Wednesday, June 21, 2006

NYT: What to do when your p.r. is in conflict with facts? Dump the facts! Dexy's back

Dexter Filkins. The useless, the stupid. The New York Times' ultimate embed.

He's in print this morning.

We're not putting up speculation about what may or may not have happened to two kidnapped soldiers while their families are still grieving.* That decision was made yesterday when I saw various wire reports on the topic. Dexy has no such fears. It might be true, maybe, so why not run with it?

He also quotes SITE and his pal Rita Katz again.

It's his usual nonsense for the most part until you come to one section.

So eager to turn a few (PR) tricks for the military, Filkins goes beyond laughable into outright stupid (an easily crossed terrain for Dexy):

The American military goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure that its soldiers are not captured. The only other soldier captured in this war was Pfc. Keith Maupin, who was taken prisoner by insurgents in April 2004.

The first sentence is laughable enough, then Dexy has to compound it with a LIE.

"The only other soldier captured in this war . . ." Dexy, you have heard of Shoshanna Johnson, right? I know she wasn't blond or White but it's a little hard to believe that even a Green Zone "reporter" could forget. Held hostage for over twenty days, as I remember it.

But Dexy was so busy listing his specialities to his various official sources, he forgot all about reality (which was never one of his specialities).

Johnson was captured, so were Joseph Hudson, Patrick Miller, Edgar Hernandez,
James Riley, Ronald Young Jr., and David S. Williams. A real reporter might care about that.

He frequently shames himself in print. It may be hard for even him to top today but you know he'll keep "working it" in the Green Zone so give him time, give him time.

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[*Jess note: C.I. used "grieving." A few e-mails came in questioning "speculation" and thinking C.I. was calling news of the deaths "speculation." The speculation C.I. was referring to it speculation being made about the details of the killing. "Brutal" conveys a lot. If there are facts of how brutal, they'll be noted here. But speculation and whispers? The fact that the killings were brutal was noted in the Iraq snapshot. "Speculation" referred to a number of reports that speculate on how the dead were brutalized. It's speculation at this point and, direct quote: "Others can do what they want. We won't here while the grief for friends and family is too fresh." Dexy does run with speculation in the story. C.I. will do a snapshot. If possible close to the usual time. If not, C.I. has to catch a plane, it will run later in the evening.]