Patterico's Pontifications


Michelle Malkin Is Headed to Iraq

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 10:44 am

Michelle Malkin will be heading to Iraq after all, contrary to the sloppy assumptions many bloggers and commenters made that she wouldn’t. I warned some of these bloggers and commenters that they should not make such assumptions. They didn’t listen.

We’ll see whether these folks are ready to confess the fact that they jumped to overly hasty conclusions. They should — promptly. I assure you that they won’t be able to escape ridicule by pretending as though they never said any such thing. The Internet makes such denials very difficult to pull off.

For those not blinded by Malkin-hatred, I suggest tossing her a few bucks to defray expenses. I certainly plan to do so, and I wish her and Bryan Preston good luck. Stay safe.

39 Responses to “Michelle Malkin Is Headed to Iraq”

  1. She should have waited for Eason, assuming his venture was coming together.

    A “military embed” tags along on patrols while I surmise his plan was designed for private itineraries. That’s the only meaningful way to get to the bottom of the “burning Sunnis” flap.

    If the U.S. military assigns Michelle a PAO escort, which seems unlikely, there could be a benefit. Otherwise, it strikes me as all-color, little-substance.

    [You don’t know what Malkin has planned, and you don’t know what Jordan was planning, or how long it was going to take. Maybe he’ll tell us, but I doubt it. Sounds like he was being pretty secretive. Maybe he was backing out without saying so, by dragging his feet. I don’t know and neither do you. — P]

    steve (bdafe4)

  2. Now why dont HANOI JANE go there as well and do a concert for peace with a bunch of prefoermers

    krazy kagu (044dd0)

  3. Pat, surely you remember that some of our friends on the left scoffed at the notion that Mrs Malkin would make the proffered trip in the first place. Our good friend The Liberal Avenger wrote, on December 14th:

    Now I know and you know that Michelle has no intention of going to Iraq. She’s stuck her neck out a bit on this one, however. What excuse will she use to keep herself from going?

    Steve was simply continuing in that meme; yeah, maybe she’ll go, but the trip means nothing.

    Well, Eason Jordan has had an attack of journalistic ethics concerning the Jamil Hussein source, which our liberal friends certainly never expected (and which I worry might be temporary) but an inkling of which we should have had when the trip was first announced. He now has an incentive, having challenged the AP’s credibility: he would be the first “maunstream” journalist to put together what so many bloggers (fake journalists to the MSM) the story, and gain whatever he can regain of his previous journalistic status.

    We just might see (optomism rising here) the journalistic credibility of bloggers rise, and the assumed trustworthiness of the MSM fall, at the hands of an MSM journalist.

    Dana (3e4784)

  4. Steve,

    It sounds like Michelle Malkin has thought this through a little better than you have. She will go to Iraq now, as a military embed, because she doesn’t want to wait any longer for Eason Jordan to finalize his travel offer. However, if Eason Jordan does come up with a plan to take journalists to Iraq to investigate the Jamil Hussein story, he can take Curt at Flopping Aces, someone from the AP (Kathleen Carroll?), or perhaps even Michelle Malkin if she has completed her military embed by the time his offer is made.

    You seem to view this as an either/or scenario but I think there is room for more than one group to inquire about Jamil Hussein.

    DRJ (51a774)

  5. Perhaps I’m too cynical but I suspect Eason Jordan’s attack of journalistic ethics about the AP and Jamil Hussein coincided with Michelle Malkin’s notice that she will travel to Iraq without him. Frankly, I hope Eason Jordan has sincere concerns about the AP’s reliance on questionable stringers – in part because he knows how that part of the world works for journalists – but I can’t dispel my doubts that that was his “I’ll get tough” way of responding to Michelle Malkin’s notice that she was going to Iraq without him.

    DRJ (51a774)

  6. I don’t think she’s thought through this trip, DRJ.

    Her main stated goal:

    1) to report on how the troops perceive mainstream media coverage of the war (with a particular focus on the wire services relying on local stringers)

    could be accomplished better here in the U.S., where troops returned from Iraq can better sample war coverage…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  7. One is not blinded by Malkin-hatred. On the contrary it supplies clarity of vision.

    Here’s hoping she doesn’t go anywhere near the Green Zone.

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  8. No racism along with your snark, David? Color me surprised.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  9. Eason Jordan is three weeks into a blog career. He needs buzz. Editor & Publisher intones virtually his every utterance. It’s in HIS interest to milk this. That said, he probably has a feasible chance of visiting areas Patterico acknowledges are a no-go zone for the AP right now.

    A quote from a Green Zone flack settles nothing. You could e-mail from a Holiday Inn in Fullerton and get the same thing. Unless the parameters have changed, military embeds don’t set agendas.

    I hope Michelle walks into the AP office and asks questions. Maybe they will unintentionally cough up evidence. We can (I think) agree that a single source for 40 stories should not go mute without a better explanation.

    steve (bdafe4)

  10. Did the German’s ever supply us with the real name of “Curveball,” the Bush administration’s source for stories of Saddam’s WMD program and the reason we invaded Iraq in the gfirst place?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  11. Steve,

    What if the military wants to track down Capt. Hussein? I realize it’s not the military’s first priority but it may be a task deemed important enough to allocate to media relations. We don’t really know what discussions Michelle Malkin has had with the military about her embed, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she has expressed her goals and the military has indicated what it can and can’t do to help her accomplish those goals.

    I’m sure any embed is subject to the basic military ground rules (e.g., the military has final say on what it does and doesn’t do, etc.) but I suspect that the typical media embeds express their interest in going certain places and the military may try to accomodate that if possible.

    From a blogging perspective, this story is a concern about the reliability of the AP reports. From a military perspective, this is a disinformation issue. I think the military has an interest in the disinformation aspect and in tracking it down, especially since Capt. Hussein has been the source for so many negative Iraq and/or military stories.

    DRJ (51a774)

  12. No racism along with your snark, David? Color me surprised.

    No parading his perversions either? Color me astounded!!

    Dubya (c16726)

  13. “Parading his perversions”?

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  14. If Judy Miller and her personal squad of Army bloodhounds have finished looking for Saddam’s phantom WMDs maybe they could help Malkin out…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  15. If AP exec editor Kathleen Carroll and her personal squad of co-dependant enablers have finished their lavish Five-Star holiday parties, maybe they could help identify the phantom Captain Hussein and save Malkin a trip…and save AP’s integrity.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  16. Nonsesne. Only Malkin is capable of making a proper mountain out of this molehill.

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  17. Apparently my link to LA’s statement made a bit of a buzz on his site. I do want y’all to remember this one:

    LA Says:
    January 3rd, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    I’m ready to eat crow if she goes.


    Dana (a90377)

  18. Mountain out of a molehill? Using fake sources in a news article is insignificant? THAT would be news to the New York Times/Jayson Blair. How many people lost their jobs over that one?

    At BEST the AP is guilty of using stringers who are feeding the agency a line of propoganda. When anything is questioned, the AP ignores the questions. Are they that far above reproach?

    David, are you only capable of making troll-like remarks, or do you have any substance? (Yes, I’m baiting you. It’s fun, but I admit it is immature and on par with shoving a freshman into a garbage can, especially with someone as relatively defenseless as you.)

    Some Other Steve (SOS) (649c9f)

  19. Just how “defenseless” do you imagine I am?

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  20. Why should the AP help out people who don’t pay for their service, SOS?

    This is capitalist America, not some Commie country!

    [Do you think wholesalers care whether their retail customers can sell product to consumers? — P]

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  21. So is she going as an embed? and not to find jamil hussein? Thats not so fun. She just wants to talk to american soldiers? Why not just talk to them when they get back?

    actus (10527e)

  22. Because she doesn’t give a shit about the soldiers who get back. And neither do any of the other war-maniacs.

    Only Cher seems to care.

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  23. Because she doesn’t give a shit about the soldiers who get back. And neither do any of the other war-maniacs. Only Cher seems to care. David Ehrenstein

    Patterico, let the 2007 banning season begin!

    qdpsteve (cd214a)

  24. Hehe, Cher.

    Do you think wholesalers care whether their retail customers can sell product to consumers?

    Well, I don’t think Malkin and the others who make a living criticizing the AP really are in it to see the AP’s customers increase their business…

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  25. I disgree, Neville. I would like to see the AP and all media become more professional and responsible because I depend on them for good information. In addition, America and Americans benefit when as many people as possible do their jobs well.

    DRJ (51a774)

  26. I hope Michelle’s trip is safe and fruitful.

    I’ll miss her wonderful, professional, up-to-the-minute blog that deals in truth and exposes what needs to be exposed.

    Come back safely, Michelle, we want you for president down the road!

    rightisright (16ece0)

  27. David,

    With your only response to my post being “Just how defenseless do you think I am?”, you make it quite obvious that you have trouble coming up with one of your “witty” retorts to my assertion that the story of journalists who make up stories (or rely upon fictional stories from questionable stringers) is signficant. Is there a possibility that you actually realize the importance of integrity? No, that would probably require more mental horsepower than you are capable of producing.

    Keep it up. I’m having a good laugh. Your lame attempts to trivialize Malkin’s efforts continue to show how empty your truly are. Since your only purpose in life is to try to get under the skin of readers/writers here, it is great comedy to crawl inside your head and bounce around in the empty cavity I find.

    Some Other Steve (SOS) (649c9f)

  28. … journalists who make up stories (or rely upon fictional stories from questionable stringers)…

    What I find highly questionable is the assumption built into this right-wing MSM conspiracy theory that only people on the left would fabricate stories. What a ridiculous notion. There are people on the left and right who are dishonest (excuse the obvious statement).

    Also, you can’t just bash the MSM in general, because your dear FOX News is part of the MSM (excuse the obvious statement #2).

    Psyberian, the Infuriating (490f62)

  29. Hi, Psyberian the irritating. Thanks for coming out of left field (no pun intended, honest). At heart I am a skeptic. The only pre-conceived notion I have is that both sides in a war will spin their propoganda, so I’m not sure why you’re talking about conspiracy theories. Actually, I don’t see a conspiracy with the AP tales as much as I see a lack of an internal critical eye cast upon “sources”.

    Frankly I don’t watch Fox News because they don’t seem to present much news. They are focused on entertainment. The other “news” programs don’t hold my interest that much, either, since I tire easily of sound bites. (And for crying out loud, how does Keith Olbermann stay on the air?) I prefer to read my news because it gives me a better opportunity to reflect upon the source and possible bias of the source. I was having a discussion with a liberal colleague yesterday on the topic. She said that she relies on finding a story on multiple news sites to increase her trust, but I pointed out that a good percentage of the stories on these sites are pulled off the newswire from the same original source. Objectivity is difficult to come by, no matter what side of the fence you’re on.

    Now when multiple sources question the veracity of the AP’s reporting, the AP responds by putting their collective fingers in their collective ears and shouting, “I can’t hear you! You’re not saying anything important!” It makes me truly believe that (to draw from the fairy tale) the Fourth Estate has no clothes.

    Some Other Steve (SOS) (649c9f)

  30. You make some good points SOS. What worries me is to think that all of righty-land will disregard all news except what comes from their own camp. Isn’t that the more general point that Patterico and many of his pals here are trying make?

    Psyberian, the Infuriating (490f62)

  31. Psy, you need to worry less. When World Net Daily (which started out as a Right-leaning news source) spouted the ridiculous claims of soy products mimicking female hormones and causing male homosexuality, I noticed several conservative blogs roundly denouncing the ludicrous report and World Net Daily’s irresponsibility in printing it.

    While there are some on the right that would believe that the AP was lying if it reported that the sun rose in the East, they are far from the majority. If I may be so bold as to guess Patterico’s feelings on this, I would say he is greatly troubled by the AP’s “circle-the-wagons” response to questions on the veracity of their source in Iraq. However, if the Fourth Estate is always so recalcitrant toward outside attempts at verification, can you honestly say that you would trust them? After the New York Times debacle with Jayson Blair and the CBS fiasco with the forged memos, I would hope that the MSM outlets would have re-evaluated their ethics standards. It appears from Reuters “fauxtography” (I do like that word) and the AP’s specious sourcing in Iraq that few in the MSM have taken the lessons of the previous follies to heart.

    While I am not an official spokesman for the right, I would have to say that we are looking for honest, open reporting of the facts to include possible biases of the sources and authors. I would prefer a neuteral source if one existed.

    Some Other Steve (SOS) (649c9f)

  32. Isn’t that the more general point that Patterico and many of his pals here are trying make?

    No, the point is that news collectors/reporters seem to ignore facts that don’t conform to their bias and refuse to listen to those who call them out on it.

    Dubya (c16726)

  33. Also, you can’t just bash the MSM in general, because your dear FOX News is part of the MSM

    Fox is cable, and cable isn’t MSM. Fox is indeed eating the lunches of other cable ‘news’ presenters, but its fraction of readers and viewers is damn small compared with the three big TV networks and the papers who suck up to the NYT.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (01397c)

  34. Psyb:

    Why do you care if rightyland ignores the AP?

    More to the point: If the AP is responsible, accurate, and provides quality reporting with confirmed sources about actual events, and the righties ignore it, whose loss is it?

    Conversely, if the AP is irresponsible, inaccurate, and regularly reports things that didn’t happen from sources that don’t exist, who shouldn’t ignore it?

    And before anyone creates a strawman, no, the AP is not the latter. But neither is it the former. The question is, which one is it closer to? The inability to provide evidence that a source for some 60 news stories of the past six months, many among the most inflammatory, suggests that perhaps the AP is closer to the inaccurate and irresponsible.

    And that is bad for everyone. Because society benefits from accurate news reporting, and society suffers from shoddy news reporting.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  35. It turns out Capt. Jamil Hussein has a blog.

    DRJ (51a774)

  36. “For those not blinded by Malkin-hatred, I suggest tossing her a few bucks to defray expenses.”

    A lady who thinks that people should not be able to buy food in a restaurant unless they can order in English should, if she is consistent in her beliefs, believe that people should not travel to Iraq unless they can pay their own way.

    nk (5a2f98)

  37. A tenuous link at best. Besides which, she doesn’t think people shouldn’t be able to buy food unless they can order in English. She thinks a restaurant owner should be able to decide who he will and will not serve.

    Jim Treacher (15574e)

  38. I won’t take it further, Jim. It’s an older post, anyway, and she may have rethought her position.

    nk (57e995)

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