Sunday, April 15, 2012

HuffPost's cyber-jihad against the U.S. military: Nazi stormtroopers and boobs edition

For years, we've been documenting HuffPost's major role in advancing the cyber-jihad - the use of the Internet to smear and incite hate against the U.S. military and Israel and JewsRead more about the cyber-jihad, and why HuffPost's willful facilitation of it is especially dangerous, here.

The purpose of this article is to present pictorial documentation of two recent examples of HuffPost's facilitation of the the cyber-jihad against the U.S. military:
(1) HuffPost decided to publish a splash front-page headline depicting American soldiers in a scene reminiscent of Nazi stormtroopers, and falsely insinuate that they are perpetrating crimes against Afghan civilians..  
(2) HuffPost decided to not feature anywhere on its front page the story of an American soldier who sacrificed himself to save a little Afghan girl - so it could feature "news" stories about (a) boobs, (b) gay dolphins, etc.
    There are two things that enable HuffPost to perpetually engage in this behavior: (a) the advertising fees it receives its roster of major corporations, and (b) the willful ignorance of most mainstream journalists.  See Action Items at end to learn how you can help make your voice known on this matter.

    (1) HuffPost decided to publish a splash front page headline depicting American soldiers in a scene reminiscent of Nazi stormtroopers, and falsely insinuate that they are perpetrating crimes against Afghan civilians

    At 10:00pm on April 9, HuffPost published the following as its splash headline (click to enlarge):

    No context was provided for either the headline or the picture. So if one only glanced at HuffPost at this particular moment in time, what could be ascertained - or implied?
    • This photo was captured at night, of what appears to be a civilian home.
    • We see what appear to be Muslim civilians sitting on the ground in a submissive posture.
    • We see what appear to be American soldiers in full battle gear, who have presumably ordered the family out of the house and are inspecting their possessions.

    Given that context, the headline that HuffPost wrote could "RAID FIRST... ASK QUESTIONS LATER" could hardly be more inflammatory, or insulting to the U.S. military, for the following reasons:
    • It implies that American soldiers are "raiding first" on their own accord, possibly for their own amusement, and possibly in violation of an order or regulation.
    • It is a close cousin to the accusation, "Shoot first, ask questions later," meaning a willingness to kill anyone within suspicion of being involved in wrongdoing.
    • It implies that the American military is acting in a shocking, reckless, offensive, harmful manner to otherwise peaceful Afghan Muslims --- a libel that is also made on a regular basis by terror groups and their supporters.

    Taken together, this headline seems like it could have been custom-crafted by HuffPost to dramatize the accusation that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) leveled against the U.S. military, several years ago: of "going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing (Muslim) kids and children (and) women..."

    This headline can also not help but give grist to the mills of the numerous anti-American activist groups, who can point to it and say (having never read the article): "You see!!??  American soldiers are acting like Nazi stormtroopers --- busting into the homes of innocent Muslim civilians and terrorizing them, just for fun!!!  Just like we've been saying all along!!!"

    For those too young to remember, this is what Nazi stormtroopers looked like - and did:

    Clicking on the headline brought up this story page (click to enlarge):

    We see here the headline, "U.S. Commandos can raid Afghan homes - and ask permission later." 

    Permission -- from whom?  From the homeowner?  From their commanding officers?  From the Afghan courts?  Neither HuffPost's headline, nor the excerpt copy say --- but the implication is certainly not a positive one for the U.S. military.

    We then see, at the bottom, that the source of the story is Wired magazine.  To any honest journalist, this would have been an immediate flashing red light --- because this means that the reporter behind it is probably Spencer Ackerman.   In case you aren't familiar with him, Ackerman has been exposed on multiple recent occasions as a disgraced journalist and anti-U.S. military propagandist, including here at HUFF-WATCH. More here, here, here.

    That aside, what did the Wired story really say?  Not much, except that it didn't impugn American soldiers as much as it did their command leadership, and the Afghan government.

    So at the end of the day, what did HuffPost do, that we find so offensive?
    • HuffPost read the story at Wired, knew it had been produced by a piece of journalistic excrement like Ackerman, and that it didn't impugn U.S. soldiers.
    • HuffPost decided to adapt the Wired piece for use as its splash headline story --- but only after it juiced it up with the provided picture, and changed the headline copy just enough to imply that American soldiers are acting in unlawful, offensive ways.
    • HuffPost decided to not put in one of its common sub-headlines, to provide context for the story --- all the better to ensure this inflammatory headline provides a terrible momentary impression of the U.S. military.

    What types of user comments do you think HuffPost incited by this inflammatory depiction of American soldiers - which it reviewed, approved and decided to publish?  Take a look for yourself. Then, if you think they sound like cyber-jihadis, ask yourself: "Could at least some of these users be among the estimated 10,000 visitors to HuffPost each day who originate in one of the three prime spawning grounds for jihadists?"  

    This isn't the first, second or tenth time HuffPost has pulled a stunt similar to this one, that could only serve to incite hatred --- on an unjustified basis --- against U.S. soldiers.

    Over the course of the past three years, as we've documented in enormous detail, HuffPost has consistently depicted the U.S. military in the worst imagineable ways, mostly as splash front page headlines:  Some more recent examples, from our massive archive:

    (2) HuffPost decided to not feature anywhere on its front page the story of an American soldier who sacrificed himself to save a little Afghan girl

    On March 28, the U.S. Army issued a press release that described the heroism and tragic death of Sgt. Dennis Weichel.  Excerpt:
    "Sadly, today we realized the death of a Rhode Island National Guard Soldier in a combat zone, and we are once again reminded of the enduring sacrifice our Soldiers and Airmen have made, and continue to make, in service to this great country," said Gen. Kevin McBride, adjutant general of Rhode Island and commanding general of the Rhode Island National Guard, in a press release March 23. [...]
    On the morning of March 22, Weichel and members of his unit were leaving the Black Hills Firing Range in Laghman province, Afghanistan, when they encountered multiple Afghan children in the path of their convoy. Weichel was among several Soldiers who dismounted to disperse the children away from the vehicles.
    As one child attempted to retrieve an item from underneath a U.S. Army mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, known as an MRAP, Weichel moved her to safety and was struck by the MRAP in the process. 
    Here is the brief tribute that ABC News paid Sgt. Weichel on the morning of March 28:

    Over the course of March 28-31, Fox News, CNN and small blogs (including Jawa Report) all ran stories dedicated to honoring Sgt. Weichel:

    Yet unlike the inflammatory (often false) stories against the U.S. military that HuffPost almost invariably positions as screaming headlines on its front page, the story about Sgt. Weichel did not appear on HuffPost's front page from March 28-30, or beyond.  In a moment, we'll show how we can this can be proven as an indisputable fact.

    So what types of "news" stories did HuffPost decide were more important for its global audience to be aware of, than Sgt. Weichel's heroism? 

    Here is a sampling.  Note the proliferation of "news" relating to boobs... but don't miss the gay dolphins, the six-legged cow, and the cute baby otter...

    PROOF THAT THE STORY OF SGT. WEICHEL DID NOT APPEAR ON HUFFPOST'S FRONT PAGE:  So how can we prove that these stories appeared on HuffPost's front page on March 28-30 - and that not a single one discussed Sgt. Weichel?  Simple.  We took PDF screencaptures of HuffPost's entire front page, several times per day, during this period.  Click here to scroll through them for yourself, and see if you can find one story about Sgt. Weichel.  Actually, what you're going to find is that HuffPost left several of these non-stories published for two ore three days straight --- yet failed to make one of the dozens of slots on its front page available for the story of Sgt. Weichel's heroism.
    How would you feel if you were Sgt. Weichel's parents, wife, siblings, friends or children, and you observed this is how he was treated by the #1 most-read "news" site on the planet -- the same one that routinely publishes inflammatory material that serves to incite hate against him and his fellow US soldiers?   How would it feel to know that HuffPost decided that stories about boobs and six legged cows are more important than the sacrifice your son made on behalf of his nation, to save that little girl?  How would you feel to know that HuffPost is supported by advertising from the biggest corporations in the world, based in large part on Arianna Huffington's repeated claims that it is a "nonpartisan news source," working hard to produce "great journalism?"

    “[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”
    - Arianna Huffington, July 29, 2008
    “[W]e are increasingly seen ... as an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news.”
    - Arianna Huffington, May 22, 2009
    “We are aiming to go beyond just facts, to create a narrative... [W]e think bringing journalism to a new level is exactly what people are looking for.”
    - Arianna Huffington, October 20, 2009

    ACTION ITEMS: There are only two things that enable HuffPost to engage in this reprehensible behavior. Here's how you can help make a difference.

    The two things that enable HuffPost to engage in this behavior are:
    • The money it gets from its roster of top-flight advertisers --- including American Express, Chevrolet, Citibank, and many other top brands.
    • The silence of "journalists" who avidly read HuffPost, yet avert their eyes from the reality that's staring them in the face --- and which we report, and send them, on a regular basis
    Here's how you can help:
    • Contact HuffPost's advertisers --- especially those with whom you already do business.
      Let them know your thoughts on how HuffPost has been using the money they provide it to engage in this persistent pattern of anti-U.S. military incitement, and bias.
    • Send this article to journalists, newspapers and TV networks that you trust --- whether on a local or national basis.
      Ask them to take a look at our documentation, and urge them to do some investigating. As you can see, throughout HUFF-WATCH is an encyclopedic cornucopia of physical evidence that backs up every aspect of every one of our allegations.

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