THEY BLINKED! - MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM
WINS HUGE VICTORY OVER AIR FORCE TIMES
PENTAGON LAPDOGS WITHDRAW "DEBUNKED"
AND "ONLINE SMEAR CAMPAIGN" INNUENDO AIMED
AT OUR INVESTIGATIVE WEBSITE - EDITOR BECKY
IANNOTTA ANGRILY HANGS UP ON CALLERS
PROTESTING TIME'S BIASED COVERAGE OF
JILL METZGER-MAYO'S "KIDNAPPED" TALL TALE
EFFORT TO PROMOTE PENTAGON'S OWN FABLE
OF WHAT HAPPENED BACKFIRES - TIMES STORY
SENDS THOUSANDS TO GOOGLE, AND THUS
(INADVERTENTLY) TO OUR SITE - MCC SWAMPED
WITH SUPPORTIVE E-MAIL - MANY NEW READERS
FIND US BECAUSE OF TIME'S "SCREW UP"
THANKS FOR ALL THE FREE PUBLICITY, BECKY
© 2012 MilitaryCorruption.com
By MAJ Glenn MacDonald, USAR (Ret)
How quickly the tide can turn.
On March 20, in the web version of Air Force TIMES, that Pentagon mouthpiece got off a cheap shot at us here at MilitaryCorruption.com, while at the same time, trying to promote the propaganda that Maj. Jill Metzger-Mayo didn't tell a lie or lies when she came out with her convoluted "kidnapped in Kyrgyzstan" story.
For those of you who haven't been following this case - like the "politically-correct" editors of the Gannett-owned TIMES - Metzger is the pampered and protected former USAF poster girl and marathon winner who "disappeared" in Kyrgyzstan in September of 2006, only to emerge later with a tall tale so full of holes (see related stories box below) it rivals "the dog ate my homework."
To complicate matters, the well-connected one arrogantly ran in both the Air Force and Marine Corps Marathons, while at the same time, being paid for being 100% "disabled." You won't find that piece of "news" in the TIMES, as they have either ignored all the investigative reporting we've done on this case, or been content to regurgitate Pentagon press releases, even when Jill's alleged "heroics" didn't result in the award of any decoration - a sure red flag that something doesn't add up - like, what really happened.
ATTACKING FROM THE SHADOWS
In a cowardly effort to slam us without directly naming our site (and thus sending new readers in our direction) the TIMES trumpeted:
The Air Force has confirmed that a major who went missing in Kyrgyzstan six years ago was kidnapped, debunking an online smear campaign that claimed she went AWOL.
Now, the key words of that specious lead are "debunking" and "online smear campaign."
None of our Metzger reports have ever been "debunked," and since we are the only news organization - outside of Accuracy in Media, which supported and praised our reporting - to dig into the fog of lies and unanswered questions in this so-called "kidnapping" in Kyrgyzstan, that low blow was directly aimed at us - longtime critics of Air Force TIME's Pentagon-friendly stories.
We contacted the writer, TIMES rookie reporter Jeff Schogol - he's only been with them since December - to see if he had "swallowed whole" Maj. Tracy Bunko's line about how, after six years of deafening silence, the Pentagon (just before promoting her below-zone to light colonel) was putting out the official story Jill's kidnapping had been "confirmed."
It turns out Bunko never used the editorialized words "debunked" or "online smear campaign" at all. Showing a certain amount of class, she answered our questions politely and emphasized that she didn't even imply such a thing.
Her frankness and honesty was refreshing, and almost made us sorry that we had fun at her expense with her last name. I mean, how can you not jump on a last name like "Bunko" when you're commenting on some statement the Pentagon puts out?
So, with us assured that the cheap shot didn't come from the major, it had to originate with either Schogol, or more likely, some hostile editor who either added the pejorative phrases or influenced the writing, despite the maliciousness and inaccuracy of what they inferred.
Schogol seems like a pleasant enough fellow, although we are sure his politics differ with ours. Could it be our problem lay with Air Force TIMES editor Becky Iannotta? We decided to find out.
OBNOXIOUS EDITOR HANGS UP PHONE
Speaking with the obnoxious Iannotta was a struggle. She continuously "talked over" us, made sure to emphasize the TIMES hadn't "directly" mentioned our URL (they didn't have to), and then, when we pressed on with questions she couldn't or wouldn't answer, abruptly hung up the phone. Apparently we weren't the only one she did that to. Complaints started to come in to us from TIMES readers who'd had the temerity to question Becky as to why her newspaper had ignored MCC's Metzger reporting for nearly six years, and done none of their own. That must have hit close to home, since we're told Iannotta shouted and cut them off, slamming down the telephone.
As a former public affairs officer, editor, and longtime journalist, I am usually sympathetic with harried editors who sometimes fly off the handle. But Iannotta's unpleasant manner and unprofessionalism does not distinguish the company she works for. Gannett, owners of USA TODAY and Air Force TIMES, might want to give our friend Becky a little vacation somewhere so she can "chill out." Everybody needs a break now and then. We hope some "time off" will restore Iannotta's composure and demeanor.
PRINT VERSION OF STORY EDITS OUT
OFFENSIVE AND INACCURATE REMARKS
We eagerly awaited publication of the TIMES print edition this week, since we wanted to see if they still dared to falsely claim we had been "debunked" and our many carefully-documented investigative articles on Jill Metzger part of an "online smear campaign."
Gone were the offending phrases, although the TIMES, heavily invested in "Jill told the truth, let's move on. . ." still claimed the OSI investigative report "confirmed" the Air Force major had not been deceptive in any way. However, a big tactical mistake was publishing an actual link to the cited report.
If the TIMES editors had been smart, they would have sat on the contents, knowing the Air Force has the worst record of any military service on obeying the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) law. By giving access to it to ordinary citizens, they have undercut themselves. Even a cursory reading of the report shows it is anything but definitive. Like the part where Jill claims she was "held at gunpoint" by her captors who demanded she "buy" hair-dye and cut off her hair with a Leatherman. We kid you not!
Other portions of the heavily-redacted document reveal the U.S. ambassador to Kyrgyzstan blocked the FBI from bringing Metzger back to that country to "retrace the steps" of her alleged 30-mile run to freedom. Why? According to parts of the report not blacked out, the FBI and U.S. Attorneys Office gave up and ended their investigations when no suspects could be found
ONLY THE "TRUE-BELEIVERS" WILL BE LEFT
For you folks who still want to believe Metzger-Mayo's bizarre story, as well as the "official" approved version put out by the Pentagon, be watching this space in the near future. When we use the word "debunked," we back it up. And after our exhaustive dissection of the OSI report, only the gullible and true-believers in Metzger as Superwoman will buy her kettle of fish.
Apparently some of the TIMES readers are already disgusted.
We noted with relish, the following message on the TIMES own discussion board: "Can't believe the Air Force TIMES would run this story and then expect itself to be taken seriously. MCC online is correct in everything that they said about that newspaper."