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May 20, 2005
Blood And Politics, Part Two

After my post this morning on Terry Moran and his brother Rick at Right Wing Nuthouse, I received this e-mail from CQ reader Adam S:

Absolutely. So is the blood of my loved ones in the armed forces being spilled in Iraq. Terry Moran and others like him in the media that do there best to destroy our military are a disgrace. So disgraceful that only a blood relative could stand up for them. So I guess by posting this you are saying that Terry and the MSM are all great Americans and all that nonsense in the blogsphere is bull? Where do you stand?

Where do I stand? I think my posts on the subjects of the military, foreign policy, and the war in Iraq speak for themselves. I fully support this administration's strategy and implementation of the war on terror, and I think that the media has engaged in egregious ankle-biting for the past three years on this subject. My goodness, we lost more men in the Kasserine Pass in our first battle against the Germans in World War II than we have in Iraq, and we've liberated 50 million people and provided them free elections to replace two of the world's most brutal tyrannies. Can you imagine this press corps reporting on WWII instead? We'd have celebrities on talk shows every evening screaming that the Germans never attacked us, we're going after the wrong enemy, that taking out Hitler would leave a power vacuum in Central Europe that would destabilize the entire Mediterranean region, and so on. Janeane Garofalo would predict that our armies were doomed, doomed! the moment they set foot in North Africa. Robert Byrd would stand in the well of the Senate and say, "Where's Hirohito?" (Hell, maybe he did -- he's almost old enough.)

However, that isn't Terry Moran's fault, and none of it is Rick's fault. Bitching at Rick and expecting him to crucify his brother on his blog is terribly unfair. Terry and the rest of the White House press corps got unnecessarily strident and argumentative with Scott McClelland this week about the Newsweek story, laughably so because they started the entire argument themselves by asking the press secretary what he thought Newsweek should do about the situation. That doesn't make Terry responsible for the anti-military bias in the media -- and furthermore, Terry at least owns up to that bias and says it has to change. My guess is that his bosses at ABC had a choking fit when they heard that quote.

Adam, I agree with you that American blood on the sands of Southwest Asia should be thicker than politics, but war is politics by other means no matter how it cuts. What's changed is the unity of purpose that used to exist among our parents and grandparents that supported our men and women overseas in battle and gave them the benefit of the doubt when questions arose about the conduct of war. After Kasserine, the military changed commanders and put George Patton in charge. In each of the substantiated cases of abuse in this war, the publicity of the charges came after the military had already taken steps to prosecute those involved and prevent recurrences. Instead of reporting that, the media has decided to play these incidents up as sensationally as possible despite full knowledge of the damage it could do, even to the point of running stories with no substantiation or even plausibility, as Newsweek did.

Is Terry Moran part of that media establishment? Yes, he is. But that doesn't mean that Terry invented or even participates in these media abuses, and even if it did, Rick's hardly responsible for it. Judge Terry on Terry's performance, and allow Rick to abstain from kneecapping his own brother. As I said earlier, Terry appears to be a stand-up guy, after having listened to his interview with Hugh, and we should encourage those people to continue their engagement with the public. We should save our ire for those who violate our trust: the Whitakers, the Isikoffs, the Eason Jordans, Dan Rathers, Mary Mapeses, and their ilk.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 20, 2005 11:57 AM

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