Jack Kelly wrote in JWR Colonel Thomas Spoehr is annoyed with New York Times reporter Michael Moss, for what I think is a good reason. Spoehr is the director of materiel for the Army staff. He had a good news story to tell Moss, which Moss converted into a bad news story.
The MSM frequently distorts things to make things in Iraq look worse than they are, and to avoid telling the good news.Here is the story as Spoehr tells it:
Last year, senior leaders of the Army became aware of technological developments which make it possible to improve the "Interceptor" body armor worn by our troops.... The "Interceptor" is the best body armor manufactured in the world today, and represents a remarkable improvement over the protective vests worn by our troops in the first Gulf War, and Somalia in 1993. Those vests could protect against shrapnel, but a rifle bullet would cut right through them.... There is little evidence insurgents in Iraq are using the special types of ammunition that can defeat the "Interceptor." But the Army wanted to be proactive, to defeat a potential threat before it emerged.....Here's how the story was presented by Moss in the New York Times Aug. 14th: "For the second time since the Iraq war began, the Pentagon is struggling to replace body armor that is failing to protect American troops from the most lethal attacks of insurgents.
"The ceramic plates in vests worn by most personnel cannot withstand certain munitions the insurgents use. But more than a year after military officials initiated an effort to replace the armor with thicker, more resistant plates, tens of thousands of soldiers are still without the stronger protection because of a string of delays in the Pentagon's procurement system."
Spoehr told Moss all the things he told me, but there is not a single positive quote in his story. "You would get the impression that our soldiers were in harm's way or at risk," Spoehr said. "That is not true." Americans are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the war in Iraq, because all news about Iraq is presented as bad news, even when it isn't.
Michelle Malkin blogged Hot off the press: the latest fabrications from the Associated Press and the New York Times.
Scott @PowerLine blogged They distort, you deride - This unsparing column supports a powerful conclusion: "Americans are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the war in Iraq, because all news about Iraq is presented as bad news, even when it isn't."
Glenn Reynolds blogged Read the whole thing. You know, calling sources to check their quotes in Big Media is an interesting approach.