Hugh Hewitt - Principal Contributor
Hewitt is senior member of the CaliforniaRepublic.org editorial
board. [go to Hewitt index]
By His Own Windy Speech
Editor-in-Chief of agenda journalism at the LA Times…
[Hugh Hewitt] 5/19/04
the front page of the Los Angeles Times had three stories about
Iraq: "Suicide Attack Kills Head of Iraqi
Council," "Death of Prisoner Detailed in Testimony," and "Pervasive
Abuse Alleged by Freed Detainees, Red Cross."
use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction against American troops
page A8, with this lead paragraph: "An artillery
shell rigged to explode in a roadside bomb in Baghdad instead
dispersed a tiny amount of sarin, a nerve gas that Saddam Hussein
produced in the 1980s, U.S. officials said Monday." Paragraph
8 of the story read: "'What is of concern is that there
may be more of them out there," said a U.S. official, who
concerns American elite media – blue state
media like the Times of both coasts – is that any credibility
be attached to the idea that Saddam did in fact conceal WMD,
just as he buried MIGs in the sand. Rather than confront any
implications of the attempted use of the WMD, the Times editors
buried the story deeper than the MIG, and covered the front page
with anti-war, anti-Bush headlines. They even tossed in an Enron
header on page one: "Enron Tapes Hints Chiefs Knew About
In a lengthy
praise of himself and his newspaper delivered to an academic
a couple of weeks back, Los Angeles Times Editor John Carroll blasted Fox News as "pseudo-journalists." One
part of his indictment read this way:
You may be familiar with a study published last October on the
public misconceptions about the war in Iraq. One of those misconceptions
was that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction had been found.
Another was that links had been proven between Iraq and al-Qaida.
A third was that world opinion favored the idea of the U.S.
people who primarily watched Fox News, 80 percent believed
more of those
myths. That's 25 percentage points higher
than the figure for viewers of CNN – and 57 percentage
points higher than that for people who got their news from
Put aside Carroll's wildly amusing elevation of the ideology
of viewers into a commentary on the content of their preferred
channels – as though PBS viewers are going to believe
any reason for invading Iraq – or his repetition of the
talking points of the left, as though it is not rational to
believe there were ties between Saddam and al-Qaida. [Note
to Carroll's believers: It is only a "myth" if you
hate Bush so much as to blind yourself to the obvious.]
Carroll accuses Fox News of committing is of leaving "its
audience so deeply in the dark."
of Los Angeles Times readers know that a sarin shell – a WMD – was employed against American troops?
And since the paper chose not to report at all the second major
story on WMD confirmed by the military yesterday – the
use of a mustard gas shell against American troops a couple of
weeks earlier – what percentage of Times' readers will
know about that?
wrote his own indictment in his windy speech. The Times is
the news it doesn't like, leaving its readers "deeply
in the dark." But don't expect the courage to admit as much
from Carroll or any of his staff. It is a "get Bush" operation
on Spring Street, every bit as obvious as the "get Arnold" frenzy
of last fall. It will have the same effect as well.
People know. They don't believe the bigs, even when they agree
with the agenda of the agenda journalism within.
If future attacks using WMD are successful, however, I wonder
if we will have another commission to explore why a U.S. news
media turned its eyes from the story that was sitting right in
front of them. Maybe John Carroll will give a lecture on that
topic when that day comes. CRO
Principal Contributor Hugh Hewitt is an author, television
and syndicated talk-show host of the Salem Radio Network's Hugh
Hewitt Show, heard in over 40 markets around the country.
He blogs regularly at HughHewitt.com and he frequently contributes opinion pieces to the Weekly
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