The NYT's War of Nerve

August 10th, 2005 11:47 AM

Chutzpah defined, as the most influential newspaper in America criticizes the Bush administration for -- get this -- insufficiently publicizing Iraqi war heroes.

Damien Cave's Sunday piece "Missing in Action: The War Heroes" opens (italics added): "One soldier fought off scores of elite Iraqi troops in a fierce defense of his outnumbered Army unit, saving dozens of American lives before he himself was killed. Another soldier helped lead a team that killed 27 insurgents who had ambushed her convoy. And then there was the marine who, after being shot, managed to tuck an enemy grenade under his stomach to save the men in his unit, dying in the process. Their names are Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester and Sgt. Rafael Peralta. If you have never heard of them, even in a week when more than 20 marines were killed in Iraq by insurgents, that might be because the military, the White House and the culture at large have not publicized their actions with the zeal that was lavished on the heroes of World War I and World War II."

And just what might that "culture at large" consist of? Professor Cori Dauber has a lot to say about the hypocrisy of the Times: "It is beyond nerve for the New York Times to come along at this point in the war and publish a piece tsk-tsking the White House and the military for not publicizing these men and women sufficiently. I love that out, that it's 'the culture at large,' you know, 'the zeitgeist,' no names please. Well which media outlet is more important to defining the zeitgeist than any other? Which media outlet has 650 or so subscribers to its wire service? Which media outlet is read by every television producer in the country before they decide which stories are 'newsworthy?' How many articles did the Times run on Sgt. Smith? On Leigh Ann Hester? On Rafael Peralta I found none."

Times Watch has more.