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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Major Media meets the Crabs-In-The-Pot Syndrome!

I'm tired of the election now, so I haven't blogged much lately. But as I sit and make this entry in my lonely room, I find I'm not quite tired of major media dust-ups.

NBC reporter Jim Miklaszewski makes a little challenge to the New York Times' reportage on missing ordnance in Iraq, which the Times reported on before CBS' "60 Minutes" could break the story on Halloween night. All this, and the Los Angeles Times takes to tsk-tsking the television and paper outlets for deliberately holding back on to the story 'til closer to election time. This faintly resembles compensatory behavior - the LA Times were certainly tsk-tsked for on Cali Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger's sexual harrassment charges, reportage also held back until the week before the 2003 recall election.

Was it only in September when everybody from the Washington Post to ABC News to Fox News to a Beastie Boys message board (!?) called out CBS News over the fake documents regarding Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard?

Say what you will about election exhaustion, this is all interesting anyway. Even though the missing-ordnance story isn't over yet (see update at post bottom). Individually, these incidents are at least irritating, at most utterly disgusting. The Beastie Boys board is excepted, of course. But when I put 'em all together in one place, they suggest a pattern. They make me wonder if some of these media are so tired of hearing the 'liberal media' tag they've decided to cram each other to the bottom of the pot. The Beastie Boys board is again excepted, of course. But what will this whole next month be like?

Shoot, let's fit a few more crabs into this one!

Here 'links' a blogger who sees some anti-Bush gold in the NBC / NY Times stories. I see gold there too, but not for the same reason. If these weapons are even just a part of the deadly forces Bush and Co. warned us Hussein had at his disposal, then at last we can all agree on two things: that Bush's assurances as CIC are pretty insufficient, and yet...and yet...his sources were right about WMDs and the UN was wrong, wrong even by antiwar standards. But this will just mean that assurance has become just that much more important.

My two queries on the NBC / NYTimes stories linked above:

1) Why wouldn't this be some proof of Iraq's prewar stash of contraband weaponry? I use 'stash' advisedly - the Coalition claims to have destroyed roughly 600,000 tons of high-explosives, so apparently plenty of outlawed ordnance was available to Hussein. But 'stash' seems like an awfully tiny word to use for even as small an amount as the 380 tons of RDX et al that went missing by April 4, 2003. The link above is from USA Today, and just one of many that can be Googled. Thanks to Michael Totten at www.instapundit.com for the link.

2) Who took the stuff? This is more important than who missed it. Sharper eyes are available to the military, who can replace the offending soldiers who didn't pick up on the theft. But we don't want any replacements for the thieves. We need to find 'em. Syria remains first suspect of possession. What's the magic number where possession becomes intent to use?


According to the gent who blogs at the Belmont Club (www.belmontclub.com), apparently the RDX et al were permitted to Hussein by the UN under dual-use statutes. The chemical makeup of these explosives could be turned to other uses besides explosions. Whatever the Hussein admin was saving the stuff for, they can't say they got their money's worth.
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