Saturday, May 28, 2005

Choosing Honor: a Guildman speaks out

You may recall "Easongate Redux" being launched by Linda Foley, international president of the Newpaper Guild. Foley repeated the same claims that got Eason Jordan in hot water, namely that the US military was deliberately targeting journalists. Like Jordan, she offers absolutely no proof of this statement and seems content to sling unsupported allegations to the delight of America's enemies. There's a ray of hope in this one, however. Seems one of her fellow Guild members is stepping up publicly to demand she either prove it or retract it. I give you Hiawatha Bray, reporter for the Boston Globe:

::::::::I'm a reporter for a major newspaper in the northeastern US. I'm also a member of the Newspaper Guild. As a reporter at the Detroit Free Press in 1995, I participated in a strike against that newspaper, a strike which cost me my job, because I would not cross the picket line.

I take my membership in the Guild very seriously. That's why I was dismayed to learn that you, the president of my union, made a speech on May 13 in which you asserted that the US military has deliberately killed journalists. The relevant portion of the speech was videotaped and is available for viewing here.

Since then, you have failed to provide supporting evidence for your remarks, but neither have you retracted them. I spoke with you at 11:10 AM today by telephone; union secretary-treasurer Bernard Lunzer was also on the call.

When I told you that I would publish your response to me on the Internet, you declined further comment--except for the following: "I am not going to discuss this with you on the eve of Memorial Day weekend."

This remark strikes me as extremely odd. I can't think of a better time to redeem the honor of the US military by beginning a serious investigation of outrageous conduct on its part. If our soldiers are deliberately killing journalists, it's our duty to publicize it, so that such a terrible stain on our nation's integrity may be quickly cleansed.

If, as I believe, your charge is false, I can think of no better time to retract this slander.
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Well done, sir. Bray is a technology reporter for the Boston Globe, so I'm interested in his stuff in any regard. But this - this - is interesting for everyone. Foley has done nothing to clarify her comments. Her absurd statement that she said the "military" was doing the targeting, not the "troops" is one of those comments that literally stops people cold and makes them say, "Huh?" Note to Ms. Foley: the military is comprised of troops. You don't get a military without them, and a "military" doesn't target anything unless the "troops" do. Your little semantic backflip is entertaining for certain people, I'm sure, but hardly convincing after the 5 seconds of puzzlement you provide.

I applaud Hiawatha Bray for his actions and I join his call for Foley to provide evidence of her allegations or make a clear, unambiguous retraction that she has no knowledge that any such thing has ever occurred. While she's at it, she can tell us all where she got such a notion. And today would be a perfect day to start.

Hat Tip: Instapundit