Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld finally articulated at least a portion of what conservative bloggers have been pointing out for some time - Islamist terror groups have had considerable success in planting and slanting stories within the Western mainstream media:

FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION, Nev. (AP) -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners. "What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror. "They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. "They can lie with impunity."

Rumsfeld stopped short of pointing out what became obvious during the Israeli-Hizballah conflict in Lebanon; that the mainstream media's use of local reporters and photographers has virtually ensured its infiltration by terrorist sympathizers. Likewise, Rumsfeld did not mention that the tainted reporting serves the purposes of Democrats running on anti-war platforms.

What is it about the MSM that they have to get a shot or two in, even when the news being reported is positive?

On August 10th, Yahoo! News offered us an Agence France Presse story reporting the good news that the U.S. Military is meeting their recruitment goals for the most part. The news was rather good and a bit startling since most MSM news stories seem to allude to the feeling that things are universally bad for the Military.

Pennsylvania Democrat Jack Murtha has become a liberal media darling for his non-stop pounding of the surrender drum, and his jumping on the bandwagon to accuse the Marines of misconduct and covering up an alleged massacre in Haditha, Iraq.

The Haditha talk got started after Marine general Michael Hagee briefed certain members of congress about the start of an investigation into the deaths of at least 20 Iraqi civilians. After some of the briefings, Murtha almost immediately began accusing the Marine Corps of engaging in war crimes.

Trouble is, though, Murtha had not been briefed on the investigation before he began his media campaign. That is not what the L.A. Times reported, however. The paper said, over the protests of Patterico who argued the opposite, that Murtha had been briefed before making his remarks.

Failing to convince the Times to double-check its sources better (whodathunkit?) and with Murtha's office unwilling to correct the record since it might have made the congressman look bad, Patterico took matters into his own hands:

Imagine Bill Clinton in the setting shown here. Would he be standing at arm's length, tentatively extending a finger? Never! He'd be right down there hugging the child, probably - for that matter - getting an arm around Mom too.

That, in a nutshell, captures the problem campaign ad makers have in softening Hillary's frosty image.

This is a classic MSM mistreatment of the US military. That it comes in the midst of war is distressing, but not unexpected from them, unfortunately.

The AP (it sure seems that they are more busy spinning than reporting stories these days, doesn't it?) has posted a story that The New York Times placed on their news feed today about how Military recruiters have "increasingly resorted to overly aggressive tactics" to get new recruits.

NBC reporter Richard Engel sure has some severely selective sources. On the one hand, he's overflowing with information reinforcing the image of Hezbollah as a kindly humanitarian organization that was providing "supplies and relief" to the residents of Qana. On the other hand, he has "no evidence" that Hezbollah was using Qana residents as human shields for purposes of launching rockets.

Engel reported live from Tyre in southern Lebanon during this afternoon's 'The Most' on MSNBC, with host Alison Stewart. Speaking of events in Qana, Engel claimed:

"I got no indication [the people of Qana] were being held against their will. Just the opposite, it seemed Hezbollah was helping these people, providing them with food and water. These were some of the [poorest] people in the town, those with money had already left. They were staying in this section of town because there was food and water. Hezbollah were giving them supplies and relief."

Not only is America in a quagmire, but Israel is, too. Via Hot Air, here's the first few grafs of a Salon reprint of a Der Spiegel article headlined "Is Israel Facing a Quagmire?:"

On the map the war looks so straightforward. An Israeli commander has marked Hezbollah strongholds in south Lebanon red for the purposes of our briefing -- lately practically all of the towns north of the Israeli border are colored red. Marked with blue crosses are the strategically important positions, mostly crossroads, now controlled by Israel. "Now we have to just go in and deal with the Hezbollah boys," the commander, who asked not to be identified, said. "There isn't much more to say." [...]

The mission, christened "Just Reward," now appears much more difficult than was first thought -- above all in terms of casualties. Since the small targeted ground operations began Israeli soldiers have been dying on a daily basis in heavy firefights. Wednesday was especially bloody. In an attempt to take the Hezbollah stronghold of Bint Jbail, as many as 14 Israelis lost their lives.

Military analysts and politicians talked confidently at the beginning of the mission of targeted, surgical assaults against Hezbollah and an estimated conflict duration of about a week. Now Israel is increasingly preparing for a long war.

Well, sports fans, The Terrorist…er, I mean The New York Times is at it again. One of America’s allies purchased a variety of weapons last year, and now that it is being attacked by a shared enemy, has asked that the shipment of these arms be sped up to allow it to better defend itself.