boycott TIME for media crime

Dr.Who

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Journalism has gotten shoddy. Why do we buy the news from uncredible sources? I say it is time to stop buying time. (and anyone else who gives us bad news) Story below:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25843

"You’d hardly know it if you relied on the mainstream media, but the government’s case against the Haditha Marines took another body blow last Friday that may be the beginning of the end for this whole sorry attempt to severely punish eight heroic United States Marines for doing what they are trained to do.

In a surprise development on the day Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum’s court martial was scheduled to begin, all charges against him were dropped without explanation.

Tatum, facing charges of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault that could have sent him to prison for 18 years, was the fifth Marine -- and the second of three enlisted men -- to be exonerated, leaving only one enlisted Marine still facing court martial.

Tatum’s exoneration should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the real facts in the case. During an ambush by insurgent forces in Haditha, 15 civilians and nine insurgents were killed by Marines of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. The incident began when an IED explosion killed a Marine and wounded two others. In the wake of that explosion, a squad of Marines came under insurgent gunfire.

The 15 civilian deaths, which came during house-clearing operations, were the result of a time-honored insurgent tactic of hiding themselves among civilians when ambushing U.S. forces, hoping to score a propaganda coup when the civilian shields are killed in the ensuing crossfire.

Full details of the incident on November 19, 2005 were supplied in great detail to the entire command structure the very night of the engagement, and the incident was regarded for what it was -- a tragic result of an enemy ambush. No further action was required or taken.

Months later, however, Time magazine published a story reporting that the Marines had gone on a rampage, wantonly killing innocent civilians to avenge the death of their fellow Marine killed in the IED explosion.

Using Time magazine’s fallacious account of the civilian deaths, Pennsylvania’s Democratic Rep. John Murtha went on a rampage of his own, telling every media outlet that would listen that the Marines had committed “cold-blooded murder.” He first claimed that his information came from a briefing from the Marine Corps Commandant, but when that claim was disproved he admitted that his source was Time magazine.

Murtha’s charges were broadcast far and wide, and before any investigation of the incident could get underway, the media joined Murtha in finding the Marines guilty of a massacre.

In the ensuing media firestorm that broke out, many news reports here and abroad compared the Haditha deaths to the infamous My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War.

Neither Murtha nor the mainstream media bothered to check Time’s sources -- two known insurgent propagandists and insurgent-friendly Haditha residents living under the guns of insurgent killers who were the only authority in town.

It wasn’t because the real facts were not available to any reporter willing to investigate the Haditha case, yet only one news source bothered to look into the case.

As early as May 31, 2006, NewsMax.com had begun to poke holes in the case, and from that time down to the present, NewsMax continued to report the truth about Haditha and defend the Marines who were innocent of the charges eventually leveled against them.

Yet all this time, the media and Rep. Murtha continued to peddle the insurgent lie that a massacre had taken place in Haditha, even though all murder charges had long ago been dropped in favor of lesser charges.

There was a crime, but it was the media and Rep. Murtha who committed it against heroic Marines whose careers have been destroyed and some of whose families were bought to the edge of bankruptcy defending their sons."
 
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vyo476

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Months later, however, Time magazine published a story reporting that the Marines had gone on a rampage, wantonly killing innocent civilians to avenge the death of their fellow Marine killed in the IED explosion.

I'm assuming this is the TIME article in question.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1174649-1,00.html

All their information is properly sourced. The accounts of the incident being an exectution do come from eyewitnesses and local officials; its whether or not they're telling the truth that's in question. TIME didn't just "report that the Marines went on a rampage;" they reported that this was a possibility, according to the accounts they could unearth. In-depth forensic analysis of the incident wasn't available at the time; all they had were different accounts by different people, and that's what they reported.

The 15 civilian deaths, which came during house-clearing operations, were the result of a time-honored insurgent tactic of hiding themselves among civilians when ambushing U.S. forces, hoping to score a propaganda coup when the civilian shields are killed in the ensuing crossfire.

Full details of the incident on November 19, 2005 were supplied in great detail to the entire command structure the very night of the engagement, and the incident was regarded for what it was -- a tragic result of an enemy ambush. No further action was required or taken.

The claim that all the facts of the case were readily available right away is a fallacy.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/wh...port-on-haditha/2006/06/01/1148956481467.html

As you can see, "full details" of the incident were not available immediately because Wuterich lied about them. This revelation more than merited further investigation. Upon such further investigation, eyewitnesses were found that said the Marines consciously perpetrated a massacre in Haditha. In real journalism, when you have an eyewitness and no facts to contradict that witness' account save for another eyewitness, it isn't immoral to run both accounts - so long as both accounts are presented as "alleged," descriptions of events rather than facts about events.

No matter what we know now, they saw a story, explored sources, and published what they found. If you expect something else from journalists you're going to be let down every time.
 

The Scotsman

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In the Time article linked above the vast majority of it dwells on hearsay and annecdotal account from suposed human rights organisations and people traumatised by the indicent purporting to come from a local journalism student. I think Time has prepared a badly biased article knowing full well that accusation should be tempered by the opportunity for rebuttal, however, the Military is barred from responding to the allegations by the fact that the incident was under investigation.

In the original version of this story, TIME reported that "a day after the incident, a Haditha journalism student videotaped the scene at the local morgue and at the homes where the killings had occurred. The video was obtained by the Hammurabi Human Rights Group, which cooperates with the internationally respected Human Rights Watch, and has been shared with TIME." In fact, Human Rights Watch has no ties or association with the Hammurabi Human Rights Group. TIME regrets the error.

It also brings into doubt the fona fides of the "jounalism student" upon whose evidence most of the allegations were based!
 

pocketfullofshells

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Also it should be noted that the army felt there was enough evidence it would seem that it was going to bring charges, so if the army believed there was the evidence to have a trial ( at least before they changed there mind...its it unrealistic to think that a newspaper may also believe there was enough to warrant a story?
 

Dr.Who

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I'm assuming this is the TIME article in question.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1174649-1,00.html

All their information is properly sourced. The accounts of the incident being an exectution do come from eyewitnesses and local officials; its whether or not they're telling the truth that's in question. TIME didn't just "report that the Marines went on a rampage;" they reported that this was a possibility, according to the accounts they could unearth. In-depth forensic analysis of the incident wasn't available at the time; all they had were different accounts by different people, and that's what they reported.


Assuming (with you) that that is the article then even though they technically do ascribe the information to their sources one would need to be blind to not see that the tone of the article is intended to cause the reader to side against the soldiers.
 

vyo476

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Assuming (with you) that that is the article then even though they technically do ascribe the information to their sources one would need to be blind to not see that the tone of the article is intended to cause the reader to side against the soldiers.

The first paragraph of the article tells the story the way the Marines originally told it. Nothing to cast suspicion, or blame for that matter.

Here is the second paragraph.

But the details of what happened that morning in Haditha are more disturbing, disputed and horrific than the military initially reported. According to eyewitnesses and local officials interviewed over the past 10 weeks, the civilians who died in Haditha on Nov. 19 were killed not by a roadside bomb but by the Marines themselves, who went on a rampage in the village after the attack, killing 15 unarmed Iraqis in their homes, including seven women and three children. Human-rights activists say that if the accusations are true, the incident ranks as the worst case of deliberate killing of Iraqi civilians by U.S. service members since the war began.

This is not biased. This is not one-sided. Their side of the story has already been presented; now it's the other side's turn.

In January, after Time presented military officials in Baghdad with the Iraqis' accounts of the Marines' actions, the U.S. opened its own investigation, interviewing 28 people, including the Marines, the families of the victims and local doctors. According to military officials, the inquiry acknowledged that, contrary to the military's initial report, the 15 civilians killed on Nov. 19 died at the hands of the Marines, not the insurgents.

This reveals the purpose of the article - finding the truth. Here's a step by step progression for you:

1. The incident in Haditha occurred.
2. A fallacious report was issued by military officials as to what occurred there.
3. TIME found sources that told a different story about what occurred in Haditha.
4. TIME presented their sources to the US Military, which investigated and admitted the fallacy.
5. TIME publishes its article, presenting both sides of the story.

Don't kill the messenger.
 

Bunz

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A few things I will add to this conversation. Firstly, the 1st amendment covers pretty fairly any legal ramifications that could ever come from any percieved error in its reporting. That sort of thing happens all the time. All to often a practice done by print media outlets is to correct a headline one day that was somehow wrong, then print the correction several days later in much smaller print on a much less important page. This practoce, sadly has become universal.
While you are free to boycott and encourage further boycott of media outlet XYZ, I would say GOOD LUCK!
In defense of Time, it is a weekly magazine whose focus is generally more in depth reporting which I very much enjoy when compared to the evolution to the vomit that cable news generally is. Where the focus is reporting something first, and as it is happening if possible. While there is some merit in this, all to often it is accompanied by totally incorrect reporting with punditry and editorialization that is passed off as news.
The worst examples I have seen are on Fox, but the next guy would say CNN or MSNBC.
 

The Scotsman

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The available evidence does not provide conclusive proof that the Marines deliberately killed innocents in Haditha.
states the TIME Article .....curious turn of phrase for a purported balanced article?!

.....But the video does not reveal the presence of any bullet holes on the outside of the houses, which may cast doubt on the Marines' contention that after the ied exploded, the Marines and the insurgents engaged in a fierce gunfight.
....again from the TIME article.....selective editing from a later basically discredited source!

No mention is given to the fact that insurgents make common use of civilians as human shields. No this is a very biased article designed to be sensationalist and bereft of hard fact. The Marines, however, were right to investigate the incident in order to put this situation in the proper context and scotch ridiculous rumours of another Mai Lai.
 

vyo476

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states the TIME Article .....curious turn of phrase for a purported balanced article?!

What is unbalanced about the statement in question?

....again from the TIME article.....selective editing from a later basically discredited source!

Well, let's just string up them up by their toes because they considered a source that would later be discredited.

No mention is given to the fact that insurgents make common use of civilians as human shields.

Because at this point in the investigation, no one was contending that insurgents had used civilians as human shields during the incident in question.

Insurgents also make extensive use of car-bombing - despite car bombs not being present at Haditha, perhaps the article should have mentioned those too, right? I mean, why aren't all such articles encyclopedic?

Oh, right, because they're not encyclopedic, they're journalistic.

No this is a very biased article designed to be sensationalist and bereft of hard fact.

There weren't a whole lot of "hard facts" at the time. There wouldn't have been as many "hard facts" if TIME hadn't triggered the investigation in the first place.

The Marines, however, were right to investigate the incident in order to put this situation in the proper context and scotch ridiculous rumours of another Mai Lai.

So TIME is at fault for triggering a just investigation? Just so we're clear, that is what you're saying, right?
 

The Scotsman

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Well, let's just string up them up by their toes because they considered a source that would later be discredited.
....well you could but thats a bit dramatic :)

Because at this point in the investigation, no one was contending that insurgents had used civilians as human shields during the incident in question.
....Oh c'mon ;)....even the greenest of reporters to that area knew human shields are part and parcel of this conflict and have been right from the begining, even Sadam was using them in the first Gulf War.


There weren't a whole lot of "hard facts" at the time. There wouldn't have been as many "hard facts" if TIME hadn't triggered the investigation in the first place.
......... that's a good point and well presented! The incident should have been investigated earlier by the "authorities" and TIME were quite right to press the issue (no pun intended), my objection is the naivity of the reporter and his bias in his reporting. I understand that to report fact and researched sources would have meant a sterile description since context was missing BUT and this is a big but a skilled reporter, one with experience of combat reporting would probably have been able to use journalist skills to bring the article to life without having to rely on bad research and sloppy journalism - IMHO

So TIME is at fault for triggering a just investigation? Just so we're clear, that is what you're saying, right?
...errrmmm don't know what you mean :confused:
 

vyo476

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....Oh c'mon ;)....even the greenest of reporters to that area knew human shields are part and parcel of this conflict and have been right from the begining, even Sadam was using them in the first Gulf War.

The Nazis made extensive use of tanks and armored infantry. Doesn't mean they always did. The insurgents in Iraq vary their tactics. Every article won't discuss every insurgent tactic; articles about specific events will only discuss specific tactics thought to have been used in that specific event, and at the time of the TIME article, no one was contending that insurgents had used human shields during the Haditha incident.

......... that's a good point and well presented! The incident should have been investigated earlier by the "authorities" and TIME were quite right to press the issue (no pun intended), my objection is the naivity of the reporter and his bias in his reporting. I understand that to report fact and researched sources would have meant a sterile description since context was missing BUT and this is a big but a skilled reporter, one with experience of combat reporting would probably have been able to use journalist skills to bring the article to life without having to rely on bad research and sloppy journalism - IMHO

Then perhaps you'd like to point out some actual bias in the reporting?

Bear in mind, too, the difference between "accepted" fact and "alleged" fact. Here's an excerpt from the article that I already posted earlier in the thread:

But the details of what happened that morning in Haditha are more disturbing, disputed and horrific than the military initially reported. According to eyewitnesses and local officials interviewed over the past 10 weeks, the civilians who died in Haditha on Nov. 19 were killed not by a roadside bomb but by the Marines themselves, who went on a rampage in the village after the attack, killing 15 unarmed Iraqis in their homes, including seven women and three children.

The first sentence is "accepted" fact. There is no attribution of it to a source; the article presents it as something that has been determined to be true. This accepted fact, that what happened in Haditha was "more disturbing, disputed, and horrifi than the military initially reported" was confirmed to be the truth, as the military has revealed that Wuterich falsified his initial reports on what happened.

Everything after the first sentence is "alleged" fact. These are uncorroborated "facts" presented by sources. You can tell they're alleged facts by the "According to..." at the beginning of the sentence. TIME does not purport this to have been the way of things; they purport it to possibly have been the way of things.
 

vyo476

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If you want to get angry at the media, feel free; this TIME article may not deserve it, but crap like this does:


Advance it to about 1:30 in order to see the part I'm talking about. CNN ought to have been ashamed.

Or, if you prefer to get angry about how the media tends to report on nothing from time to time, I'd suggest It's Not News, It's FARK: How Mass Media Tries to Pass off Crap as News, by Drew Curtis, or just visit his site, Fark.com.

There's plenty out there to be pissed about.
 
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Bunz

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Well Nancy Grace is an absolute DISgrace. I simply just tune her out and she is lucky that Elizabeth Smart was actually that cordial with her. There is a good chance I would have gotten up and walked out, and if that was my kid, I would have ended it right there
 
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