In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 30, 2005 / 29 Kislev, 5766

Washington Post's pre-emptive strike had accuracy of drive-by shooting

By Jack Kelly

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was the journalistic equivalent of a drive-by shooting. The targets of Washington Post reporters Jonathan Finer and Doug Struck were two of journalism's favorites: Web loggers and the U.S. military.

"Bloggers, Money, Now Weapons in Information War," read the headline over their story, which appeared last Monday. "U.S. Recruits Advocates to the Front, Pays Iraqi TV Stations for Coverage," the subhed said.

"Retired soldier Bill Roggio was a computer technician living in New Jersey less than two months ago when a Marine officer half a world away made him an offer he couldn't refuse," the story began.

The insinuation of the headline and the lead is that Mr. Roggio was recruited and paid by the Marines to write favorable things about military operations in Iraq.

Drive-by shootings are notoriously inaccurate, and the story by Mr. Finer and Mr. Struck, which ran last Monday, contained so many errors it should be an embarrassment to the Washington Post.

Here are the facts: LtCol. Christopher Starling, the operations officer for the 2nd Regimental Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, did a Web search for stories on Operation Matador, which the 2nd RCT had conducted in Western Iraq. He was intrigued by the analysis of the operation Mr. Roggio made on his Web log, Fourth Rail, and called it to the attention of the regimental commander, Col. Stephen Davis.

"They called my site the command chronology for Western Iraq," Mr. Roggio said. "They basically said I'm the only person who's discussing the operations in context."

Col. Davis suggested to my friend Bill that he should come out to see the situation for himself. So Bill took a leave of absence from his job; raised $30,000 from readers of his blog (I contributed a small amount) for travel expenses, hazard insurance and to buy body armor, and obtained press credentials from the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine.

The Marines were happy to show Bill whatever he wanted to see, but contributed nothing to defray the expenses of his trip; made no suggestions about what he should write, nor censored his reporting in any way. Bill was treated no differently than any other embedded reporter, though doubtless the Marines respected him more than they do most journalists.

Messrs Finer and Struck erroneously described Mr. Roggio as a "retired" soldier (Bill spent four years in the Army Signal Corps and two in the National Guard, but would have had to have served at least 20 to retire); implied Bill was still in Iraq (he'd been home a week when the story appeared); misidentified from whom he had obtained press credentials, and misrepresented the embed process. This last error was egregious, since Mr. Finer had himself been embedded with the Marines, and ought to know the procedures.

"Mainstream media giants like the Washington Post repeatedly claim to have layers and layers of editors and fact checkers to make sure only verified facts get into the daily newspaper. This process is allegedly why (journalists) are superior to bloggers in getting it first and getting it right," said Mark Tapscott, a former journalist who now works for the Heritage Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

"Finer and Struck are experienced journos, but their reporting in this instance contained so many errors of basic fact that one wonders how on earth this example of their work made it into print," Tapscott said.

The answer, as Mr. Tapscott well knows, is that editors are less vigilant in fact-checking stories which advance their agenda.

The errors about Mr. Roggio's whereabouts and his media affiliation are minor. Erroneously describing Bill as a "retired" soldier is significant only in that it indicates a fundamental ignorance of the military appalling in two reporters who are based in Baghdad. The misstatement of the embed process likely was deliberate, because had it been described accurately, the premise of the story would have been shown to be false.

Journalists don't like bloggers because they fact-check journalists. Bloggers like Bill Roggio and Michael Yon, a former Special Forces soldier who embedded with a Stryker battalion in Mosul, expand the threat posed by the new media. They're reporting news, and doing it better than "professional" journalists are.

Messrs. Finer and Struck weren't reporting news when they slimed Bill Roggio. They were launching a preemptive strike against a new, but increasingly muscular, competitor.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

Jack Kelly Archives

© 2006, Jack Kelly