Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Today in the echo chamber

Hey, kids! Every wonder why some Fair 'n' Balanced stories let you wade right into the comments section and cut loose on the usurper:

This isnt negligence, this is intentional. We have a madman in the Oval Office and millions of liberal co-conspirators. Store up plenty of food and emergency supplies, its going to get real ugly real soon.

ANYONE that still considers this joke an American Potus deserves nothing more than a one way plane ticket straight to Africa! Hes done nothing more than put strain on American taxpayers while spending on his personal priorities=llegals-terrorist-career government dependent and supporting his homeland-AFRICA!!!

After their success in freeing the girls in Nigeria, Moochelle will dragout #Ebola to fight this Republican disease!

This so called President'''''''''should be skinned alive.
... while on others, comments are (hem) "currently closed" (kaff)? You'd think a tale of Pentagon skulduggery on this scale would be the ideal chance to call the minutemen to the streets:

American troops were exposed to chemical weapons multiple times in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, while the Pentagon kept their discoveries of the expired or degraded weapons secret from investigators, fellow soldiers, and military doctors, according to a published report. 

Yes, that'd be the deftly reported centerpiece in Wednesday's Times, which Fox manages to acknowledge, along with some numbers in the next graf:

The New York Times reported late Tuesday that American troops reported finding approximately 5,000 chemical warheads, shells, or aviation bombs in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. On at least six occasions, soldiers were wounded by those weapons, which had been manufactured before 1991.

Not a bad summary of the nut graf, but the narrative seems somehow incomplete without the Times's subsequent graf:

The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.

Not to mention the details worked in later:
The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Bush insisted that Mr. Hussein was hiding an active weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of international will and at the world’s risk. United Nations inspectors said they could not find evidence for these claims.
Then, during the long occupation, American troops began encountering old chemical munitions in hidden caches and roadside bombs. Typically 155-millimeter artillery shells or 122-millimeter rockets, they were remnants of an arms program Iraq had rushed into production in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.
All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin. Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area, according to those who collected the majority of them.
So you can start to see why Fox might not want too much loose commenting on its rewrite. Fortunately, other parts of the echo chamber weren't so shy. The Fox Nation copy-pasted the first seven grafs of the Times's anecdotal lede under the hed "NYT: There Were Chemical Weapons in Iraq After All." Drudge, to the surprise of no one, concocted a far more exciting lie for the hed and linked to the Times piece. It's hard to make the Fox mainframe look honest in the competition to whip the masses to a froth with a security story, but there you are.

And give the Times story a read. It still knows how to put a lot of firepower on a worthy target every now and then.

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