SANCHEZ AND THE PRESS….Matt Yglesias takes note of former Lt. Gen. Rick Sanchez’s Friday blast at everyone but himself over our failure in Iraq, but then says:
Still, it’s very telling that a person in Sanchez’s position has decided that the self-serving thing to do is to explain why the disaster is someone else’s fault rather than sticking with the right-wing orthodoxy that it’s actually all fine and everyone would know it if only the liberal media would report some of the good news.
Actually, not quite. It’s true that Sanchez didn’t pretend that things are going well in Iraq, but he spent the entire first half of his speech ripping the press corps several new orifices — and in an undoubtedly shocking turn of events, the press corps barely even reported it! (Among the LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and AP, only the Post even mentioned it. They gave it two sentences in the final paragraph.)
So, are you curious what Sanchez had to say about the press? Here’s an excerpt (all italics mine):
Let me review some of the descriptive phrases that have been used by some of you that have made my personal interfaces with the press corps difficult:
“Dictatorial and somewhat dense,”
“Not a strategic thought,”
“Does not get it,” and
The most inexperienced LTG.
In some cases I have never even met you, yet you feel qualified to make character judgments that are communicated to the world. My experience is not unique and we can find other examples such as the treatment of Secretary Brown during Katrina….For some, it seems that as long as you get a front page story there is little or no regard for the “collateral damage” you will cause.
….Your unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda-driven biases contribute to this corrosive environment. All of these challenges combined create a media environment that does a tremendous disservice to America. Over the course of this war tactically insignificant events have become strategic defeats for America because of the tremendous power and impact of the media and by extension you the journalist.
….The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war.
….For some of you, just like some of our politicians, the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your own preconcieved notions, biases and agendas. It is astounding to me when I hear the vehement disagreement with the military’s forays into information operations that seek to disseminate the truth and inform the Iraqi people in order to counter our enemy’s blatant propaganda. As I assess various media entities, some are unquestionably engaged in political propaganda that is uncontrolled.
…. Praise be to the Lord my rock who trains my fingers for battle and my hands for war.1 Thank you.
Anyway, just thought I’d share. Sanchez pretty definitely seems to accept the right-wing view that the press shares some blame for our problems in Iraq, and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about Fox News there. Maybe later he’ll name some names along with all the other names he’s planning to name.
1Psalms 144:1-2: “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; my rock and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues the peoples under him.”