The Media and the Unhinged Marine

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on November 16, 2005

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-Read the excerpt below from Michelle Malkin's Nov. 9 article found at HumanEventsOnline.com.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

The Media and the Unhinged Marine
Former Marine Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey …[is] an anti-war Iraq veteran who came forward to publicly lambaste the Bush administration and accuse American troops of murdering innocent civilians. …

Massey, who was discharged from the Marines after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, told harrowing, graphic tales of American troops committing “genocide” against Iraqis. In an interview published in the Sacramento Bee last year, Massey claimed he and his fellow Marines used “M-16s [and] 50-cal. machine guns” to shoot at children and peaceful demonstrators. The Washington Post reported (in the loosest sense of the word) on Massey’s December 2004 sworn testimony at a Canadian asylum hearing for U.S. Army deserter Jeremy Hinzman:

During one 48-hour period, Massey said under oath, his platoon set up roadblocks and killed “30-plus” civilians …

Just last month, the Associated Press published an article on Massey’s new book, “Kill, Kill, Kill,” published in France, which recycled these anti-American smears. The sympathetic AP piece included a perfunctory denial of Massey’s charges by the Pentagon and no independent corroboration…

… Last weekend, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Ron Harris, who was embedded with Massey’s unit in Iraq, published a devastating debunking of the crackpot legends of Jimmy Massey. Harris detailed how Massey misled reporters, backtracked from allegations about witnessing a tractor-trailer filled with dead Iraqi civilians he claimed were killed by American artillery, and habitually embellished and altered his uncorroborated accounts of alleged military atrocities in the press and in public speeches.

The response of Harris’s colleagues who were duped by Massey? Mostly, a collective shrug. I e-mailed a reporter from The Washington Post asking if he would follow up. No response. A USA Today reporter told me he had no plans to do so. And I spoke with David Holwerk, editorial page editor of the Sacramento Bee, which ran a lengthy freelance interview of Massey by an anti-war activist. “I don’t know what we’re planning to do,” Holwerk said.

Harris noted in a television interview that Massey continues to sell books and DVDs that smear our troops. “[I]t’s been profitable for Jimmy Massey to keep telling this lie,” he said.

Apparently, despite the newspaper industry’s plunging circulation figures and credibility, Massey’s media enablers believe the same thing.

Go to HumanEventsOnline.com for Mrs. Malkin’s entire article.

Questions

Why do you think media outlets which reported Mr. Massey’s accusation below now refuse to report that there is credible testimony that he is lying?