WHY YOU CAN'T TRUST THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
© 2010 MilitaryCorruption.com
They say "there's no honor among thieves." Well, apparently that holds true for certain elitist elements of the mainstream news media, as well.
In an unprecedented peek into the workings of the folks who control what you see and hear, MilitaryCorruption.com will now share with you the painful lesson we learned by trusting in the journalistic "integrity" of the powerful Associated Press and the "politically-correct" Gannett Newspapers-owned NAVY TIMES.
First, the AP, which has a virtual wire service monopoly in the USA since United Press International has dwindled down to a shadow of its former self. The British news agency Reuters and Agence France-Presse have clients here, but not in the numbers of newspaper and broadcast outlets the mighty AP has.
NOT THE AP YOUR PARENTS KNEW AND TRUSTED
We remember an Associated Press with giants like Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent Peter Arnett, photographer Horst Faas, gifted AP Special Correspondent George Esper, and others who we had the privilege to know and work with over these many years. Former war correspondent Wes Gallagher, the greatest general manager in AP's history, must be spinning in his grave to see what has happened to "objectivity" and writing quality at his beloved Associated Press.
Here's an example.
After we went to the time and expense of transmitting in various formats our copyrighted photo of the U.S. Navy cruiser Cowpens and destroyer John McCain "drag-racing at sea" to AP Photos, all we asked for was a MilitaryCorruption.com credit line to be added underneath, or in the photo caption. That's it. The pix was given to and happily accepted by AP free of charge! We were told, after the pix had sat on an editor's desk unused for two days because the AP Washington folks were "too busy" to pick up the phone and do a five-minute interview with our editor-in-chief, that it probably wouldn't be used after all.
THE ALL-IMPORTANT (IN HER OWN MIND) ANNE GEARAN
I might add that everyone we dealt with on the AP Photos side of the house was courteous and most importantly, honest. Then we spoke with the imperious Anne Gearan, well-known in the Beltway for her less-than conservative political slant.
Since we pulled no punches in describing the evil Capt. Holly Graf for what she is, perhaps Ms. Gearan got her nose slightly out-of-joint. At any rate, in our brief, and on our side, professional conversation with her as to why no AP writer had deigned to do an interview with us, since it was made clear that if there was no story, no pix would run, the snide and condescending Gearan gave us the clear impression it would be a cold day in hell before MilitaryCorruption.com would be mentioned on the AP wire, at least in a positive way.
Right in the first sentence of the first paragraph was such a glaring error, that a high school journalism instructor would have caught it.
OK, boys and girls and journalism students everywhere, listen up.
The word "demoted" in the military means this: to be reduced in rank. For example, to be busted from major to captain, or let's say sergeant to private. That is what DEMOTE means.
Holly Graf is STILL a captain 0-6 in the U.S. Navy. She has NOT been "demoted."
What HAS happened to the foul-mouthed martinet is, she has been relieved of command of her ship, the Cowpens, after an Admiral's Mast and I.G (Inspector General) investigation found her guilty of "cruelty and maltreatment" of her crew.
So the AP writer - Gearan, or one of her underlings - got the facts wrong BIG-TIME. Never mind the insinuation that MilitaryCorruption.com, which exclusively reported last Monday the incident at sea took place and documented it with a dramatic photograph, somehow was claiming something we did not. We accurately reported that Graf had been RELIEVED of duty in the wake of the I.G. probe, not because she did a stupid thing on the high seas.
Now, go to the second paragraph of the AP piece:
Anne, dear. Don't you remember we told you that CDR Jeff Davis, public affairs officer for the Navy's 7th Fleet, had gone ON RECORD with MilitaryCorruption.com to say, that "indeed the two ships had been racing at sea?" We also shared with you and AP that Davis told us the charge Graf endangered her crew by that action had "not been substantiated."
Now, listen closely. We'll spell it out for you. Write down the PAO's name. Got that? Next, pick up the phone or e-mail him seeking comment. It's a bit embarrassing 24 hours later, that the AP has to quote "anonymous sources not authorized to speak on the record," when you could have looked at the BULLETIN posted on MilitaryCorruption.com Wednesday afternoon, or just used what we told you, to get an actual NAME to hang the quotes on. Like CDR Davis. That's Basic Journalism 101. Try it next time. It works for us.
NAVY TIMES AND THE PENTAGON - PERFECT TOGETHER
As for NAVY TIMES, they are owned and operated by the folks who bring you that unbiased newspaper of record USA TODAY. And we are told, any mention of MilitaryCorruption.com in the pages of ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE or MARINE CORPS TIMES is strictly "verboten." Maybe that's why this former advertiser and frequent contributor of facts and news tips to those papers - we never asked for or got a dime in return - has been relegated to the "memory hole." We don't exist, you see, even though we've been online for ten years now, broken many an exclusive story - we do investigative journalism, not re-write handouts from the Pentagon - and average two million hits a month.
Probably when we went to the time and expense of sending NAVY TIMES (at their request) a copy of our "drag race at sea" photo, and sharing with chirpy news editor Jen Rafael many facts and developing details of the case, we should have thought twice. There's been bad blood between MCC and the TIMES group since we castigated the AIR FORCE TIMES a few years ago for its shameful non-coverage of the Maj. Jill Metzger cover-up. We even offered to turn over our entire investigative file on her to them if they would just "carry the ball" to the finish line. But the obnoxious editor at the time (now gone) thought it was more advantageous for the TIMES to "suck up" to the then Air Force chief of staff, than "irritate" the hand that so often" fed" them.
We at MilitaryCorruption.com have no compunctions whatsoever at shouting from the rooftops, "THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!" Wasn't it Howard Beale of NETWORK that cried out: "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it any more."
If the Pentagon PAO types stop slandering us as "salacious trash," then we know we're not doing our job. At last report, we were still getting bad-mouthed. For what can happen to someone who does that too much, look at the related stories box below. That's right, we're the only news organization on line, or "mainstream media," to get an official apology from the Pentagon press office. That's a fact.
GETTING SUCKERED - AND THE CALL THAT NEVER CAME
Rafael told us TIMES reporter Phil Ewing (703) 750-8747 would call for an interview or quotes. That was last Tuesday. After a day of leaving pleasant phone messages and no courtesy of a reply - e-mail or otherwise - we kind of got the message: like "The check is in the mail." Yeah, right. In all fairness to Ewing, he may have been following orders from above. We don't blame him.
Finally, on Friday, after the New York POST had published the picture and credited MilitaryCorruption.com in an excellent Andy Soltis byline piece on page 14 of the March 4th edition, we bit the bullet and called Rafael. We asked her two questions:
(MCC) -- Are you going to use the photo we sent you?
(NAVY TIMES) -- No.
(MCC) -- Are you going to use any quotes from me, or even mention our website?
(NAVY TIMES) -- No.
"Hello, sucker." Ever feel like you've just been mugged? Well, we won't make the same mistake twice. Most of our good friends on the TIMES newspapers are gone or have been pushed out the door. We certainly miss you, Brian. Anyway, we've learned our lesson. You can trust NAVY TIMES about as much as you can The Associated Press. And that isn't very much, these days.
RIDDANCE TO RUMSFELD