Patterico's Pontifications


Letter to the Readers’ Representative Regarding Hagee’s Briefing of Murtha

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:06 pm

Here’s the e-mail I sent to the Readers’ Representative today regarding the paper’s apparent misstatement regarding when General Hagee briefed John Murtha about Haditha:


Back in May and June, I asked you about a May 26 L.A. Times story on the alleged Haditha massacre (Probe Finds Marines Killed Unarmed Iraqi Civilians), which said that Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) was briefed by Marine Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee before Murtha went to the press to denounce the killings:

Hagee briefed key congressional leaders on the upcoming report. One of those, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), a retired Marine colonel, said later that Marines “killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

I wrote you to ask if you were sure this was accurate. You replied that it was, saying: “what has run in the Times has been accurate.”

We now learn that, according to General Hagee, it wasn’t. Reuters reported on Thursday:

The head of the U.S. Marine Corps briefed Rep. John Murtha on the Haditha case after the vocal war critic publicly said Marines had killed innocent civilians in that Iraqi city, the Corps said on Thursday.

I have a few questions:

1) Will you be issuing a correction to the May 26 article?

2) Did anyone ever contact Gen. Hagee to ask him whether he had indeed briefed Murtha before Murtha spoke publicly about Haditha?

3) What was your basis for saying that the paper had reported this information accurately, when it now appears that it hadn’t?

I think my readers would be interested to know the answers to these questions.

Yours truly,

Patrick Frey
Patterico’s Pontifications

As always, I’ll let you know what I hear in response.

15 Responses to “Letter to the Readers’ Representative Regarding Hagee’s Briefing of Murtha”

  1. Patrick – as you know, and as your readers know, and as anyone at the Times involved here knows, you will not receive a response. and if you do it will be dismissive and heavy on the condescension.

    a possible response:

    dear patrick –

    thank you for writing. the times stands by what it published, regardless.

    what we wrote reflects badly on the bush administration and the allied effort in Iraq. therefore we do not need to be factual, we need only intuitively feel that Iraq is Vietnam, George Bush a war criminal worse than Hitler, and that Okinawan Vice-Mayor John Murtha is a prophet before we publish whatever we want.

    you are not the boss of us. we are.

    we are the boss of dirk. dirk of spring street.

    and since you are so obviously a cog in the
    multi-tentacled Death Squid known as Rovianus Attakcdogicus, we feel it is unncessary to respond to you in a forthright way.

    please dont write us, you pajama clad knuckledragger.


    dean baquet

    cali white bear (025183)

  2. The Readers’ Rep is usually pretty good about getting back to me. I think I’ll hear from her.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  3. Crickets chirping………

    Bill M (d9e4b2)

  4. My theory is that she hasn’t responded yet because it’s Sunday. She may be enjoying time at the park with her kids.

    It’s a leftist conspiracy.

    Just pulling your chain… yes, once again, the L.A.T. is completely inaccurate. Yawn.

    On Monday she’ll talk with someone in the office trying to get a straight answer to your question, the person who she talks to who will be more senior than her will give her bullshit, and she’ll diligently write back to you this crap in as sunny a fashion as possible.

    Of course, it will be absurd.

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  5. Roundfiled.

    Pat, the Readers’ Rep might have been good about getting back to you in the past, but you cancelled your subscription and made a major public posting about doing so!

    Dana (1d5902)

  6. Don’t think it matters.

    And I think the crickets chirping thing was a joke.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  7. The response will be something along the line of “we were told it was accurate”, but then when you follow up and ask who the “they” was you will hear something to the effect of “we can’t reveal our sources”.

    Of course, the above could be all wrong as it is my opinion, but then I can say “well it’s fake but accurate”

    Charlie (22cc32)

  8. Gee, I know the crickets chirping is a joke. The part where I said, “Just pulling your chain,” should have given away that so was what I said.

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  9. Well, I meant the “crickets chirping…” thingie to be a joke, but then one never knows with the MSM. They seem to be taking as many hits as Hezbolla (sp) is — a la Reuters, aka Photoshoppers ‘R’ Us.

    Bill M (d9e4b2)

  10. Am I really beginning to hear crickets chirping?

    Bill M (d9e4b2)

  11. They’re still getting their chirpholes ready.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  12. Definite chirping here.

    Bill M (d9e4b2)

  13. While you’re waiting for the Times to ‘fess up, I’m making my second contribution to Diana Irey at Right after I finally send a check to the policewoman.

    Mike K (416363)

  14. […] Oh, and as for that e-mail I sent to the Readers’ Representative regarding the paper’s false statement about Murtha getting briefed by Hagee before speaking out about Haditha? Did I get a response? […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » The L.A. Times and Crickets (421107)

  15. […] But when I wrote the L.A. Times Readers’ Representative, she insisted that The Times’s report had been accurate, despite my having provided her with evidence to the contrary, including the Reuters story. Some suggested that Reuters might have gotten the story wrong, or overlooked an angle. So I contacted Gen. Hagee’s office directly. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Hagee’s Office Responds: Contradicts L.A. Times (421107)

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