Lauer gets a lesson on troop morale


You will absolutely love this! Click below to see/hear what one Captain serving in Iraq had to say about Matt Lauer’s question on troop morale:

Windows Media format

Real Media format

The story:

When the Today show sprung a surprise this morning — an unannounced trip to Iraq by Matt Lauer — one US soldier had a little surprise of his own for Today and the media at large.

Lauer interviewed a group of soldiers at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, and at one point asked about the state of morale. After getting two responses to the effect that morale was good, Lauer had this to say:

“Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re probably telling the truth, but there might be a lot of people at home wondering how that could be possible with the conditions you’re facing and with the insurgent attacks you’re facing. ” (video available: Windows Media and Real Media)

If Lauer was the advocate for the anti-war case, he then made the cardinal mistake that no advocate should make: asking a question to which you don’t know the answer.

Asked Lauer: “What would you say to those people who are doubtful that morale could be that high?”

Captain Sherman Powell nailed Lauer, the MSM and the anti-war crowd with this beauty:

“Well sir, I’d tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers also I’d be pretty depressed as well!”


Powell went on to add that, while acknowledging the difficulties the media face in getting out into the field in Iraq,

“For those of us who have actually had a chance to get out and meet the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police and go on patrols with them, we are very satisfied with the way things are going here and we are confident that if we are allowed to finish the job we started we’ll be very proud of it and our country will be proud of us for doing it!”

Amen! We’re already proud of ya now :)

Hat tip: Blackfive

Air America scandal – the latest


While the MSM’s coverage of the Air America scandal has been, to put it mildly, tepid, Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney from Radio Equalizer are all over this one. See this post and this one for more.

The NY Sun continues its reporting on this as well.

Afternoon update: The NYTimes public editor responds to criticism regarding their lack of significant coverage on this scandal:

Readers of The Times were poorly served by the paper’s slowness to cover official investigations into questionable financial transactions involving Air America, the liberal radio network. The Times’s first article on the investigations finally appeared last Friday after weeks of articles by other newspapers in New York and elsewhere.

The Times’s recent slowness stands in contrast to its flurry of articles about Air America in the spring of 2004, when the network was launched. “Liberal Voices (Some Sharp) Get New Home on Radio Dial,” read the headline on The Times’s article the morning of March 31 when the network went on the air. The article noted that the network had a staff headlined by comedian Al Franken and hopes of establishing a counterpoint to conservative radio personalities such as Rush Limbaugh.

Two months later, The Times reported that the network had come close to running out of money in April but had received an infusion of an undisclosed amount of cash from sources that weren’t identified. The article noted that Evan M. Cohen, a primary early backer and the chairman of the network, had resigned.

Yet The Times was silent as other publications reported that city and state investigators were looking into whether the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx had made improper loans of as much as $875,000 to Air America. Mr. Cohen, it turned out, had served simultaneously as a top executive at Air America and as the club’s development director. And since the club operated largely with grants from government sources, any money passed to Air America may have come from the public till.

It has become clearer in the past week or so that Air America hasn’t yet fully repaid the “loans” from the club, and its financial condition remains murky even in The Times’s article Friday. So the future of the radio network seems to be a key question for The Times to answer.

Stay tuned!

Hat tip: Captain Ed.

Late afternoon update: Brian Maloney has posted part two of this investigative series.

From the perspective of another parent


…. of a fallen soldier:

She Does Not Speak for Me My son died in Iraq–and it was not in vain. BY RONALD R. GRIFFIN Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me. I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers. The fallen heroes, until now, have enjoyed virtually no individuality. They have been treated as a monolith, a mere number. Now Mrs. Sheehan, with adept public relations tactics, has succeeded in elevating herself above the rest of us. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida declared that Mrs. Sheehan is now the symbol for all parents who have lost children in Iraq. Sorry, senator. Not for me. Maureen Dowd of the New York Times portrays Mrs. Sheehan as a distraught mom standing heroically outside the guarded gates of the most powerful and inhumane man on earth, President Bush. Ms. Dowd is so moved by Mrs. Sheehan’s plight that she bestowed upon her and all grieving parents the title of "absolute moral authority." That characterization epitomizes the arrogance and condescension of anyone who would presume to understand and speak for all of us. How can we all possess "absolute moral authority" when we hold so many different perspectives? I don’t want that title. I haven’t earned that title. Although we all walk the same sad road of sorrow and agony, we walk it as individuals with all the refreshing uniqueness of our own thoughts shaped in large measure by the life and death of our own fallen hero. Over the past few days I have reached out to other parents and loved ones of fallen heroes in an attempt to find out their reactions to all the attention Mrs. Sheehan has attracted. What emerges from those conversations is an empathy for Mrs. Sheehan’s suffering but a fundamental disagreement with her politics.

Who is Ronald R. Griffin?

Mr. Griffin is the father of Spc. Kyle Andrew Griffin, a recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star, who was killed in a truck accident on a road between Mosul and Tikrit on May 30, 2003.

Please read the whole thing. Related: Haven’t heard about the "You Don’t Speak for Me, Cindy" tour? Read more about it here. (Hat tip: Chrenkoff)