Killing a canard quickly *UPDATE*

After the Vietnam War, one of the favorite liberal tropes was that the vets came back as deranged, dysfunctional, often savage subhuman creatures. I never understood that. I was the daughter of a veteran who had served in two wars, one of which was WWII, where he saw hand to hand combat at El Alamein and was strafed for three days in Crete. (The other war was the Israeli War of Independence, and he never told battle stories about that one.) My Dad was often an angry man (not violent, just put-upon), but he was that way before the war, as a result of having been brought up in one of Weimar Berlin’s worst slums before his mother (abandoned by his father before he was born) could no longer handle him and therefore delivered him, at age 5, to an orphanage. The orphanage saved him, but I don’t think he ever got over the anger that went with being abandoned — and that went with being raised a Communist. In any event, my father’s personality, which was mostly compounded of intelligence, wit, humor and hard work, was in place long before war began. I also took note of the fact that, not only did the WWII vets return to extraordinarily productive lives (think of the booming 1950s), but so too did most of the concentration camp survivors, people who experienced things horrors even soldiers couldn’t imagine.

When I’d query my parents about the difference between Vietnam Vets and all other veterans, they could only reply “Drugs. It must have happened because they all came back drug addicted.” The fact that, statistically, that wasn’t true either was something none of us could deal with intellectually. So, we simply accepted the MSM trope and, because we didn’t know any vets personally (my parents were too old and I too young), it really didn’t matter anyway.

The trope — the vet as psychotic killer — is unsurprisingly being recycled. The MSM supported the vets when they could attack the war’s progress. With the war progressing well (that darn Surge), the MSM has now turned on the vets, most recently with the infamous NY Times story about killer vets. Sadly for the NY Times, unlike the golden days of yore when it enjoyed a media monopoly, there is now a way to analyze the story and disseminate corrections — and, boy, does this story need correcting, since it is basically a fraud, not through misstatements, but through omission. That is, it retells several horrific stories about crimes involving vets, without any giving any context about either the vet or the nature of crime in society at large. (As a matter of law, in California, one form of deceit is “The suppression of a fact, by one who is bound to disclose it, or who gives information of other facts which are likely to mislead for want of communication of that fact.” Calif. Civ. Code sec. 1710.)

Thankfully, Bob Owens, who has become something of a specialist at his own blog exposing gross acts of media malfeasance, has turned a jaundiced eye on the Times‘ latest whopper, and produced a clear amalgamation of his own analysis, and the analyses that others have done. You should definitely read the article, but the bottom line won’t surprise you: through the combined sins of fraudulent omission and sheer hysteria, the Times has produced something that is wrong, wrong, wrong. I’d cry shame, but the MSM has none.

UPDATE:  It seems appropriate to include year the American Thinker’s catch about the Times’ double standard when it comes to Presidential war powers.

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Comments

  1. Al says

    I have been too disgusted with the New York Times for too long to be upset by this latest break of trust by the NYT with its’ readership. Correction, those who read the Times now want to read these fables. The Times broke its’ trust with America. Last year in protest I took out a subscription to the Sunday edition of the Washington Times, and told the NYT why. The news is late, but the book reviews are interesting.
    Al

  2. jj says

    Some of you may be old enough to remember when this same kind of stuff – though not nearly as broadly, the media was very different and so was the world in general – came up back in the 1950s in the wake of Korea. Can’t remember if the NYT was involved or not.

    I was occupying space on Planet Earth at the time, but I only remember it because it came up a few years later as a sample of statistical manipulation.

    The thrust of the stories was the same: military training and war experience unbalances and coarsens those who participate, thereby rendering them more likely to create problems when back home.

    As an exercise, we went on to establish that not only were a disproportionate number of criminal acts attributable to veterans, but a disproportionate number of veterans also grew roses; drove Chevys; worked as pharmacists; used fountain pens; sold insurance; and joined fire departments.

    Why? Simple. From 1941 until 1973 males in this country were subject to the draft – EVERYBODY had been in the military. A disproportionate number of veterans did EVERYTHING! Well, duh! But that simple and plainly apparent fact wasn’t a feature of the yellowed newspaper clippings we looked at, or the breathless reportage contained therein. Thus can you play with statistics.

    These days are clearly different, there is no draft. But: Statiscal manipulation, lying by omission, media hysteria, and sheer incompetence (never, never, never underestimate the effect that stupidity has had throughout human history, it doesn’t get nearly enough cvredit in the textbooks) remain unchanged.

  3. Allen L. says

    When I first read this story it actually had me laughing. It was such an obvious attempt to foist an old canard.

    It was very much like when your kids try to lie to you. The attempt is pretty good, and the story is pretty amusing, but you know they’re lying without even having to check on it.

    This was so pathetic it was funny.

Trackbacks

  1. New York Times – Exposed Again for Peddling Fraudulent Canard About Killer Veterans

    Surprise at such garbage would truly be surprising in this day and age. The New York Times proves once again that the term “rag” would actually be a compliment in their case.

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