June 08, 2006

What liberal media bias?

Well, obviously the big news this morning is the death of al-Zarqawi. I had the news turned to NBC when the President gave his statement this morning at 6:30 Central time, and what I heard from him was serious, measured, and cautiously optimistic. Mr. Bush did not lean over on the podium, did not hunch his shoulders and gesture with his hands, did not really show much overt emotion at all. Which is just as it should be.

Well, they cut back to Matt Lauer in the studio, who nearly peed on himself as he said, paraphrasing, 'The President is CLEARLY elated at this news...'

Clearly elated?

I'm sure he is glad the guy's gone on to his just reward, but his statement had no sense of elation, as such. Then Matt pitched over to Jim Miklasewski at the Pentagon. I've never been that enamored of Mr. Miklasewski, but he plumbed new depths in unobjectivity this morning.

As was Matt, Jim seemed to be vibrating at about 120 Hz and very nearly ready to soil himself he was so wound up--or so it appeared to this objective viewer.

First, Miklasewski took issue with the President's assertion that al-Zarqawi was the target of the strike, quoting "sources" that said the task force assigned to killing or capturing al-Zarqawi were actually tracking his spiritual advisor, and only later was it determined al-Zarqawi was among the dead. Whatever, Jim--tracking al-Zarqawi means tracking everyone who might have contact with him.

The second is the one that very nearly made me take off my shoe and beat upon the image of Jim Miklasewski as it fidgeted on my screen. For in this, he lost all illusion of trying to be dispassionate, and veered way off into Tinfoilistani punditry. Regarding the assertion by the President that Iraqis offered assistance in the raid, Miklasewski blustered and said (paraphasing again) that this was simply impossible, in that the task force assigned to al-Zarqawi didn't even share intelligence with OTHER army intelligence units, and therefore couldn't possible have gotten any information from Iraqis.

Jim, you ignorant slut.

It is beyond comprehension how you can sit there and be so cock-sure of what the task force knew, and how it came by its information. At worst, maybe Mr. Bush was merely trying to give some credit to the Iraqi people to keep them from feeling left out, or ignored, in this important event. But it is a far more likely scenario that this task force, even though it might NOT share information with other forces, itself operated on a wide variety of information, MAYBE even including IRAQI INFORMANTS. It's really not THAT difficult to believe, is it, Jim? Especially when it's obvious that you've decided to switch from straight reporting to commentator, right in the middle of a "news" report?

Objectively, the only thing you can say is that you don't know exactly who knew what, and how that information actually came to them, because objectively, that is the extent of your knowledge on the matter. And since this group's methods of necessity must remain secret, you might not EVER know the full story. Anything else is pure speculation, and is NOT fact, no matter how much Vitalis you smear on your hair, and how long you've been standing in front of the camera. No matter how hard you strain to keep from wetting your pants, there is simply no way you will ever be able to establish the truth of what you've just implied. To get up in front of everyone and act as though the President is somehow willfully being misleading or is dissembling in this instance does nothing but give objective and dispassionate truth-seeking reality-based persons such as myself the idea that there's not an honest reporter in all of the media.


Update: 9:17 a.m. More frustration here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at June 8, 2006 08:51 AM