Sunday, January 28, 2007
The Spitting Image Redux
Long after the original Evil Hippie Spitter legends were debunked, the NYT -- in the person of reporter Ian Urbina -- is going out of its way to create a new one for the Iraq disaster.
The Urbina piece is an interesting article from the standpoint of propagandistic techniques in the media. For example, it quotes the US total casualty figures, but then quotes the annual Iraqi casualty figures; a less-than-careful reader will not realize that Urbina is comparing apples and oranges here. It lists the total of protestors as "tens of thousands" above the fold, and one has to read near to the end to learn that the organizers of the protest estimated the total at 400,000.
As for the spitting incident described at the very end, it may well have happened. But I would very much bet it did not happen the way it's described. The veteran involved, Joshua Sparling, was an invited guest to last year's State of the Union address (and was singled out for praise therefor by members of the right-wing website FreeRepublic), is alleged by Michelle Malkin to have received a death threat while in the hospital, and has appeared with Sean Hannity. In other words, he's very likely a Republican Party operative in the mold of John O'Neill of "Swift Boat" infamy and the NYT (or at least Ian Urbina and/or his editors) is very careful to avoid telling us about his past.
UPDATE: I posted this over in a diary at DailyKos, and john culpepper posted in the comments section that Ian Urbina actually wrote a piece in 2002 for the Village Voice on how BushCo does psy-ops. So did Urbina simply (and ironically, in view of his authorship of the 2002 piece) forget to check out Sparling's background (which is possible and even probable -- reporters are human too), or is Urbina in on the con?
I'm gonna go with... B.
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