An Obscene Omission

I didn’t want to distract from the election with this, but it’s worth noting now. In a Friday editorial, the New York Post eloquently called-out the New York Times on a clearly politically-motivated omission from its Iraq war coverage. The omission was uncovered and reported by conservative columnist/blogger Michelle Malkin.

In a piece by James Dao about the 2,000th combat death in Iraq, the Times published an excerpt from a letter found on Cpl. Jeffrey Starr’s (USMC) computer which he had written to his girlfriend before being killed in Ramadi. But while Dao included parts that sounded fatalist and pessimistic, he failed to include touching words from a soldier who believed in what he was doing. The Times should have published the entire letter; but censoring the parts that did not serve their agenda was utterly despicable.

Here’s part of what the Times thought its readers shouldn’t see:

“I don’t regret going. Everybody dies—but few get to do it for something as important as freedom . . . .

“It may seem confusing why we’re in Iraq, [but] it’s not to me. . . . I’m here trying to help these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives.

“To me, that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom—now this is my mark.”

I have never had a problem with news coverage being politically slanted (it’s inevitable). But I know of no other ‘legitimate’ news outlet—liberal or conservative—that would excerpt only the pieces they liked from a soldier’s goodbye letter to his loved ones. At this point, the New York Times has no more credibility as the ‘Paper of Record’ than Windows 98 has for reliability and security.

  • An Obscene Omission (New York Post, via Yahoo! News [no longer available]).

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.