This is a monumental week in Iraq. On the heels of the country's historic constitutional referendum, the trial of Saddam Hussein for his role in the 1982 massacre of 140 men and boys in the Shiite town of Dujail begins. For the Iraqi families of the murdered, it is a day of reckoning they never thought they'd see.
You might think this would be a moment to give the victims and their families center stage. Think again.
The victims of Saddam are being overshadowed by media reports about terror-apologizing "human rights" activists decrying the "show trial." Meanwhile, journalists are complaining about courtroom security procedures. "I'm not even allowed to take a notebook and a pen with me into the court," CBS correspondent Lara Logan told "The Early Show." And Washington Post reporter Jackie Spinner is irked by accusations of bias. "When you're the media in Iraq, (American readers) don't believe what we're telling them," Spinner told the Decatur (Ill.) Herald and Review. "They think we are distorting the picture. We are not telling the truth. They think we're against the American soldiers."
Wherever did we get that idea? Let's revisit the mainstream media brouhaha last week over President Bush's question-and-answer session with some of our soldiers in Iraq. The Associated Press, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell and others in the Bush-bashing press corps accused the White House and 10 soldiers from the Army's 42nd Infantry Division of "staging" the event. (This is the same hypocritical media that eagerly abetted the staging of anti-war agitator Cindy Sheehan's Endless Summer tour of discontent.) Vicious anti-war activists smeared the soldiers as "stooges."
Sergeant Ron Long, an Army combat medic, was one of the participants. He gave his side of the story (which the media has chosen to ignore, of course) on his personal blog (http://278medic.blogspot.com/). "I believe that it would have been totally irresponsible for us not to prepare some ideas, facts or comments that we wanted to share with the President," Long noted. He explained further:
We practiced passing the microphone around to one another, so we wouldn't choke someone on live TV. We had an idea as to who we thought should answer what types of questions, unless President Bush called on one of us specifically.