Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Advocating A Jaundiced Eye

Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss won his run-off for the US Senate, preventing Democrats in Washington from achieving a filibuster-proof majority. Good news, but not the point of this post.

Deep in the heart of the AP story on Chambliss's victory comes this paragraph: "Chambliss came to the Senate in 2002 after defeating Democratic Sen. Max Cleland in a campaign that infuriated Democrats. Chambliss ran a TV ad that questioned Cleland's commitment to national security and flashed a photo of Osama bin Laden. Cleland is a triple amputee wounded in the Vietnam War." (Italics added.)

A few points here: 1) Max Cleland served America honorably in the military, and his wounds are tragic and regrettable. 2) The sentence about Cleland has nothing at all to do with Chambliss winning re-election. 3) Max Cleland's wounds were self-inflicted.

The short version of the story is this: Cleland picked up an American grenade on a routine noncombat mission and the grenade exploded. Cleland himself said: "I didn't see any heroism in all that. It wasn't an act of heroism. I didn't know the grenade was live. It was an act of fate." That is why Cleland didn't win a Purple Heart, which is given to those wounded in combat. That Cleland had been wounded in battle was clearly what the AP reporters were trying -- falsely -- to imply. Presumably, that would have meant that he should be immune from a tough campaign.

Even in a story that reports a positive result for Republicans, the AP reporters -- Greg Bluestein, Kate Brumback and Errin Haines -- felt compelled to put in a misleading and irrelevant passage to dilute one of the few bright spots for the Republican party.

When you read news stories from the "Associated Press," remember that those stories are written by reporters, the same ones that have shown such anti-Republican, anti-Conservative bias over the last several years. Read (and watch) the news with a jaundiced eye.

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