A decade ago, a Gold Star Mom who had lost her son in Iraq gained national attention when she staged a protest against the Iraq War near George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Leftist PR flaks took control of Cindy Sheehan's every move, keeping her in the headlines for months on end as a symbol of supposedly strong opposition to the war which toppled Saddam Hussein. In August 2005, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote that "the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."
Yet Dowd and the rest of her fellow travelers in the establishment press have almost completely ignored, by their definition, the "absolute moral authority" of Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee, whose son Marc "was the first Navy SEAL who sacrificed his life in Ramadi, Iraq (on) Aug 2, 2006." Lee wrote a scathing letter to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Martin Dempsey after the general's insensitve contention that, in essence, the fact that Ramadi is in danger of falling to the Islamic State is not particularly important.
New York Times veteran foreign reporter John Burns has retired after 40 years with the paper, closing a career of covering hotspots like Afghanistan, China, and Iraq, where Saddam Hussein threatened his life for his brave reporting from Baghdad for the Times and CBS News. A friend gave him the title to this essay of recollections of some of the worst places on Earth: "It's not how far you’ve traveled, it’s what you’ve brought back." What Burns brought back "was an abiding revulsion for ideology, in all its guises," from the Communist dictatorships of China, North Korea, and the Soviet Union, a revulsion some of his fellow reporters have never learned.
Well, if you can't say anything good about how your guy's foreign policy is going, you can at least try to trash one of his predecessors so your guy doesn't look so bad.
That would appear to be the idea behind David E. Sanger's attempt at the New York Times today to falsely inform readers that the two towering leaders of the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, angrily disagreed over the UK's choice to retake the Falkland Islands after Argentina had seized them. Sanger linked back to a previous Times story which clearly pointed to the real disagreement, but never described anything resembling anger. Additionally, a cable from Secretary of State Alexander Haig during that era directly refutes Sanger's contention.
While the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal this morning gave front-page coverage to yesterday's grisly beheading of a British serviceman on a London street in broad daylight, the New York Times placed their 20-paragraph story by London correspondent John F. Burns on page A7. Editors slapped on the headline, "'Barbaric' Attack in London Renews Fears of Terror Threat," with "barbaric" in scare quotes.
While the Post, Journal, and Times all ran quotes from one of the attackers as transcribed from a cell phone video filmed by a bystander, the Times curiously left out a portion of the rant where the attacker boasted, "We swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone."
The New York Times marked the day of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral with disrespect, with London bureau chief John Burns reporting from one of the last places on earth likely to offer sympathetic tribute to the prime minister who broke the left-wing coal miners' union: A mining town in the middle of England.
And the paper's post-funeral story today offered left-wing "complaints about its cost and appropriateness" of the funeral sandwiched around accounts of ghoulish lefty celebrations of Thatcher's passing.
The death at 87 of former British Prime Minister and Cold War conservative icon Margaret Thatcher was marked with a respectful obituary on Tuesday's New York Times front page by Joseph Gregory: "'Iron Lady' Who Set Britain on a New Course."
A front-page "news analysis" by reporters John Burns and Alan Cowell was more objectionable, "Hard Policies In Hard Times." The online headline picked a fight: "Thatcher Fiscal Policies Are Still a Tough Sell for Europe."
A report into the British Broadcasting Corporation handling of the Jimmy Savile child-sex abuse scandal was released Wednesday, and the upper management of the BBC got off lightly, though the management culture of the BBC came in for criticism. One prominent member of that management: Mark Thompson, who served as director-general of the BBC for eight years until earlier this year, when he became chief executive of the New York Times Co.
Interestingly, Thursday's front-page Times story from London by John Burns and Stephen Castle, "Report Faults Lax Leadership At BBC in Sex Abuse Scandal," featured Thompson more prominently than the report itself did. A text box on the Times's inside page reads, "An inquiry that some say went too easy on top management." From the Times:
NBC's Keith Miller, on Wednesday's "Today" show, was caught up in a moment of simultaneous Obama-mania and Kennedy nostalgia as he reported about the Obamas' arrival in Britain for the G20 summit as he declared: "What the Obamas bring to Buckingham Palace is a charisma not seen since the Kennedys, when the First Lady, Jacqueline, dazzled the royal court." Miller, of course, wasn't alone in his cheeriness as he included two soundbites from other members of the press, including Victoria Mather of Vanity Fair, who wondered if the Queen herself will be able to contain herself: "This is gonna be the most exciting encounter of her long and successful reign. I think she'll be absolutely fascinated." And the New York Times' John Burns was so starry-eyed he was reduced to making astronomical comparisons: "There is a lot of stardust there, and my guess is that the Obamas will attract the sort of adulation in Europe that the Kennedys did."
The following is the full Miller piece as it was aired on the April 1, "Today" show:
The August 7 edition of National Public Radio's afternoon news show "Day to Day" featured John Burns, the respected Baghdad bureau chief for the New York Times. Burns, who had his life threatened by the Hussein regime while covering Iraq, is leaving the country to head the London bureau of the Times.