Fabulism Credulism at The Telegraph?

posted at 12:07 pm on July 30, 2007 by Bryan

Truth matters to everyone but reporters and editors, evidently. If it’s not troop-smearing fabulism at The New Republic (where’s the stratified mass children’s grave?), it’s dissent-sowing fabulism at The Telegraph. People need to start losing their jobs over this stuff.

One Iraqi source said Mr Maliki used a video conference with Mr Bush to call for the general’s signature strategy to be scrapped. “He told Bush that if Petraeus continues, he would arm Shia militias,” said the official. “Bush told Maliki to calm down.”

At another meeting with Gen Petraeus, Mr Maliki said: “I can’t deal with you any more. I will ask for someone else to replace you.”

According to Col Steve Boylan, MNF-I Public Affairs, writing to the Telegraph reporter Damien McElroy, none of this happened.

Gen Petraeus and the Prime Minister have never had a stand-up shouting match, and only once has Gen Petraeus even raised his voice. This is a totally fabricated story, and you should have sought a comment from me, at the least to validate the information from your so-called aides as sources.

Read the rest over at Small Wars Journal. Gen Petraeus himself has now come out and refuted the Telegraph’s story.

If McElroy made this conflict up or intentionally inflated it from standard and understandable differences of opinion to what he’s reporting — Maliki telling President Bush that he can’t work with Petraeus and wants him out — that’s serious misconduct. The evidence so far suggests that Petraeus’ surge strategy is working. McElroy’s reportage seems designed to destroy the Petraeus-Maliki relationship, which is arguably the most important relationship in Iraq right now. When the press makes mistakes, the mistake in question always, always paints the war as lost, the US as incompetent, the violence as even more extreme than the reality, etc. After a few years of this, these mistakes look less like mistakes and more like “mistakes.”

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Bryan

After a few years of this, these mistakes look less like mistakes and more like “mistakesTreason.”

There, fixed that for you since you apparently couldn’t actually bring yourself to say(print) it…

doriangrey on July 30, 2007 at 12:15 PM

Remember what a lie is to a liberal. It is not if the facts are true or false, but if you want it to be true. Perception of reality will define the mode of thinking that will shape our lives.

volsense on July 30, 2007 at 12:17 PM

Maybe we need to go a year WITH OUT ANY of the ‘MSM type’ media.

shooter on July 30, 2007 at 12:18 PM

There should be a content warning on all MSM product:
” Contents May Be Detrimental to the Survival of Western Civilization”

bbz123 on July 30, 2007 at 12:20 PM

I heard that pot-smoking can lead to psychosis.
Not that any journalists ever smoked pot.

NellE on July 30, 2007 at 12:26 PM

- just thinking here, but in a hundred years or so when historians sort all this out, will they point to the 8 years of the Clinton admin where this erosion of decency, ethics and morals really took hold? The beginning of the end, so to speak.

Lies and deceit are SOP these days for too many organizations that should be held to higher standards. We’ve been led into this chaos and led to believe it’s just fine, no problem(o).

I am really convinced that the corruption of America and American values received it’s foundation and strength from the clinton years.

shooter on July 30, 2007 at 12:27 PM

NellE on July 30, 2007 at 12:26 PM

Well based upon the things they write they obviously are not, they’re clearly smoking crack…

doriangrey on July 30, 2007 at 12:28 PM

Bryan, were you going for “Sowing Dissent” or “Spewing Dissent”?

I’m thinking it was sowing…or is it really sewing?

Jaibones on July 30, 2007 at 12:29 PM

Quite a lot is riding on Patraeus’ shoulders these days. No suprise to see these sort of attacks.

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 30, 2007 at 12:33 PM

I’d be careful using the term fabulism. Fabulism is a lie.

If the Telegraph reporter got his information from an Iraqi source (which he states he did), and that source burned him or offered up an inaccurate characterization, it’s not a lie or story fabricated by the reporter.

Should it be verified by another source? Ideally, yes. But some of this is inherent risk with trusting sources.

BillINDC on July 30, 2007 at 12:34 PM

Maybe we need to go a year WITH OUT ANY of the ‘MSM type’ media.

shooter on July 30, 2007 at 12:18 PM

Can that be arranged???

Harpoon on July 30, 2007 at 12:37 PM

Also, the MNFI PAO rebuttal does not constitute a de facto verification that the source was wrong.

The testimony of Patreaus, on the other hand, is more relevant.

BillINDC on July 30, 2007 at 12:38 PM

BillINDC on July 30, 2007 at 12:34 PM

Good point, Bill. “Fabulism” may be a bit strong. But it’s just amazing that all of these mistakes over all of these years in the press run almost entirely in one direction. Maybe “Credulism” ought to be the word, because these reporters certainly seem to approach things coming from that direction with great credulity.

Bryan on July 30, 2007 at 12:40 PM

We have to remember, too, that while some of these people are anti-war, others are just on the other side.

CP on July 30, 2007 at 12:41 PM

Aid and Comfort to the enemy…

Spreading enemy propoganda.

Pretty simple to me…

Romeo13 on July 30, 2007 at 12:42 PM

Media should have more accountability … but I guess this is the reason subscriptions, at least in the US, are dropping through the floor.

They are paying for it, slowly but surely, it seems.

And it seems instead of fixing their problems they’re just deciding to go down … uh … lying? I guess. Is there a word for “fighting to not tell the truth”?

apollyonbob on July 30, 2007 at 12:44 PM

shooter on July 30, 2007 at 12:27 PM

No, sorry it started way before the Clinton Years, way back before WWII. It started when the Soviet Union started sending communist infiltrators into American academia in the mid thirties. They began teaching communism masquerading as socialism pretending to be liberalism. They infected the liberal arts and hollywierd then the legal profession (The ACLU was founded by the American Communist Party)and since then they have slowly but surly assimilated the Democratic Party.

doriangrey on July 30, 2007 at 12:44 PM

Bryan on July 30, 2007 at 12:40 PM

Good point, Bill. “Fabulism” may be a bit strong. But it’s just amazing that all of these mistakes over all of these years in the press run almost entirely in one direction. Maybe “Credulism”Sedition ought to be the word, because these reporters certainly seem to approach things coming from that direction with great credulitySeditiousness.

You know, I think this is perhaps more accurate…

doriangrey on July 30, 2007 at 12:47 PM

“Fabulism” may be a bit strong… Maybe “Credulism” ought to be the word…

Eh. I think “Liberalism” pretty well covers it, as volsense reminded us.

All the News that’s Fit to Print has become:

All the “News” that’s fit to Imprint (the Meta-Narrative)

krakatoa on July 30, 2007 at 12:49 PM

Good point, Bill. “Fabulism” may be a bit strong. But it’s just amazing that all of these mistakes over all of these years in the press run almost entirely in one direction. Maybe “Credulism” ought to be the word, because these reporters certainly seem to approach things coming from that direction with great credulity.

In the case of the Telegraph, certainly. In the case of Scott Thomas, I get a fabulism vibe, as in, they may have actually published a fabulist.

In the case of legit news organizations trusting Iraqi stringers and sources, “credulism” is certainly accurate. And it’s highly problematic, when there is so much BS coming from certain Iraqis in Iraq. You can get two diametrically opposed stories in the space of a 5 minute interview. If you don’t apply proper skepticism, you’ll get burned.

BillINDC on July 30, 2007 at 12:58 PM

doriangrey on July 30, 2007 at 12:44 PM

But the Clintons brought it to the forefront, made a laughing stock of our laws with ‘what the definition of IS, IS’, and “I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman”, plus defying the FBI and the CIA from within the White House from the first week in office.
The Clintons made a mockery of America and the world laughed.
Terrorists figured out how semantics in our laws can be used against us. EVERYTHING has become exponentially worse during, and since, the Clintons.
Death and suicides are suspect when the Clintons are involved.
Quite simply, they set the tone for chaos and unethical immoral behavior to be the norm, almost in vogue.

History will tell our children, or their children, if we survive.

shooter on July 30, 2007 at 1:06 PM

In order to get absolute power and total control, things like truth and integrity have to yield.
I believe I am seeing efforts to discredit Gen. Petreaus in advance of his Sept. report, so it will be easier to blow off whatever he has to say. It reminds me of the reputation the media gave John Bolton of the Scary Moustache and Hands on Hips Stance. Now we’re getting General Petraeus Who Makes Maliki Cry Like a Schoolgirl.
It’s as vile, slimy and contemptible a strategy I could imagine. Which is why I believe it.

NellE on July 30, 2007 at 1:08 PM

McElroy’s reportage seems designed to destroy the Petraeus-Maliki relationship reputation.

Same thought, same sentence structure, just a little different slant.

If the surge is working in September and General Petraeus still has a reputation for integraty, then the Democrats will lose the battle in Congress to lose the battle in Iraq.

Being unable to affect the results of the surge, the attacks on General Petraeus have already begun.
Murtha has cast doubt on the Military.
Reid has referred to the Sept. report as “If honest”.

Expect the drumbeat to continue.

TunaTalon on July 30, 2007 at 1:43 PM

Oops not spell checked. Sorry.

TunaTalon on July 30, 2007 at 1:44 PM

The demoncrats promised to get us out of Iraq. The worst thing that can happen to them is if it starts to look like we’re making strides and gaining momentum towards victory. With the surge working, they need to try to make things look as bad as they can, and attacking the man in charge makes perfect sense to them.

If they had the integrity to go to their base and say “Look, things seem to be improving in Iraq, so we’re going to give it a chance and see what happens.” they’d lose all their credibility with them. Unfortunately, they believe they have to keep the nutroots happy to have a chance to win in 08.

Kowboy on July 30, 2007 at 2:19 PM

It’s not the first problem we’ve seen with the Telegraph. A while back Bob Owens published a pretty thorough refutation of their story about the Iranian .50 sniper rifles working their way into Iraq and killing American soldiers. The US denies that ever happened and that any of the rifles had been captured.

see-dubya on July 30, 2007 at 2:23 PM

BillINDC;

I think “Fabulism Credulism” is exactly right. Taking your scenario as correct (and I think it’s the most likely case), what we have credulism for fabulisms that match the reporters internal narrative. Bryan captures that dynamic perfectly.

Annoying Old Guy on July 30, 2007 at 2:47 PM

“People need to start losing their jobs over this stuff.”

Nope.

People need to be stood up against a wall and shot over this stuff!

When they tell deliberate lies (and this IS a deliberate lie, the claim of a “source” is a lie to cover up the deliberate lie) with the intent to sabotage the war and on-going operations, then this isn’t just “malfeasance in reporting,” it’s an attempt to cause the defeat of the United States while it is at war.

Once again, my favorite liberal Supreme Court Justice:

When a nation is at war many thing which might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its efforts that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and no court could regard them as protected by any Constitutional right. [Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Schenk v. US, 249 US 47, 52 (1919)]

georgej on July 30, 2007 at 3:35 PM

georgej on July 30, 2007 at 3:35 PM

Amen to that brother…

doriangrey on July 30, 2007 at 3:46 PM

The MSM is hopeless, as is the left wing of the Democratic Party. Regardless of what the situation is in Iraq in September it is going to be a total failure as far as the spin is concerned.

I hope people remember this comes the next election. They have to remember that “elections do have consequences”. And in this case the consequences are very bad!

duff65 on July 30, 2007 at 3:48 PM

I just don’t get what is wrong with people so invested in defeat. The excuses are stuff of legend. But when there’s good news it’s spun out of control.
I do get the agenda, I think it’s power. Maybe a need for attention. But, last story Bush president in 98. Now Petraeus is a bully? The scary part is people buy this garbage by the bushel. Everything they see in print has to be true.

PowWow on July 30, 2007 at 8:16 PM

- just thinking here, but in a hundred years or so when historians sort all this out, will they point to the 8 years of the Clinton admin where this erosion of decency, ethics and morals really took hold? The beginning of the end, so to speak.

That’s an important point. It wasn’t Clinton’s policies so much as his amoral character and narcissism that really upset so many of us. No one remembers his sensible welfare reform but everyone remembers that he was a man of low morals. Aside from the Lewinsky affair, he used to eat pizza in the Oval Office. He never had any respect for the office he held.

aengus on July 30, 2007 at 9:59 PM

The MSM is hopeless, as is being an integral part of the left wing of the Democratic Party. Regardless of what the situation is in Iraq in September it is going to be a total failure as far as the spin is concerned.
duff65 on July 30, 2007 at 3:48 PM

Makes more sense to me that way.

deepdiver on July 30, 2007 at 10:14 PM

THE MEDIA LIED !!
PEOPLE DIED !!!

Really, is anyone suprised that this turd simply made stuff up? This is getting to be the Norm, not the exception

Janos Hunyadi on July 30, 2007 at 11:30 PM