Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Which road was that exactly, Mr. Burns?

I was a bit perturbed at the NYT's latest act as a mouthpiece for the military this past Sunday. This piece on the dangers of the airport road seems like such a transparent piece of "damage control" on the Sgrena/Calipari shooting. The article suggests that Sgrena was traveling on the dangerous "route Irish," but it turns out, that according to the investigation as reported in the Christian Science Monitor, that Both countries agree that the Toyota Corolla carrying Ms. Sgrena, Mr. Calipari, and an Italian driver was traveling south on a road the US military calls "Route Vernon." It reached a US checkpoint stopping traffic feeding onto "Route Irish," the notoriously dangerous highway to Baghdad International Airport.
The article that I found so annoying was by John F. Burns, who commented in the book, Embedded that "For some reason or another, Mr. Bush chose to make his principal case on weapons of mass destruction, which is still an open case. This war could have been justified any time on the basis of human rights, alone." Such a liberal media, right? Burns must have gotten where he is today because he seems to know just how to spin things so that they seem so accurate, and yet...hmm, fit into the desired story.
And speaking of lickspittle newsmen, my brother, that avid newsreader, told me about a part of Galloway's delivery of the goods that I missed. On his way into the senate, he ran into Christopher Hitchens, who will be now forever known, I think, by the epithets hurled at him here: Before the hearing began, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow even had some scorn left over to bestow generously upon the pro-war writer Christopher Hitchens. "You're a drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay," Mr Galloway in formed him. "Your hands are shaking. You badly need another drink," he added later, ignoring Mr Hitchens's questions and staring intently ahead. "And you're a drink-soaked ..." Eventually Mr Hitchens gave up. "You're a real thug, aren't you?" he hissed, stalking away.
I met Hitchens once. I don't know if he was drunk yet, but he was leering at the undergrad ladies, and wore a medallion and his shirt was far too unbuttoned for my taste.
And now, a large pile of exams awaits.

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