The reputation of the news media continues to sink to new lows, and the media have only themselves to blame.
It’s hard to feel too much pity for journalists these days, for the standards of journalism have almost entirely been thrown out the window.
It was only a few weeks ago that the news media was showing its horrendous bias in the war on terrorism when many journalists painted the terrorist organization Hezbollah in a positive light while going on the attack against the state of Israel.
There was dramatic evidence of photograph alteration and false captioning to fool people into thinking the Israeli bombing campaign against Hezbollah was overdone.
This week we all saw the 20-pound crash diet of Katie Couric, courtesy of the CBS Alterations Department – the group that first became famous for passing off bogus documents and insisting they were George Bush’s National Guard documents.
A former colleague of Ms. Couric says she is a “liberal Democrat” who is “in love” with Hillary Clinton. No wonder CBS News chose her to anchor their evening newscasts!
Liberal bias in the military press?
The bias of the media isn’t just at the major television networks and newspapers, but extends further then you might think.
Last week the pro-troop organization Move America Forward, where I serve as chairman, was informed by two reporters of Air Force Times that they would not accept future PR materials from us.
I was dumbfounded. In the journalism business, it’s almost unheard of to ban a group from sending you their news releases; let alone for a military publication to tell a pro-troop nonprofit group that their material would not be accepted.
In a voicemail message to one of our staffers, reporter Bryant Jordan made it clear that he didn’t want to be bothered with news releases from “somebody on the right” who “is supporting the troops”:
This is Bryant Jordan, Air Force Times, umm look, we’re just not interested in getting this stuff, we get stuff all the time, I’m not, just just because we write about the military doesn’t mean we’re gonna snatch up every column by somebody on the right who’s ya know is supporting the troops. (You can listen to the audio clip of Mr. Jordan’s message.)
Jordan also wrote e-mails to our staff criticizing Move America Forward and citing material from the Center for Media and Democracy, a left-wing organization described as “a counterculture public relations effort disguised as an independent media organization.”
Odd that someone from a military publication would find himself of like mind with such an organization, no?
But you see, Air Force Times and its sister publications Amy Times, Navy Times and Marine Times are not published by the military, but in fact are published by Gannett, the media outfit that owns USA Today and a number of local television stations around the nation.
A long history of liberal bias
The reporter in question, Bryant Jordan, has a long history of using his post at Air Force Times to take on what he must perceive to be a military culture that is far too conservative for his taste. But Jordan’s role with the publication is a reporter, not a commentator, and if he wants to engage in ideological warfare perhaps he should seek employment as such with a liberal advocacy group more in line with his political affiliations.
Jordan apparently knows the difference, writing a column for the Boston Globe in which he lambasted a deck of cards called “America’s Most Unwanted,” which mocked anti-war movie stars, media figures and politicians.
Two Marines created the deck in their free time, and the judge advocate general who reviewed the matter said no improper conduct occurred.
That conclusion infuriated Jordan, who wrote:
Basically, this means that the two officers have the Corps’ blessing to hold up to public ridicule and scorn members of Congress who are opposed to the war in Iraq.
On July 5, Jordan wrote a news story for Military Times titled “Hadithah may prove My Lai’s lessons lost” pre-judging the U.S. Marines who were accused of killing innocent Iraqi civilians and comparing them to those who engaged in atrocities during the Vietnam War. Jordan served briefly in the military and was shipped off to Vietnam, an experience that apparently played a strong role in forming his worldview.
On June 21, Jordan wrote about Marvel Comics’ decision to have its superhero characters weigh in against the Bush administration’s handling of the war effort.
Mr.Jordan went on to write:
The question is not about the hot war in Iraq but the battle being waged at home over warrantless wiretaps, watch lists, data mining and loss of privacy.
Should Air Force Times ever decide to relieve Mr. Jordan of his duties, one can be sure that his opposition to the wiretapping of suspected terrorists will place him in good steed with the folks at the New York Times.
In May Jordan wrote a piece attacking Maj. Gen. Jack J. Catton Jr. for using military e-mail to seek support for a Republican congressional candidate. A review of Mr. Jordan’s articles over the past two years finds no stories by him raising questions about other military personnel who have used military e-mails to advance Democrat candidates and causes.
But it’s not just supporters of the war in Iraq, or the war on terrorism or even Republican candidates that irritate Jordan. He seems to have a beef with devout Christians as well.
First there was the June 19, 2006, story Jordan wrote about opposition to legislation that “would permit chaplains to invoke Jesus’ name when they pray, including at command or other public functions.”
Oh no, say it isn’t so, Mr. Jordan; chaplains invoking Jesus’ name when they pray. The horror!
And in June of last year, Jordan wrote another story in which he criticized “a born-again Christian criticizing him for his promotion of prayer and God in two schoolwide e-mails.” Apparently Air Force Brig. Gen. John Weida had sent a farewell message to students that included quotations from the Bible.
We can have opinions, too!
If Bryant Jordan can arrogantly advance his political beliefs as a reporter, then surely we are entitled to express our beliefs as well.
I ask that you start by letting Mr. Jordan’s editor know that it’s offensive to have a reporter using his position at the Air Force Times to rally military personnel behind his political beliefs.
Mr. Jordan’s editor is Kent Miller, and he can be reached via email.
And you can discuss Jordan’s bias in reporting by calling him at (703) 750-8113.
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