The New York Times Defames The Troops.
Yesterday the NY Times ran a major front page story that catalogued 121 homicides attributed to Iraq and Afghanistan vets after returning home. In a long story (9 pages on the web), the Times paints a vivid picture of violence prone vets spreading death and mayhem around the country.
Individually, these are stories of local crimes, gut-wrenching postscripts to the war for the military men, their victims and their communities. Taken together, they paint the patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.
Naturally several bloggers didn’t think this story passed the smell test.
John at Powerline found the odor a bit off putting and takes the Times to task for shoddy reporting:
Now put yourself in the place of a newspaper editor. Suppose you are asked to evaluate whether your paper should run a long article on a nationwide epidemic of murders committed by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan–a crime wave that, your reporter suggests, constitutes a “cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.” Suppose that the reporter who proposes to write the article says it will be a searing indictment of the U.S. military’s inadequate attention to post-traumatic stress disorder. Suppose further that you are not a complete idiot.
Given that last assumption, I’m pretty sure your first question will be: “How does the murder rate among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan compare to the murder rate for young American men generally?” Remarkably, this is a question the New York Times did not think to ask. Or, if the Times asked the question and figured out the answer, the paper preferred not to report it.
He actually did the math and found that according to the Times’ own numbers, the homicide rate among servicemen is lower than the rest of the population. Substantially lower.
According to the paper 9 people worked on this story, yet none of them bothered to do this elemental bit of reporting? How could that happen?
Also at Powerline, check out this Letter to the Editor of the Times outlining the real world damage this type of crap can do to a whole generation of vets.
Much like The New Republic, The Times is hell-bent on smearing the men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They did it after Vietnam and they are trying to do it again. Fortunately this time there are ways to get the truth out early and often before the approved leftist storyline becomes accepted history.