Wednesday, April 21, 2010

4/5/10: HuffPost falsely smears the U.S. military, again; User hate-fest erupts (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")

Summary: This is the most recent incident of HuffPost's ongoing assaults on the U.S. military (previous incidents here, here, here, here, here).

4/5/10: HuffPost published an inflammatory splash headline, accusing the U.S. military of "collateral murder," apparently without doing any basic fact-checking --- or acknowledging that top conservative blogs had debunked this libel. It then reviewed, approved and decided to publish a nearly endless stream of hate-filled user comments against U.S. soldiers, that were incited by the libel.

4/13/10: HuffPost doubled-down on its deception, by deliberately ignoring one of the TV shows it religiously covers, "The Colbert Report," which obliterated the libels and propaganda behind this story.

4/21/10: HuffPost tripled-down on its deception, by disguising a libel-filled opinion piece, "U.S. Troops Gun Down Iraqi Civilians...," by its "Senior Washington Correspondent," to appear as if it is a news story. In it, he demanded that Congress start "giving a shit" about this story, and urged readers to get involved. HuffPost
then reviewed, approved and decided to publish another nearly endless stream of hate-filled user comments against U.S. soldiers, that were incited by the libel.

* * *

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
- Mark Twain


UPDATES through April 21 at end


On Monday, April 5, the following was HuffPost's splash headline:
WikiLeaks VIDEO Exposes 2007 'Collateral Murder' In Iraq

On what did HuffPost base this inflammatory assertion? On another source's interpretation of a videotape.
Did any of HuffPost's "53 editors" review the tape (from 2007), get military feedback on it, or consult impartial military experts on it --- to see if what its source said is true, or if it merits a screaming headline, "COLLATERAL MURDER"?? Knowing what we know now, 36 hours later, there are only two possible answers:
  1. HuffPost's editors refused to do even the most basic fact-checking before running this piece.

  2. HuffPost's editors did some basic fact-checking, and even though there are more holes in this story than there were in Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker when they were finally taken down, they ran with it anyway --- in effect, pulling a Sgt. Schultz, "I know no-thing!!!"

And as in an
earlier instance we documented of its unfairly smearing the U.S. military, in this case HuffPost once again went to the extent of citing as a source the terrorist-friendly, notorious al Jazeera (see video box):

The whole shameful episode has been debunked; aggregation by Gateway Pundit

In most cases, we at Huff-Watch do our own background research. But in this case, we're going to turn it over to the venerable
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit, who has pulled together some authoritative sources that debunk the libels against our military that HuffPost (and other media) put forth today:
Confirmed: Media’s Military-Hating America-Bashing Allegations Proven False & Misleading (Video)

The “innocent” Reuters reporter was hanging out with a pack of terrorists with grenade launchers and grenades who had just been involved in a battle with American troops.

The Jawa Report posted the undeniable evidence the state-run military-hating media did not want you to see.
Weapons Clearly Seen on Video of Reuters Reporters Killed in Iraq

If the vidcaps showing weapons at the scene of the alleged “murder” of “civilians” in Iraq weren’t enough to convince you, here’s an animated image created by Ryno:

(Hat Tip to Ryno, a commenter at The Jawa Report)
Well, what do ya know?… The terrorists were carrying weapons after all.

American Power has more on the bogus collateral murder story.

Bill Roggio wrote more on this latest democratic-media complex attack against the US military at The Weekly Standard Blog.

More… Doug Ross added: “Cleverly-edited video becomes anti-Military infomercial for world’s dumbest blogger and his traditional posse of useful idiots.”

Hoft and the sources he cites deserve major kudos from anyone who's ever worn America's uniform, or cares about someone who has, for debunking this story so quickly.
Note: Hoft has exposed HuffPost's libels in the past, referring to it as "the anti-military Jew-hating conservative-hating Huffington Post" (from here).


So what kinds of user comments did HuffPost incite with this misleading, libelous
headline --- which it then went on to review, approve and decide to publish

The story generated more than 10,000 comments. We're only able to tolerate so much. Here's a sampling:
countrycontemplative 14 fans permalink
Imagine if the victims had been Americans. Now, perhaps we can have a dialogue about this illegal war that has been prosecuted in our names. How are we different than the Nazis at Treblinka, Buchenwald, or Auschwitz? [...]
Posted 06:15 PM on 4/05/2010


Enemycombatant permalink There is no glory in this fight. NONE. No great purpose. Just senseless killing being carried out by talking monkeys with fully automatic weapons. As George Carlin said, "We are barely out of the jungle"
Posted 06:16 PM on 4/05/2010


4 fans permalink you comment is correct..but an insult to monkeys.. America troops are s-c-u--m, like the s-cu--m you wipe from you shoe.
Posted 06:38 PM on 4/05/2010


64 fans permalink
We should NOT shoot folks on the ground.
Friendly folks, media carry weapons for protection in Iraq.
Posted 06:15 PM on 4/05/2010

See the rest of the comments that HuffPost decided to publish on this thread, here.

But lest we forget... the radical left is comprised of America's true patriots, the ones who truly love our nation, and those who serve it...


UPDATE, APR. 13: HuffPost religiously covers the Colbert Report... except when it blew the lid off
the WikiLeaks' video producer's misrepresentations and distortions

How bad has the HuffPost's bias against the U.S. military gotten? So bad that:
  • It would put up a story like this as its screaming headline, without having done even the most basic of fact-checking

  • Even when a left-leaning proto-journalist, Stephen Colbert, whom it religiously covers, was able to detect Wikileaks' smear job, it refused to post any corrections or clarifications

At 12:10pm on April 13, The Jawa Report, one of the most popular conservative sites, published the following story:
Colbert Owns Wiki Leak (UPDATE: Video and More PWNAGE Added)

The first thing linked to is this story by Mediaite, a much larger, more prominent site --- published at 8:45am on the 13th:
Stephen Colbert Accuses Wikileaks Founder Of ‘Manipulating’ The Public

Here is the video:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Julian Assange
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

The Jawa Report then goes on to cite other sources, including military bloggers' ("milbloggers") analysis of the video, and debunking of the Wikileaks manipulation and deception.
So how much of this did HuffPost put up, to correct the misperceptions it acted as a global transmission belt of propagating? None.

Here is a screencap from 6:44am on April 14 of a search for "Wikileaks" and "Colbert" --- showing that the search only produced (a) one news story, focusing on Defense Sec. Gates, and (b) blog articles --- but nothing regarding Colbert's April 12 show:

So do any of HuffPost's 53 editors even watch Colbert? Is he ever cited on HuffPost? Well, let's do a search and see.

Golly --- HuffPost covers Colbert pretty much every day...
and see how it had two stories about the show on single days, on 4/7 and 3/30:
4/9: Colbert's Version Of The Tiger Woods Commercial (VIDEO)

4/7: Colbert's Science Catfight (VIDEO): 'Isn't Climate Just Made Up Of Thousands Of Little Weathers?'

4/7: Stephen Colbert On The Scrabble Controversy (VIDEO)

4/6: Dean Kamen On Colbert Report: Segway Inventor Has New Device For Injured Troops (VIDEO)

4/2: Colbert Uses His iPad To Slice Vegetables (VIDEO)

4/1: Boulder Peeps Trial Gets The Colbert Treatment Again (VIDEO)

3/31: Colbert Stunned To Hear That Ricky Martin Is Gay (VIDEO)

3/30: Simon Johnson Explains 'Too Big To Fail' On The 'Colbert Report' (VIDEO)

3/30: Stephen Colbert Uses 'Ten Plagues' Finger Puppets To Reenact Passover (VIDEO)

So HuffPost basically covers the Colbert Report every day... EXCEPT on the day when Colbert "pwned" the creator of such a malicious smear against the U.S. military. On that day alone, HuffPost remained silent.

As a reminder, here's how senior HuffPost executives have repeatedly claimed, since May 2005, that the site is nonpartisan in its news reporting, and adheres to the highest levels of journalistic integrity:

"We are increasingly seen... as an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news."
- Arianna Huffington, May 22, 2009

"[T]he news is not right-wing news or left-wing news, it's the news. And that will be the sensibility, that will basically permeate our news coverage."
- Arianna Huffington, May 3, 2005

"The Huffington Post approach [is] "covering the news in a 21st-century kind of way" [in addition to] new ideas about balance and fairness..."
- Conden Naste Portfolio interview with Betsy Morgan (CEO), November 14, 2007

"A lot of the discontent with traditional journalism is because too many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned."
- Arianna Huffington, July 29, 2008

"[Huffington] is offended and bewildered by the suggestion that other news outlets think she's getting a free ride. She sees herself as the future of journalism, not the end of it."
- Time interview with Arianna Huffington, May 19, 2009

Oh, if all that were true, what a different site HuffPost would be.


UPDATE, APR. 21: HuffPost triples down, disguises an internal opinion piece as "news," while continuing its refusal to acknolwedged that the WikiLeaks video was found to be deceptive

We recently documented HuffPost's disguising of an inflammatory opinion piece that smeared the Tea Party, as a "news" story. HuffPost today continued its journalistic jihad against U.S. soldiers, by doing the exact same thing in regards to an incendiary opinion piece, written by its "Senior Washington Correspondent," Dan Froomkin (who was recently fired by the Washington Post).

Background: HuffPost has made it a practice of running opinion pieces (blogs) along the left column of its main page, with news stories contained in the center and right columns. This is the model that it explicitly claimed it would follow, since it first went online in 2005 --- and until recently, this is exactly what it has done.

On the afternoon of April 21, however, the following story teaser appeared just beneath the main splash headline:

U.S. Troops Gun Down Civilians In Iraq And Afghanistan -- But Congress Remains Silent

The story quotes a Reuters Editor-In-Chief's "demands" of the Pentagon, then immediately transitioned into Mr. Froomkin's personal "demands," followed by his grievously distorted account of what happened in Iraq:

I totally agree. I want what he wants. And here's something else I want.

I want someone on Capitol Hill to give a shit.

So far (and I've done a bit of calling around) I haven't heard any member of Congress express any intention of holding an oversight hearing into the matter -- or even asking any questions at all.

They seem utterly uncurious about how exactly it was OK for a bloodthirsty-sounding helicopter crewman to open fire on a group of (apparently) armed men when all they were doing was milling around on a street corner -- not to mention how it was OK to target the Good Samaritan van driver who pulled over to help one of the injured men.

Nowhere in this opinion piece, disguised as a "news" story, did Froomkin acknowledge:
  • The fact that Stephen Colbert --- whom HuffPost religiously covers --- exposed how grievously manipulated this video was, and how deceptive its producer was being.

  • The fact that the men in the video were clearly armed, that they had been involved in a recent firefight with the U.S. military, that according to the rules of war, this was a legitimate "shoot."

  • The fact that HuffPost itself was being deceptive by telling only one side of this story, while ignoring all the context and military explanations that would provide readers with a complete and accurate depiction of this tragic event.

  • The fact that the previous day, Spc. Ethan McCord, a soldier who was on the ground that fateful day in Iraq had this to say about the main shooting (not the attack on the bus), in Wired (which HuffPost often cites for other stories): Wikileaks presented the incident as though there was no engagement from insurgents. But you guys did have a firefight a couple of blocks away. Was it reasonable for the Apache soldiers to think that maybe the people they attacked were part of that insurgent firefight?

    McCord: “I doubt that they were a part of that firefight. However, when I did come up on the scene, there was an RPG as well as AK-47s there…. You just don’t walk around with an RPG in Iraq, especially three blocks away from a firefight…. Personally, I believe the first attack on the group standing by the wall was appropriate, was warranted by the rules of engagement… I’ve spoken with one of the medics who was there. He’s no longer in the Army. When this video first came out, there was a lot of outrage by the soldiers, just because it depicted us as being callous, cruel, heartless people, and we’re not that way. The majority of us aren’t. And so he was pretty upset about the whole thing…. He kept saying, we were there, we know the truth, they’re saying there was no weapons, there was.”

This opinion piece concluded with the following statement:

Where's the outrage? Where's the responsibility? Where's the oversight? Hell, where's the basic curiosity? Has anyone on the Hill even asked any questions of the Pentagon or the White House? Hey, President Obama, are you OK with this?
Does your member of Congress give a shit?

Call them and let me know what you find out.

We agree. Where is the outrage (over what HuffPost has done)? Where is the responsibility... and the oversight (to ensure it never happens again)?

We at Huff-Watch are deeply concerned that HuffPost's irresponsible actions, and its journalistic "jihad" against the U.S. military, are going to end up getting American soldiers killed. Recall that on June 1, 2009, an American who recently converted to Islam murdered a U.S. Army Recruiter in Arkansas. His explanation? He developed a "hatred" of the U.S. military --- presumably thanks to "news" stories like this, which are spread on the Internet like wildfire by radical Islamists and their supporters.

Given that an estimated 135,000* or more of HuffPost's monthly visitors originate in Iran and Pakistan, we don't think our concerns are unfounded (see Section 4.3 here). Also consider:

  • The Internet has become the primary medium through which radical Islamists (Muslim supremacists) and jihadists spread and reinforce their propaganda --- including their incendiary blood libels (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Al Qaeda even has its own Web propaganda division.

  • One of these groups' missions is to infiltrate Western websites to spread their messages of hate, in order to demoralize and undermine their nations' efforts to combat militant and cultural Islamism (1, 2, 3, 4).

Here is a sampling of the hate-filled, libelous user comments that HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish on this thread, submitted as a direct result of this incitement.

We suggest you do write to Mr. Froomkin, to let him know (politely) what you think of his assault on our soldiers --- and on the truth.

And while we're at it, maybe consider writing some of the other people behind Huffington Post, who enable "correspondents" like Mr. Froomkin:

Eric Hippeau
Chief Executive Officer

Arianna Huffington
Editor in Chief

Mario Ruiz
Vice President - Media Relations
560 Broadway, Suite 308
New York, NY 10012
(212) 245-7845 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (212) 245-7845 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax: (646) 557-0803

Let them know your thoughts (politely), not only on behalf of those who currently wear the uniform of the United States of America, but on behalf of every individual who's done so in the past, and everything they fought and sacrificed to accomplish for us. Thanks.


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