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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Times Is Nailed Again: Phony Phto-Op In Pakistan

On Friday, US forces made a move that surprised the world. We sent a Predator drone into Pakistan, and blew up a building that we believed al-Zawahiri--al Qaeda's number two man--was in. We had actionable intelligence stating that he should have been there. What we did not know was al-Zawahiri had declined the invitation of his fellow al Qaeda men. We blew up the house, and the terrorists inside, but obviously missed al-Zawahiri.

Today, the New York Times ran a photo on it's site. Michelle Malkin has it up on her site so you can see it. The caption below the picture reads:

“Pakistani men with the remains of a missile fired at a house in the Bajur tribal zone near the Afghan border.”

One teeny-tiny problem with that caption. It is not true. As Thomas Lifson of the American Thinker points out, that is not the remains of a missile. It is, in fact, an artillery shell. Mr. Lifson believes that it might be a 152 or 155 mm shell, and definitely a live one, at that. The Times, it seems also has a live story with this. They knew they screwed this one up, because the photo is already gone from their website.

The simple fact of the matter is that the Times, in effort to continue their antiwar views, tried to make it look as if we had done this intentionally to kill civilians. Which is also why they are running a story today of the protests in Pakistan against the attack. US officials have denied that civilians were in the area of this building when it was hit, as has the Pakistani government. This is not China here; the government is not try to "buy the bodies" back so they can cover up an attack on unarmed civilians. Pres. Musharraf has stated that he doubts the validity of those claiming the attack caused any civilian deaths. He did, however, join his people in expressing outrage for the operation going on inside his country. Okay, that I can handle. He has the right to be upset. However, I would like to know if he was contacted prior to the strike.

But this is not about the strike, or Pres. Musharraf's reaction, or even the protests going on abraod. No, this is about journalistic malfeasance. This is about the MSM forgetting that the ombudsmen are still out here, and still catching them screwing up. They were caught by Michelle Malkin, Thomas Lifson, Lucianne, Jeff Taylor, and the Freepers. That is a lot of people to tick off this early in the morning with a false, erroneous news piece.

And the only reason I can come up with on this is that the New York Times intentionally wanted to paint a picture of blame on the US. This was not a simple screw-up, or a minor mistake. This was deliberate and blatant. They are trying to gin up more antiwar sentiment because they do not like the war. I have a news bulletin for the Times: No one--not even the soldiers--like war, but it is necessary when this nation is attacked. And it was on Sept. 11th. The Times, of all newspapers, would be wise to remember that as it was their city that was target number one on that fateful day.

But, this is how the MSM is stumbling right now. They dislike being painted with an ideological bias, but that is what they portray. This is not just isolated with the Times. The LA Times, the Boston Globe, the WaPo, and the Chicago Tribune are all guilty of doing these sorts of hit pieces. And, when the picture fits the bias, they usually print some sort of scathing piece to go with it. Today's entry in the Times is a piece talking about the numerous protests going on in Pakistan over this attack. Simple journalistic malfeasance is the order of the day from newspapers like this.

And had it not been for bloggers, and other elements of the alternative media, this story would have gone on, unremarked, and people would have latched onto it as a talking point. "Look at the imperialistic United States! They're bombing innocent people! Animals!"

Today is not that day. They got caught, and rather than put up a retraction and a correction, they simply pulled the picture with no explanation. None is really needed. Bloggers know why it was pulled. And people that pay attention to the real news know why. The Times, however, is quite possibly baffled as to why so many people get upset over things like this. Frankly, I am baffled as to how the Times is still in business with all the gaffes they have had in the last few years, or the news they have refused to cover.

They will scream bloody murder over an NSA program targeting foreign agents on US soil with the intent of harming us, but they will not cover the story when Dan Rather gets nailed for peddling phony memos. They will hype John Kerry, and laud his accomplishments (both of them; getting out of bed and breathing) but they will not address the issues surrounding how he is portraying himself in the presidential election. They will cover the story of Saddam Hussein's capture by American forces, but then they berate the US for his treatment. They will cover the "torture" non-issue as though it is happening on a daily basis, but they refuse to cover the debunking of those allegations.

This happens time and again, and it is no wonder why more people are turning to blogs for information, news, and commentary. It is not because they seek out a particular bias, per se. It is more along the lines of how bloggers do this. We research, we analyze, and we present the stories--as they are--then critique the Hell out of it. And unlike the MSM, we do not "cherry-pick" text from a piece. (At least at the Asylum we do not; you get the full story no matter how many pages may be involved in it. Rarely do we simply go for the money quotes only.)

There needs to be a serious sit-down within the MSM. These people need to clean up their act. They are tempting fate each time they pull a stunt like this, and that fate is to be forever known as a cage liner. I know a lot of people that do not like bloggers. Much of it is due to the slant the MSM puts on us. We are not "relevant." We are "unprofessional." We take material out of "context." Yes, yes, these are the same, old, tired arguments, but none of them bear any relevance to the overall argument.

And that is, quite simply, that the MSM has long lived in it's gilded cage without any sort of competition. Sure, there is competition between rival outfits to get the news out first, but they have not been directly challenged by anyone outside of their industry. Now they are, and after watching subscription rates go down, after watching advertising dollars shrink, after having to commit lay-offs to make their budgets, and watching the ratings drop for TV news programs, they are going on the offensive against the one outlet that they cannot control, and cannot destroy.

Bloggers may not command the industry, but more often than not, they do win the day.

The Bunny ;)

ADDENDUM: PowerLine also has some notes regarding it. They also point out that Yahoo News Photos still has the photo up on their site with a new caption. It reads:

Pakistani tribesmen stand by a unexploded ordinance at their house which was damaged in an alleged US air strike the day before in the Bajur tribal zone near the Afghan border. Pakistani officials said that Al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was likely not killed in a US air strike, as Islamabad protested to Washington the deaths of 18 villagers in the attack.

It makes one wonder if the Times is ready to put the photo back up with the changed caption? Sort of a "thank you" to Yahoo News services for giving them an out in this debacle, maybe?

And Little Green Footballs also has the story, too, linked through Pajamas Media.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again the bloggers comes through with the truth. My faith in the drone and pinpoint accuracy is reaffirmed. Thank you. Rawriter

4:48 PM  

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