Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ministry of Truth

This just in from Commissar Murdoch's New York Post, in case you hadn't heard yet how you were supposed to think about Monday's events:
Here's the news story referred to from the front. Some excerpts:

Calm and unflinching, the four-star U.S. commander in Iraq impressed even hard-core war critics in Congress yesterday, announcing that some troops can begin coming home this month, 30,000 can return by next summer, and even more joyous reunions are on the horizon.
Gen. David Petraeus, delivering his long-awaited report with commanding skill, said there's been "substantial" progress in fighting al Qaeda and sectarian violence that justifies the first troop drawdown of the four-year war.

The low-key but firm Petraeus - in his Army green laden with medals for his star turn under sparkling chandeliers - used color-coded charts and graphs to show a skeptical joint House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees that the current troop surge met its objectives "in large measure."

Even Democrats who despise the war policy were deferential in the face of the top-notch general's even-keeled demeanor and impressive rows of shiny silver stars, four to a shoulder.

"He's one of the best," said Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, who ran proceedings in the ornate hearing room and ordered a succession of protesters ejected when they shouted their anger at the war.

... The no-nonsense military leader didn't specify how soon or how large the later reductions would be. But he presented a chart that visualized only five brigades remaining - about one fourth of the current force - and most of the troops in a "partnering" role with Iraqi security.

The general said he had briefed higher-ups in the chain of command but wrote his report himself. "It has not been cleared by, nor shared with anyone in the Pentagon, the White House or Congress," he said of his testimony.

Even on an editorial page, this would be suspect; as a rule, we ought to stop being impressed by the shininess of any particular row of stars by age 11 or so. On a newspage ... well, let's bear in mind that the real fault line in mainstream U.S. journalism isn't between "left" and "right" media. It's between the professional media (which extend roughly from the notional political center to the center-right) and the armed propaganda wing of the Bush administration. The grownups have their own sets of biases and blind spots -- sometimes amusing, sometimes outright dangerous -- but they also have some course-correction and self-righting mechanisms. At the Murdoch properties, the blind spot is the mission; you might as well expect Fox News to admit that the earth is round.

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Blogger Andy Bechtel said...


12:34 PM, September 11, 2007  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Is anybody still hoping the WSJ will escape?

Did you catch the WaPo's headline this morning? PETRAEUS BACKS EARLY TROOP WITHDRAWAL. I'd like someone to explain how "we might get back to pre-surge levels by sometime next summer if things go well" is "backing early withdrawal".

6:16 PM, September 11, 2007  
Blogger fev said...

I still have a hard time understanding why nobody -- except Koppel this afternoon on NPR -- seems to think the story should be framed as "getting almost back to where we were eight months ago, sorta" rather than "troop cuts!!" I may still complain about that some more tonight.

I fear that the prevailing wind at the WSJ is going to be from Vichy.

9:54 PM, September 11, 2007  

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