This was a banner year for the nation’s Idiotarian newspaper of record, The New York Times.
What’s “Idiotarian”? Popular warblogger Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs (littlegreenfootballs.com) and Pajamas Media (pajamasmedia.com) coined the useful term to describe stubborn blame-America ideologues hopelessly stuck in a pre-September 11, 2001, mindset. The Times crusaded tirelessly this year for the cut-and-run, troop-undermining, Bush-bashing, reality-denying cause. Let’s review:
On July 6, Army Reserve Capt. Phillip Carter authored a freelance op-ed for the Times calling on President Bush to promote military recruitment. The next day, the paper was forced to admit one of its editors had inserted misleading language into the piece against the author’s wishes. The “correction”:
“The Op-Ed page in some copies yesterday carried an incorrect version of an article about military recruitment. The writer, an Army reserve officer, did not say, ‘Imagine my surprise the other day when I received orders to report to Fort Campbell, Ky., next Sunday,’ nor did he characterize his recent call-up to active duty as the precursor to a ‘surprise tour of Iraq.’ That language was added by an editor and was to have been removed before the article was published. Because of a production error, it was not. The Times regrets the error.”
Capt. Carter told Times ombudsman Byron Calame: “Those were not words I would have said. It left the impression that I was conscripted” when, in fact, Capt. Carter volunteered for active duty. Funny how the “production errors” of the Times’ truth doctors always put the Bush administration and the war in the worst light.
Not content to meddle with the words of a living soldier, the Times published a disgraceful distortion of a fallen soldier’s last words on Oct. 26. As reported in this column and in the news pages of the New York Post, Times reporter James Dao unapologetically abused the late Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr, whose letter to his girlfriend in case of death in Iraq was selectively edited to convey a bogus sense of “fatalism” for a massive piece marking the antiwar movement’s “2,000 dead in Iraq” campaign. The Times added insult to injury by ignoring President Bush’s tribute to Cpl. Starr on Nov. 30 during his Naval Academy speech defending the war in Iraq.
After Cpl. Starr died, Mr. Bush said, “a letter was found on his laptop computer. Here’s what he wrote. He said, ‘[I]f you’re reading this, then I’ve died in Iraq. I don’t regret going. Everybody dies, but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we’re in Iraq; it’s not to me. I’m here helping these people so they can live the way we live, not to have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. Others have died for my freedom; now this is my mark.’ ” Stirring words deemed unfit to print by the Times.
The Times did find space to print the year’s most insipid op-ed piece by paranoid Harvard student Fatina Abdrabboh, who praised Al Gore for overcoming America’s allegedly rampant anti-Muslim bias by picking up her car keys, which she dropped while running on a gym treadmill:
“Mr. Gore’s act represented all that I yearned for — acceptance and acknowledgment…. I left the gym with a renewed sense of spirit, reassured that I belong to America and that America belongs to me.” I kid you not.
In June, Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame III, pilot of downed American Airlines Flight 77, blew the whistle on plans by civil liberties zealots to turn Ground Zero in New York into a Blame America monument. On July 29, the Times editorial page, stocked with liberals who snort and stamp whenever their patriotism is questioned, slammed Miss Burlingame and her supporters at Take Back the Memorial as “un-American” — for exercising their free speech rights.
Yes, “un-American.” This from a newspaper that smeared female interrogators at Guantanamo Bay as “sex workers,” sympathetically portrayed military deserters as “un-volunteers,” apologized for terror suspects and illegal aliens at every turn, enabled the Bush Derangement Syndrome-driven crusade of the lying Joe Wilson, and recklessly endangered national security by publishing illegally obtained information about classified counterterrorism programs.
So, which side is the New York Times on? Let 2005 go down as the year the Gray Lady wrapped herself permanently in a White Flag.
Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of the new book “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.”