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Media Ignore General Sanchez' Criticisms of Them and Report Only that which Makes War Effort Look Bad

I know the mainstream media is reporting on General Sanchez' speech, but they reported only the part of his comments that were critical of the administration and how it conducted the war, completely ignoring his damning statements about their journalistic ethics, proving that what he said about them was on target. Since the MSM refuses to reprint the general's comments about the media, I will. This portion of his speech that was posted at Power Line had some errors in capitalization that I corrected. Read these comments carefully and take in how thoroughly General Sanchez hands the media their asses:

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen

Some of you may not believe this but I am glad to be here. When Sig asked me if I would consider addressing you there was no doubt that I should come into the lion's den. This was important because I have firmly believed since Desert Shield that it is necessary for the strength of our democracy that the military and the press corps maintain a strong, mutually respectful and enabling relationship. This continues to be problematic for our country, especially during times of war. One of the greatest military correspondents of our time, Joe Galloway, made me a believer when he joined the 24th infantry division during desert storm.

Today, I will attempt to do two things - first I will give you my assessment of the military and press relationship and then I will provide you some thoughts on the current state of our war effort. As all of you know I have a wide range of relationships and experiences with our nations military writers and editors. There are some in your ranks who I consider to be the epitome of journalistic professionalism - Joe Galloway, Thom Shanker, Sig Christensen, and John Burns immediately come to mind. They exemplify what America should demand of our journalists - tough reporting that relies upon integrity, objectivity and fairness to give accurate and thorough accounts that strengthen our freedom of the press and in turn our democracy. On the other hand, unfortunately, I have issued ultimatums to some of you for unscrupulous reporting that was solely focused on supporting your agenda and preconcieved notions of what our military had done. I also refused to talk to the European Stars and Stripes for the last two years of my command in Germany for their extreme bias and single minded focus on Abu Gharaib.

Let me review some of the descriptive phrases that have been used by some of you that have made my personal interfaces with the press corps difficult:

"dictatorial and somewhat dense",

"not a strategic thought",

Liar,

"does not get it" and

The most inexperienced LTG.

In some cases I have never even met you, yet you feel qualified to make character judgments that are communicated to the world. My experience is not unique and we can find other examples such as the treatment of Secretary Brown during Katrina. This is the worst display of journalism imaginable by those of us that are bound by a strict value system of selfless service, honor and integrity. Almost invariably, my perception is that the sensationalistic value of these assessments is what provided the edge that you seek for self agrandizement or to advance your individual quest for getting on the front page with your stories! As I understand it, your measure of worth is how many front page stories you have written and unfortunately some of you will compromise your integrity and display questionable ethics as you seek to keep America informed. This is much like the intelligence analysts whose effectiveness was measured by the number of intelligence reports he produced. For some, it seems that as long as you get a front page story there is little or no regard for the "collateral damage" you will cause. Personal reputations have no value and you report with total impunity and are rarely held accountable for unethical conduct.

Given the near instantaneous ability to report actions on the ground, the responsibility to accurately and truthfully report takes on an unprecedented importance. The speculative and often uninformed initial reporting that characterizes our media appears to be rapidly becoming the standard of the industry. An Arab proverb states - "four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity." once reported, your assessments become conventional wisdom and nearly impossible to change. Other major challenges are your willingness to be manipulated by "high level officials" who leak stories and by lawyers who use hyperbole to strengthen their arguments. Your unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda driven biases contribute to this corrosive environment. All of these challenges combined create a media environment that does a tremendous disservice to America. Over the course of this war tactically insignificant events have become strategic defeats for America because of the tremendous power and impact of the media and by extension you the journalist. In many cases the media has unjustly destroyed the individual reputations and careers of those involved. We realize that because of the near real time reporting environment that you face it is difficult to report accurately. In my business one of our fundamental truths is that "the first report is always wrong." Unfortunately, in your business "the first report" gives Americans who rely on the snippets of CNN, if you will, their "truths" and perspectives on an issue. As a corollary to this deadline driven need to publish "initial impressions or observations" versus objective facts there is an additional challenge for us who are the subject of your reporting. When you assume that you are correct and on the moral high ground on a story because we have not respond to questions you provided is the ultimate arrogance and distortion of ethics. One of your highly respected fellow journalists once told me that there are some amongst you who "feed from a pig's trough." If that is who I am dealing with then I will never respond; otherwise, we will both get dirty and the pig will love it. This does not mean that your story is accurate.

I do not believe that this is what our forefathers intended. The code of ethics for the society of professional journalists states:
...public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility

The basic ethics of a journalist that calls for:

1. Seeking truth,

2. Providing fair and comprehensive account of events and issues

3. Thoroughness and honesty

All are victims of the massive agenda driven competition for economic or political supremacy. The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our servicemembers who are at war.

My assessment is that your profession, to some extent, has strayed from these ethical standards and allowed external agendas to manipulate what the American public sees on tv, what they read in our newspapers and what they see on the web. For some of you, just like some of our politicians, the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your own preconceived notions, biases and agendas.

It is astounding to me when I hear the vehement disagreement with the military's forays into information operations that seek to disseminate the truth and inform the Iraqi people in order to counter our enemy's blatant propaganda. As I assess various media entities, some are unquestionably engaged in political propaganda that is uncontrolled. There is no question in my mind that the strength our democracy and our freedoms remain linked to your ability to exercise freedom of the press - I adamantly support this basic foundation of our democracy and completely supported the embedding of media into our formations up until my last day in uniform. The issue is one of maintaining professional ethics and standards from within your institution. Military leaders must accept that these injustices will happen and whether they like what you print or not they must deal with you and enable you, if you are an ethical journalist.

Finally, I will leave this subject with a question that we must ask ourselves--who is responsible for maintaining the ethical standards of the profession in order to ensure that our democracy does not continue to be threatened by this dangerous shift away from your sacred duty of public enlightenment?

If you read this AP report, you will not see one iota of what the general said in the above paragraphs. In fact, if you were to only read the media reports, you wouldn't have any idea that General Sanchez even breathed one syllable about the media in his speech.

The New York Times did the exact same thing. Not one word about the scathing remarks about the media.

The Washington Post addressed Sanchez' comments about the media, but not until the very last paragraph of the piece.

Bruce Kesler at the Democracy Project, Captain Ed, Wake Up America, Macsmind,
Chuck Adkins, Hugh Hewitt, protein wisdom, The Virginian, Dread Pundit Bluto and Argghhh! all are discussing what the media is trying in vain to cover up.


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Comments (32)

The blood stains their hand... (Below threshold)
kim:

The blood stains their hands.
=================

Another spent arrow by Kim ... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Another spent arrow by Kim which misses the point at to why the American public is so outraged.

The web you must weave in order to worship your king.

Your valiant attempts to deflect the criticism leveled at the Bush administration by Sanchez so as to bury the accountability factor that singlehandedly is responsible for the utter chaos and mismanagement of the Iraq war is despicable.

Leave it to the righties to obscure the meaning by Sanchez directed solely at the Bush administration for its "lust for power", it's "incompetent strategic leadership" and more.

I've got to hand it to you Kim. That pig is a slippery bugger but somehow rolling around in the garbage you manage to take a swipe at it with the red lipstick.

Too bad you missed. I'm sure we'll see you back trying again though.

The MSM news reports are no... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

The MSM news reports are not just biased, they have become completely dishonest.

This was far more an excoration of the press than admonishment of the Bush administration.

Being a registered recipien... (Below threshold)

Being a registered recipient of the New York Times (for the purpose of reading and rebutting their daily poison) I just emailed David S. Cloud who wrote the "selected" Sanchez story for the Times:

"Very nice article David. Too bad you left out the complete statements (which now points directly to YOU) that General Sanchez made concerning journalistic integrity."

"But don't let this simple part of your profession get in the way of yours and the NYT's pathetic agenda. How do you live with yourself if one soldier has died because of your bias?"

I'm sure his response will be (if I recieve one) that space did not allow for the Generals complete story. WHO'S SURPRISED!

Oh, and I meant to add... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Oh, and I meant to add

"The most unethical new media in history."

To coin a phrase. ;-)

Sanchez the military a... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Sanchez the military and the press corps maintain a strong, mutually respectful and enabling relationship...The mainstream media gave the military pretty much a free pass until Abu Grahib and Rumsfeld took pride (falsely I'm sure,) for the military breaking that story. The press were slow off the mark of Abu until '60 Minutes' released the photos and Seymour Hersh of the NewYorker followed with his expose, the same journalist whose apartment Cheney wanted to raid in 1975, when he was Ford's chief of staff.

There was a vast difference between what the White House and Pentagon knew about the situation in Iraq, and what they were saying publicly. If you want to read Pentagon and White Houses handouts about what they wanted the public to hear, I suggest Wizbang stick to those official military sources, but if readers are interested in what Generals said or are saying privately and what is really happening on the ground, I suggest we look at as many sources and accounts as possible.

Over and over again inside the White House bunker, generals such as Sanchez, were afraid to give the President the truth. If he thought the situation in Iraq was such a FUBAR, the day he took command in 2003 why is speaking out now, perhaps because when they did, they were often shown the door like Shineski. Even when they were shown the door they didn't speak out.

This example, or omission by Jay Garner is enlightening.

"We've made three tragic decisions," Garner told Rumsfeld.

"Really?" Rumsfeld asked.

Later that day, Garner went with Rumsfeld to the White House. But in a meeting with Bush, he made no mention of mistakes. Instead he regaled the president with stories from his time in Baghdad...

And I think if I(Garner) had said that to the president in front of Cheney and Condoleezza Rice and Rumsfeld in there, the president would have looked at them and they would have rolled their eyes back and he would have thought, 'Boy, I wonder why we didn't get rid of this guy sooner?'"


So blame the press for all the terrible mistakes, that went unreported and unacknowedgeded at the time?


There is something about th... (Below threshold)
kim:

There is something about that civil behaviour.
==================

civil behavior, Is your lip... (Below threshold)

civil behavior, Is your lipstick inventory "selective" too? While the General's scorching consensus of the prosecution of the war may be shared (and his speach in no way censored), what Kim is pointing out is the VERY PART which the General stated to "reporters" about journalistic integrity was OMITTED! If you refuse to accept this ommission as an out-right bias on the part of these slugs, there is no point in debating you or your piglet friends.

Using Pauls question: "Does it bother you in the least that your comments here could be coming directly from Osama Bin Laden, and no one would notice the difference?"

civil [mis]behavior:<... (Below threshold)
marc:

civil [mis]behavior:

Leave it to the righties to obscure the meaning by Sanchez directed solely at the Bush administration for its "lust for power", it's "incompetent strategic leadership" and more.

Who's obscuring it, in this post alone are a couple of links to MSM stories with the entire text of that section of his speech.

Nice try CB, but you failed to make any salient point.

Isn't it odd (well, not really but you get the point) I distinctly recall a time when Bush was geing excoriated on a daily basis (not that he isn't still) for not firing those in charge of the "debacle" they claim Iraq was and is and more specifically Abu Ghraib.

Yet now some of the very same people are running around with their hair on fire all pointing to the Sanchez speech as some sort of vindication, a sort of playground game of gotcha.

Funny that, because Sanchez did get fired and he was in charge during the entire Abu Ghraib episode and he bares as much responsibility as anyone.

Oh well... they have their new poster boy don't they?

Also, I might add that Gene... (Below threshold)

Also, I might add that General Sanchez may have a few sour grapes towards his superiors:

Last spring, the Army cleared Sanchez of any responsibility for the abuse of prisoners. That was after an independent panel led by former U.S. Defense Secretary James Schlesinger judged that Sanchez should have had closer oversight.

A separate Army investigation found that Sanchez had approved the use of interrogation practices that indirectly led to some of the abuses.
LINK

Exactly Rovin.But ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Exactly Rovin.

But that will matter little to those that will hoist Sanchez on their "anti-Bush" shoulders for the next few days.

Every time CB puts his fing... (Below threshold)

Every time CB puts his fingers to the home keys the ironies and hypocrisies flow at a rate I never seen before. Every sentence is punctuated with it. Every posting is rife with it.

Spewing hate and bile with every accusation that those he targets are hateful. Every scathing indictment replete with exactly that which he charges others are guilty of. Never contributing anything to a discussion but sniping, contempt and disparagement.

In the grown up world we call this projection.

In this case, the media willfully obscures a large portion of a comprehensive speech which is unflattering to them and CB has the crust to accuse Kim of obscuring.

Amazing. Simply amazing.

I now feel sorry of Sanchez... (Below threshold)
Arthur:

I now feel sorry of Sanchez. He makes a speech with important content. The msm picks the parts that conform to their worldview and we see headlines all over the place about his attack on Bush.

On the other hand, why should he have expected something different? For a 3-star general, that's a lot of naivete.

Funny Oyster, I didn't hea... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Funny Oyster, I didn't hear much from Kim about the scathing report card Sanchez gave the bush adminstration. Kim highlights only the disagreeemnt he had with the media. Comments such as "catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan" and "Continued manipulations and adjustments to our military strategy will not achieve victory. The best we can do with this flawed approach is stave off defeat" are conveniently ignored. (as usaual by Wizbang bloggers)


Of course, my pointing out that oversight on Kim's behalf since Sanchez's indictment certainly had as much to do with his excoriating denouncement of Bush's Iraq policies as it did with the media is just another example of how the righties do all they can nowadays to deflect criticism of the most inept, dangerous president we've ever endured. Worst president ever.

Just a crying shame some people are still so unwilling to admit that their own judgments were (and contnue to be) so destructive to the rest of humanity as a whole. A crying shame.

All the elders I know understand this serious oversight of humanity's demise at the hands of incompetent leadership to be amazing. Simply amazing.

What's amazing is your cons... (Below threshold)
kim:

What's amazing is your consistent ability to delude yourself, cb.
=========================

Now you know why during cou... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Now you know why during coups and insurrections, the first thing that is done is they take over the News Media. When was our insurrection?

civil [mis]behaviour:... (Below threshold)
marc:

civil [mis]behaviour:

Funny Oyster, I didn't hear much from Kim about the scathing report card Sanchez gave the bush adminstration. Kim highlights only the disagreeemnt he had with the media. Comments such as "catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan" and "Continued manipulations and adjustments to our military strategy will not achieve victory.

And so? Whats news in that?

Various and sundry loonbats and those suffering from BDS have been saying similar things since BEFORE Afghanistan. (remember some of you loonbats and "jihadist deniers" said that would cost tens of thousands of U.S. lives)

It's NOT NEWS, but having someone at the same time absolutely excoriate the news media and have it come from someone on "the inside" of the news, now THAT'S very NEWSWORTHY!

But you not noticing that is par for the course for you because you relish in the anti-bush, anti-any war drivel that comes out of the media.

You wallow in it like a pig in slop and see nothing else.

"Of course, my pointing out that oversight on Kim's behalf since Sanchez's indictment certainly had as much to do with his excoriating denouncement..." (more tripe to follow) etc
As already pointed out several times nothings been ignored, links are very plainly shown to both the NYT and WaPo articles that you have your short hairs in a twist about.

And BTW asshat, your reading skills are severely hampered by the shade cast on your eyes from that foil hat, Kim noted the Sanchez discord with Bush policies in her very first sentence:

"I know the mainstream media is reporting on General Sanchez' speech, but they reported only the part of his comments that were critical of the administration and how it conducted the war,"
Nimrod!

jainphx:Now yo... (Below threshold)
marc:

jainphx:

Now you know why during coups and insurrections, the first thing that is done is they take over the News Media. When was our insurrection?

For those with normal rational minds it occurred in 1775. For those suffering from acute BDS it was Florida 2000.

For those with normal r... (Below threshold)

For those with normal rational minds it occurred in 1775. For those suffering from acute BDS it was Florida 2000.

Bravo Marc! It's surprising that Hillary hasn't come up with a health care plan this too.

Thanks Rovin, but speaking ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Thanks Rovin, but speaking the truth doesn't need a standing ovation.

The whole BDS thing is centered on Fla 2000. If that 1/50th of the election had gone without a hitch, no matter the eventual winner, the quack doctors treating some of these nutjobs would be wanting for patients.

Just a few hours ago I witnessed some dem crackpot "spokesman" on Fox spout the selected not elected crapola.

It's amazing these people can find the mental capacity to find a way to roll out of bed in the morning.

Another spent arrow by K... (Below threshold)
Proof:

Another spent arrow by Kim which misses the point at to why the American public is so outraged.
The web you must weave in order to worship your king...That pig is a slippery bugger but somehow rolling around in the garbage you manage to take a swipe at it with the red lipstick.

Sybil behavior: Your "spent arrow, woven web, pig lipstick" analogy was...unique! Here's a spot of advice: Next time, try not to listen to all the voices in your head at once when you craft your analogies!

BTW, Sybil, I don't think there's as much outrage as you'd like to imagine!

Seems to me for every mista... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Seems to me for every mistake we made with Iraq the media magnified a hundred fold. Instead of saying a guy stepped on an ant mound they say "Thousands Crushed in Mistep!". Then all the left and some of those inbetween just repeat it with horror and start pointing the fingers.

There is a lot of blame to go around for problems in Iraq. Sad that when the Media finally has the light shone on them for their large share of those same problems,they fail to step up and acknowledge it. Hypocritical as well since,they demand apologies and answers for everything while giving none of their own.

As Sanchez pointed out,it has just divided us more and more. We try to unite a country to get peace and prosperity back to a people. They look at us and see the fighting between the democrats and republicans,liberals and conservatives with all that venom and must think we are crazy. What a shining example we are for the world. What a beacon of freedom.

Actually, the coverage of G... (Below threshold)

Actually, the coverage of General Sanchez' remarks as compared to their full text is precisely representative of most of the media coverage of Iraq, at least since the capture of Saddam Hussein.

They report those facts which tend to make the war look lost or to otherwise reflect badly on the Bush Administration, and ignore those facts which tell a different story.

Looking for truth in the news media is a lot like looking for a sandwich which fell into a cesspool: sure, it's in there somewhere, but by the time you find it you'll be up to your neck in crap, and it will be unrecognizable.

I'd like a nickel for every... (Below threshold)
kim:

I'd like a nickel for everytime a metaphor turned like a worm in the bud and sank its viperish tooth into my best.
=========================

Well, CB, I wasn't talking ... (Below threshold)

Well, CB, I wasn't talking to you. I was talking about you. Your first missive was disgusting at best and totally wrong. Your second missive, while not quite as smelly, was just wrong as you still continue to point your finger at Kim for what you claim is the sin of obscuring and ignore that the very point of the post was the media's obscuring and blatant omissions.

Your charges of hypocrisy now fall on deaf ears as you miss your mark every time you enter the discussion.

The very title of the post is in regards to the media's conspicuous exclusion of a large part of his speech.

Kim not only spoke to Sanchez's criticism of the administration and their errors in conducting this war, she offered a link to where she first read of the media's exclusion (remember the title of the post here) of what looks to be a full third or more of the speech. At that link, on the very first line, is a link to the full text of the speech.

Please point out to me where any of those media outlets linked above offered information on where someone could read the entire speech.

Since you seem to revel in all that makes you feel so vindicated for your rancid behavior here - and God knows where else - I suggest you follow that link, skip the first ten or so paragraphs and wallow 'til your heart's content.

In the meantime, the rest of us can talk in a spit-free-zone.

Whizbangers Ignore Gener... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Whizbangers Ignore General Sanchez' Criticisms of War Effort and Report Only That Which Makes Media Look Bad

AS is so totally predictabl... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

AS is so totally predictable, the liberals miss the point of the post. There ability to comprehend is just pathetic and sad. ww

Notice that the General spe... (Below threshold)
John:

Notice that the General specifically criticizes CNN and their "snippets"...

astigafa - I fart in your g... (Below threshold)
marc:

astigafa - I fart in your general direction. (to steal someone else's line)

And if CB returns, I shall ... (Below threshold)

And if CB returns, I shall taunt him a second time...

"Whizbangers Ignore Gen... (Below threshold)

"Whizbangers Ignore General Sanchez' Criticisms of War Effort and Report Only That Which Makes Media Look Bad"

astigafa, Does this post confuse you? The "Media" looks bad all by themselves. It's just been pointed out by Kim (and Gen. Sanchez) how bad they are.

"MY ASSESSMENT IS THAT YOUR PROFESSION, TO SOME EXTENT, HAS STRAYED FROM THESE ETHICAL STANDARDS AND ALLOWED EXTERNAL AGENDAS TO MANIPULATE WHAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SEES ON TV, WHAT THEY READ IN OUR NEWSPAPERS AND WHAT THEY SEE ON THE WEB. FOR SOME OF YOU, JUST LIKE SOME OF OUR POLITICIANS, THE TRUTH IS OF LITTLE TO NO VALUE IF IT DOES NOT FIT YOUR OWN PRECONCIEVED NOTIONS, BIASES AND AGENDAS."

Do you think the good general was talking about you or the media? Is there a difference?

I think many folks were spu... (Below threshold)
Neo:

I think many folks were spun by the AP report that misreports (lies about) the General's comments.

General Sanchez's nightmare isn't about the conduct of the war, per se, but rather about the nightmare of incompetent strategic leadership that includes Capitol Hill.

There has been a glaring, unfortunate, display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders. As a Japanese proverb says, "action without vision is a nightmare" there is no question that America is living A nightmare with no end in sight.

Since 2003, the politics of war have been characterized by partisanship as the republican and democratic parties struggled for power in washington. National efforts to date have been corrupted by partisan politics that have prevented us from devising effective, executable, supportable solutions. At times, these partisan struggles have led to political decisions that endangered the lives of our sons and daughters on the battlefield. The unmistakable message was that political power had greater priority than our national security objectives. Overcoming this strategic failure is the first step toward achieving victory in Iraq - without bipartisan cooperation we are doomed to fail. There is nothing going on today in Washington that would give us hope.

- General Sanchez

Funny how the AP made it sound different.





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