What reporters do … or at least continue to pretend to do
I was reading TIME’s “Battleland” blog about the Sergeant that allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians, including women and children.
The reporter/blogger wrote this before the Sergeant had been identified to the press and the reporter produced a long list of extenuating and mitigating circumstances that might work in the favor of the then unnamed Sergeant. All of them, says the reporter were from his defense attorney, or strong rumor or innuendo or, in some cases fact:
– He was suffering from marital strife.
– He was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder
– He was suffering from a traumatic brain injury he got in Iraq in 2010.
– The Army inadequately tested him and permitted his redeployment despite those conditions.
– He’d been promised he wouldn’t have to go back to war after his third tour in Iraq.
– He was ordered to Afghanistan overnight for his fourth tour in December.
– He saw a buddy’s leg blow off hours before the massacre.
– He got drunk before leaving his southern Afghanistan post at 3 a.m. to kill 16 men, women and children.
The reporter then says:
Army mental-health and legal officials aren’t surprised by the expanding roster. That’s what defense attorneys do. And – to avoid the death penalty, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said is possible in this case – proving only one of these extenuating conditions may be sufficient to keep him alive at Fort Leavenworth, albeit for life.
I don’t disagree. That’s what defense attorneys do.
However, speaking of trying to introduce extenuating and mitigating circumstances, you have to understand that the reporter is trying to excuse the press for reporting rumors and innuendo.
To do that, the reporter breaks out the BS flag and waves it from the top of Mt. Hood:
It’s also what reporters do, especially when the press lacks a name so they are unable to dig into the suspect’s childhood to see what role his parents, siblings, elementary-school teachers and fellow Boy Scouts may have played.
No it’s not. Proof? Two words: Barack Obama
Tell me about his Harvard days, Mr. Reporter. Or heck, his Columbia days. ACORN days? Community organizer days (and not just quotes from his book, thank you very much)? Tell me about his association with Derrick Bell, Bill Ayres and Jeremiah Write and what effect they had on his life. You dug into all of that, right? Tell me about others with whom he associated throughout his life and the role they played in his life. Got a clue?
Yeah … I know … never mind.