Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Watch closely

Is "Captain Jamil Hussein" the "Professor George Harleigh" of Iraq? Classical Values introduces one fictional source to another in a news landscape that includes phony bombed ambulances, Photoshopped smoke and Green Helmet men who not only live in the news, but never die.

I don't know how many readers remember him, but George Harleigh was a famous Political Science professor who had worked in both the Nixon and Reagan administrations, and who was always heard to sound off against Bush at a "news" site called "Capitol Hill Blue."

At the time, it didn't make sense to me that any news site could do this consistently and get away with it. But the guy who ran the site was once a regular reporter. How, I wondered, could a formerly "good" reporter could "go bad"? I assumed that he had once learned how to to proper reporting, but that somehow he had become corrupt or lazy.

In light of the Jamil Hussein allegations (which came on the heels of things like the phony ambulance attack, photoshopped smoke, the Green Helmet man, and more), I was beginning to think that George Harleigh might not have resulted from the imagination of a reporter who became corrupted, but that using fictitious sources is just the way things are done.


One of my favorite movies was Who Killed Roger Rabbit? I liked it so much the fact that none of the characters existed (with the exception of a few human props like Bob Hoskins) bothered me at all. But nothing matches reality if you want fantasy. We have 650,000 dead people in Iraq, as estimated by the Lancet, many of whom died in Baghdad airstrikes without any airstrikes in evidence. We have two countries attacking other countries that have become completely invisible. Magicians in The Prestige would be totally outclassed. We have documents composed in Microsoft Word that go back to the 1970s. It is better than Back to the Future. And all of it is real. Like Jamil Hussein who has been seen, or so we are told, by AP reporters. But maybe Hussein really is one of the live-action human props in this toonscape. Just right for a new movie combining elements of Eragon and Jurassic Park. "In a world of fiction, something has survived." Something. But it doesn't have to be true.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wretchard said, "We have documents composed in Microsoft Word that go back to the 1970s"

While Dan Rather and Mary Mapes stand by the document, Terry McAuliffe thinks it might have actually been created in 1994, using the default settings of MS Word, by KARL ROVE!

11/29/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

When a free society is under attack, what should it do about an irresponsible (and unprofessional)media?

Is the answer to turn liberalism against itself -- allow citizens to sue media who promulgate inaccurate or unverifiable information?

11/29/2006 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Eric’s line, “Reporters are often little more than purporters,” should be taken to heart by bloggers and commenters who henceforth should always reference journos as purporters, from the NYT, BBC, CBS and Women’s Wear Daily, etc.

Instead of news, purporters write up ruse and views, and instead of fact they offer tract. Whacked tract. War and hurricane purporters are easily recognizable in their khaki photographer vests with shirt sleeves rolled up to ¾ arm seriousness and by their chauffeured SUVs (which we all know are baaaad for the masses but fine for our jaunty betters and Third Worlders).

11/29/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Don't forget fearlessly fording the crosswalk by Kayak.

In six inches of water w/pesky passersby walking in the background.

11/29/2006 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

Oui oui. Great bit of wordplay. I commend it as an example of what could be used to drive out postmodernists. Nothing deflates self-elect overly serious fools as causing their audience to laugh at them. And be quick about it folks before they've fully paralyzed our ability to fight who we must.

11/30/2006 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger summignumi said...

It is way over due for the “NEWS” people to be held to a higher standard, but like the Union member who no matter how corrupt its leadership or the Democrat party is they will vote for them until they die because they believe in their hearts that everybody does it, its just the other side hasn’t been caught or control those who would tell if they could.

The MSM members have a higher calling then the truth and it was and still is taught that truth is ether in the eye of the beholder or not relevant to the news.

The only way to reverse the track America is on that leads to its own destruction is to alter education of Americas young, from pre-K to College. The left has conquered this and controls the controllers of the ability to change education so it is sad to say a very small chance that America will change in a peaceful manner.

11/30/2006 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...


One of my readers, weswinger, had to point this out to me. He saw how well it fit in with my observations of the mechanizations of the anti-natalists and death cultivationists of the West.

Postmodernism: rejects, or is deeply suspicious of, truth, objectivity, and progress, and is characterized by a distinctive anti-science, anti-capitalist

I find it sad that it is necessary to add that postmodernism is therefore both anti-American and anti-humnan.

I would think that promoting the understanding of this movement can quickly make up for much of the Left's miseducation.

But there is so much resistance to what I've been saying, even here, that I don't really know.

To provide a quick brain-boost when we'll need it most, does anybody else have any better suggestions?

11/30/2006 01:28:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Could this be the enemy practicing Taqiyya?

11/30/2006 02:02:00 AM  
Blogger doolz said...

I've seen people on different forums using 'Capitol Hill Blue' as if it were an actual source. It isn't. Even giving them the most credulous benefit of the doubt I could summon, it lacks the slightest quantum slice of integrity measurable to man (that's right, it doesn't even register on the AP-meter).

11/30/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger DaMav said...

@Kinuachdrach said...

Is the answer to turn liberalism against itself -- allow citizens to sue media who promulgate inaccurate or unverifiable information?

I am intrigued by the need to do something along these lines as well. Perhaps a class action suit based on a pattern of repeated deliberate distortion by certain media outlets. Even as a non lawyer I am aware that there would be significant obstacles that would have to be overcome, such as how to compose the class, but a carefully done suit would bring substantial publicity to the problem of deliberate distortion and bias.

And look at some of the ridiculous class action suits that go on now, with free publicity showered on the plaintiffs. War crimes against Bush, Rumsfeld etc etc. Might be worth pursuing.

I would contribute to a well thought out legal action against the pattern of distortion, even if it ultimately were unsuccessful in awarding damages. For example it would seem that the reputations of veterans and their families are harmed by the use of concocted stories blaming the US for the deaths of civilians using phoney sources. Or the families of vets might sue over a pattern of distorted stories likely to put their military relatives at risk by increasing the violence.

A stretch? Sure, but so are the numerous suits filed by the left and antiwar factions. The outcome of such a suit might be negligible but the process of bringing the matter to court might at least put a few media outlets on notice that they have to raise the bar. And make the public more aware of the systematic distortion that goes on.

I would far prefer that approach to trying to amend the First Amendment to allow the US to win wars.

11/30/2006 02:00:00 PM  

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