Can I amend my “Outside the Tent” op-ed? I’d like to add one more idea for how the L.A. Times can avoid printing falsehoods: don’t print letters from Frank Ferrone of El Cajon. Here is Mr. Ferrone’s effort from today:
Re “The Correct Way to Fix Mistakes,” Opinion, Feb. 13: Patrick Frey is just another run-of-the-mill right-wing blogger who enjoys hunting squirrels while 500-pound gorillas bounce about the forest.
His credibility will increase a hundredfold when he directs his “let’s tell the truth column” toward President Bush and his neocon brigade.
They told us day after day that a war of choice against Iraq was necessary because Iraq was a) in possession of weapons of mass destruction, b) creating a nuclear capability, c) had links to Al Qaeda and d) was involved in the 9/11 attacks. All falsehoods!
Bush had his war — nearly 1,500 American military personnel have been killed, more than 10,000 have been wounded and only God knows how many innocent Iraqi men, women and children have been sacrificed by the president’s war.
Here is an entire buffet table set for Frey to pontificate on “The Correct Way to Fix Mistakes.”
Ferrone calls it a “falsehood” that there were links between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Wrong. As 9/11 Commissioner Lee Hamilton said on Hardball: “There are all kinds of ties. There are all kinds of connections.” (See here and here for similar statements from various members of the 9/11 Commission.)
Ferrone also claims that, “day after day,” the Bush Administration claimed that Iraq “was involved in the 9/11 attacks.” Wrong again! As 9/11 Commissioner Lehman said on “Meet the Press”: “The Bush administration has never said that [Iraq] participated in the 9/11 attack.”
It is ironic (to say the least) for The Times to print a letter that attacks my piece about false assertions in the L.A. Times — even as that same letter makes false assertions in the L.A. Times. It is even more ironic if those false assertions are based on factually inaccurate stories from the L.A. Times — the very same paper whose consistent ideological errors Ferrone appears to find so untroubling.
I knew it would take a thick skin to have an article published in a major newspaper. But it’s easy to have a thick skin when “criticism” is this far off the mark.