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August 15, 2005

Dissecting Newsweek attempt at showing the other side

From Newsweek...

The grieving room was arranged like a doctor's office. The families and loved ones of 33 soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan were summoned to a large waiting area at Fort Bragg, N.C. For three hours, they were rotated through five private rooms, where they met with President George W. Bush, accompanied by two Secret Service men and a photographer. Because the walls were thin, the families awaiting their turn could hear the crying inside.

President Bush was wearing "a huge smile," but his eyes were red and he looked drained by the time he got to the last widow, Crystal Owen, a third-grade schoolteacher who had lost her husband in Iraq. "Tell me about Mike," he said immediately. "I don't want my husband's death to be in vain," she told him. The president apologized repeatedly for her husband's death. When Owen began to cry, Bush grabbed her hands. "Don't worry, don't worry," he said, though his choking voice suggested that he had worries of his own. The president and the widow hugged. "It felt like he could have been my dad," Owen recalled to NEWSWEEK. "It was like we were old friends. It almost makes me sad. In a way, I wish he weren't the president, just so I could talk to him all the time."

It's very tempting to grab the crumbs of reality the MSM throws our way, and praise them for it, but the fact remains that the vast majority of coverage of the War and Bush, is markedly anti-American, and anti-Bush. Even this peace reeks of bias, even as the writers attempt to give Bush the benefit of a few doubts, although, not many.

First of all, since the press are not allowed in these meetings, Newsweek's info has to come from the family members that attended. So we're still getting it third-hand. The scare quotes around “a huge smile” seem odd, don't they. What are the writers trying to communicate by that? If they weren't there, then why write it in such a way as to imply the smile was fake or forced. If their sources described it in such a way, then give us their words.

Several things are not mentioned in the article. Regardless of the family's opinion of the war, what did their loved one who gave his or her life think of it? Isn't that much more important? We have a voluntary military, none of our troops were forced to join the military. The overwhelming sentiment from soldiers over there is that they support the effort 100%, but is that mentioned in the article? Really, if a soldier supported the president and the War, but a family member used the event of his death to rudely confront the President while he's trying to console the family, why in the world isn't that seen as the horrible act that it is?!?

Of course Cindy Sheehan is mentioned, but the fact that Bush has already met with her isn't.

And the article concludes with the implication that Bush's emotions in these events may be coming, rather than sympathy for the families, from guilt over “starting” a war the authors obviously feel is wrong. One has to wonder how the authors would be covering the mass murders committed by Saddam Hussein had Bush not freed the Iraqi people from their dictator. The probably would still be complaining.

Coverage: Michelle Malkin, Mark in Mexico, PoliPundit, Balloon Juice, Kesher Talk, Ace of Spades

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 15, 2005 11:42 AM

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