David Cloud reports on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's talk at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in "Rumsfeld Says the Media Focus Too Much on Negatives in Iraq," but devotes most of his small Tuesday story to anti-administration side issues and rebutting unrelated statements by Rumsfeld.
"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday that news media organizations were focusing too much on casualties and mistakes by the military in Iraq and were failing to provide a full picture of the progress toward stabilizing the country. 'We've arrived at a strange time in this country where the worst about America and our military seems to so quickly be taken as truth by the press, and reported and spread around the world, often with little context and little scrutiny, let alone correction or accountability after the fact,' he said in a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies."
Quickly changing the subject, Cloud devotes the next five paragraphs (out of 12) to the tangentially related tale of the Pentagon paying Iraqi newspapers to publish articles written by soldiers. Cloud then devotes the last three paragraphs to playing gotcha with Rumsfeld over his purported statement that he predicted reconstruction would be "easy," concluding with a rebuttal courtesy of a transcript conveniently provided by the office of Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid.
Perhaps the Times' response was predictable, since, as the Washington Times reports today, Rumsfeld "cited a New York Times editorial that equated U.S. troops with the police state of Saddam Hussein."
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