding to death.

Hat tip to QandO for the Kevin Sites story.

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