It’s Not Just Newsweek

Michelle Malkin‘s latest column is up at JWR. She reminds us of a whole string of incidents that illustrate the legacy media’s anti-military, moral equivalence mindset.

It̢۪s not just Newsweek

It’s the constant editorial drumbeat of “quagmire, quagmire, quagmire.”

It’s the mainstream media’s bogus reporting on the military’s failure to stop purported “massive” looting of Iraqi antiquities.

It’s the hyping of stories like the military’s purported failure to stop looting of explosives al Qaa Qaa right before the 2004 presidential election stories that have since dropped off the face of the earth.

It’s the persistent use of euphemisms “insurgents,” “hostage-takers,” “activists,” “militants,” “fighters” to describe the terrorist head-choppers and suicide bombers trying to kill American soldiers and civilians alike. It’s the knee-jerk caricature of American generals as intolerant anachronisms. It’s the portrayal of honest mistakes in battle as premeditated murders.

t’s the propagandistic rumor-mongering spread by sympathizers of Italy’s Giuliana Sgrena and former CNN executive Eason Jordan about American soldiers targeting and/or murdering journalists.

It’s the glorification of military deserters, who bask in the glow of unquestioning and largely uncorroborated print and broadcast profiles.

During the run-up to the Iraq War, Glenn Reynolds and others popularized the catch-phrase “They’re not anti-war, they’re on the other side.” I still refuse to believe that any but the fringe media are quite there. Sadly, though, the effective difference is nil.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. praktike says:

    Ha ha. How about the time Michelle Malkin wrote an entire book filled with bullshit?

  2. Barry says:

    Gee, it certainly looks like we’re in a quagmire. Of course, I’m judging things by the pre-war administration line. Which makes me a anti-current-spin deviationalist.

  3. Tim says:

    This, of course, on the same day that Malkin had to print a retraction on her blog for her own shoddy work:

  4. kappiy says:

    If the “media” were really so anti war, why did they give Powell, Bush, Cheney, and Rice a pass when they were lying about WMDs and Niger’s “yellow cake” uranium?

  5. Hal says:

    Ah, that’s the sweet mystery of wingers!

  6. Jack Tanner says:

    Gee, personal attacks and insults but no refutation. Go figure.

  7. Hal says:

    You are talking about Malkin, right?

  8. Lurking Observer says:


    So, flushing Korans down toilets is “fake, but accurate,” b/c it was conceivable that it might be happening.


    Saddam actually having WMD was not possible despite:

    1. His having used them on Iranians.
    2. His having used them on Iraqis.
    3. His having hidden the program from inspectors.
    4. His failing to come clean on what he had done w/ the materials that he had had but had not disposed of.


  9. Meezer says:

    Don’t forget the entire museum looted of priceless treasures – reported for weeks. All true. Except for the part that it never happened.

  10. Meezer says:

    Sorry, I see *now* that Michelle already covered it.

  11. Jack Tanner says:

    No obviously I’m talking about the previous and subsequent pointless comments.

  12. Tim says:

    Jack, pointing out that Malkin is shoddy writer herself is a personal attack and insult?

  13. herb says:

    Let’s face it, most MSM are nothing more than a bunch of whining loosers that got their ass beat twice by the Republicans. Their constant whining make them anti American whimps that puts them in a class as Trators to our troops and America. It seems they are in their glory when they demomstrate like the Un American assholes they are.

  14. James Joyner says:

    Jack, pointing out that Malkin is shoddy writer herself is a personal attack and insult?

    Well, duh. It’s called ad hominem. Rather than attacking the argument, you attack the person. Whether Malkin is a good writer really has nothing to do with her claims, which either have merit or they do not.

    And the errata you cite are 1) her own admission, not widely publicized anywhere, 2) over the use of adjectives which are probably true but had to be inferred, and 3) did not spark riots that killed over a dozen people.

  15. Lurking Observer says:


    One of the press’ defenses (and also that of its sympathizers) is that the press polices itself.

    If Malkin issues a retraction, how is that any worse than the NYT or the Detroit Free Press admitting they screwed up?

    It would seem to me that it’s “the height of responsibility” for Malkin to correct her book, in the same manner as the MSM claims to be responsible.

    Let’s face it, she’s done a better job by that one step alone than, say, Michael Bellesiles did/has done.

  16. carpeicthus says:

    Please, James, please back up your statement that the media is your enemy. If they’re on the other side, would you shoot a media member if you saw one on the street? Why not, he’s your enemy! He’s trying to kill you and your family!

    No, you wouldn’t. Because you aren’t actually nuts. But sometimes you and Glenn like to talk like you are, because it gets you rhetorical points. But either show the courage of your convictions and let us know that you’ve decided to go off the deep end or realize that calling a reporter a member of “the other side” is no less silly than saying Bush = Hitler.

  17. James Joyner says:

    carpeicthus: You should read the posts before commenting on them.

    “I still refuse to believe that any but the fringe media are quite there. Sadly, though, the effective difference is nil.”

    Are they on the other side? No. But reporting as if the U.S. and the insurgents are morally equal, and giving especial emphasis to isolated acts committed by American soldiers, has the same effect: A propaganda victory for the enemy.

  18. LJD says:

    “One of the press’ defenses (and also that of its sympathizers) is that the press polices itself.”

    Yeah, but the U.S. Army doesn’t, right?

    …And no expectation that terrorists (a.k.a. militants, fighters, etc.) should do the same.

  19. IcallMasICM says:

    Tim –

    Actually her retraction was based on a source contacting her and she did the responsible thing by retracting from her book and blog. She didn’t have to have the Press Secretary for the POTUS ask her to do it. Whether you like her or not there’s no indication from this that she did shoddy work.