FAKE RAPES AND LYING LIARS. You will not be surprised to learn that the right is lying about the Boston Globe's role in promulgating those fake photos of American troops raping Iraqi women. The pictures were unveiled at a news conference last week by Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner and black-community activist Sadiki Kambon. Click here and work backwards for the full story.
To recap briefly: the Globe published an article about the news conference by reporter Donovan Slack that conveyed great skepticism about the pictures, and that quoted a military spokesman as saying the photos might well be an Internet fraud. In fact, it turned out that WorldNetDaily.com had already exposed them as frauds. Where the Globe went wrong was in running a George Rizer photo of Turner and Kambon in which the fake-rape pictures were clearly visible; and then, when editors realized what a mistake they'd made after the first edition rolled off the presses, shrinking the photo rather than removing it altogether from subsequent editions.
A screw-up? Yes. A really bad screw-up? Absolutely! But not the one that right-wingers wish the Globe had made. That's not going to stop them, though.
In the last few days, the Mirror, a raucous Fleet Street tabloid, has published pictures of British troops urinating on Iraqi prisoners, and the Boston Globe, a somnolent New England broadsheet, has published pictures of American troops sexually abusing Iraqi women. In both cases, the pictures turned out to be fake. From a cursory glance at the details in the London snaps and the provenance of the Boston ones, it should have been obvious to editors at both papers that they were almost certainly false.
Yet they published them. Because they wanted them to be true. Because it would bring them a little closer to the head they really want to roll - George W. Bush's.
Writing in National Review, John O'Sullivan accuses the Globe of "Willing Gullibility," adding:
Two newspapers - the Daily Mirror in Britain and the Boston Globe in the U.S. - have published fake photographs of British and American soldiers abusing prisoners. In the British case the fakes were quickly detected once they had been published, and in the American case, they had been detected before the Globe published them. Neither the media's vaunted "skepticism" nor simple fact-checking on the internet were employed in either case by the papers. The fakes were, in the old Fleet Street joke, "too good to check." There was a rush to misjudgment.
The mainstream media has joined the attack of our military as The Boston Globe, a subsidiary of The New York Times, published photos that show what they said were American soldiers taking part in 'gang rapes' of Iraqi women without ever verifying their authenticity. They have since been proven to be pictures taken from an internet porn site. The newspaper has since given what they consider an apology but still refuses to accept their own complicity.
I'm sure I could find more examples if I kept looking.
Of course, none of these accounts is even remotely accurate, but they follow one of the right's favorite scripts: that the liberal media - in this case, the Globe - so hate America that they eagerly seize upon dubious claims of heinous behavior on the part of US soldiers. It doesn't matter that the Globe reported no such thing. It doesn't matter that the paper didn't "publish" the fake pictures, instead accidentally capturing them in a photo of Turner and Kambon. (And before you dismiss my contention that it was an accident, ask yourself if you really believe that any mainstream-newspaper editor would knowingly run graphic photos of oral sex and gang rape. Pause. Okay, you've got your answer, don't you?)
The right has its lies and myths to promote. And it will never, ever let the truth stand in the way.