Sometimes the way a reporter formats the information in an article exhibits the reporter’s bias more than the content. In Wednesday’s Washington Post Carol Morello does a little bit of both as she lets everyone reading her piece know she believes anyone who opposes the president’s P5+1 deal is evil and their opinions are worthless.
A group of 190 retired generals and admirals sent an open letter to congressional leaders asking them to reject the Presidential “crap sandwich” commonly known as the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran. Writing about the letter in the Washington Post, “reporter” Carol Morello decided to minimize their argument and then pointed out every signatory who had something “controversial” in their background that would turn off the liberal reader.
Instead of leading with the objections of these military heroes as if they had something to say, Morello describes the letter as the latest in the series of other letters:
The letter is the latest in a blizzard of missives petitioning Congress to either support or oppose the agreement with Iran, which lifts sanctions if Iran pares back its nuclear program. Letters have been sent by ad hoc groupings of rabbis, nuclear scientists, arms control and nonproliferation experts — and now, retired senior military officers, many of whom have worked in the White House during various administrations dating back to the 1980s.
Then after one sentence about the issues the generals had with the deal…
“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter states.
….. Morello turned her attention to explaining why any liberal should disregard their opinion.
The signatories include retired generals and flag officers from every branch of service, including a handful who were involved in some public controversies during their careers.
One is William G. “Jerry” Boykin, the former undersecretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush and currently executive vice president of the Family Research Council. He had a history of making controversial speeches, including one in which he characterized U.S. military operations against Islamist extremist organizations as a Christian fight against Satan.
It also was signed by John Poindexter and Richard Secord, who were involved in the Iran Contra affair in the Reagan administration, in which arms were sold to Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.
190 retired admirals and generals and those are the first three names she mentions, which in journalism school means she believes those are the three most important people to mention.
Only after those generals were mentioned did she talk about how the letter was put together:
Leon A. “Bud” Edney, a retired admiral who served as vice chief of naval operations, initiated the letter after he read the letter by other retired officers in support of the Iran nuclear deal.
“I looked at the letter they published, and thought it was very weak,” said Edney. “I just don’t agree with it.” He then got the alternative viewpoint rolling through e-mails sent to some of his Navy and Marine friends. They in turn passed it on.
In the middle of the article is the link to another piece called: “[The historic nuclear deal with Iran: how it works],” that was not her call, just an indication that her editors agree with her about the deal.
Only after that link does she begin to talk about the objections in the letter but none of the specific items mentioned in the letter:
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, who was vice commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, said he considers the agreement the most dangerous nuclear accord in U.S. history.
“What I don’t like about this is, the number one leading radical Islamic group in the world is the Iranians,” he said. “They are purveyors of radical Islam throughout the region and throughout the world. And we are going to enable them to get nuclear weapons. Why would we do that?”
McInerney said he believes that most retired general officers do not support the agreement, but he said some did not sign the letter because they feared negative career repercussions.
The biased reporter concluded by telling her readers, that it doesn’t matter anyway:
But it’s unclear if the letter, or any of those written by people on either side of the issue, will have any impact on Congress. Edney suspects it won’t.
“I don’t think this letter will sway anything,” he said. “It’s just the opinion of people who have served their country. It’s an alternative view to what I consider a very weak letter put out by the administration implying generals and admirals support this agreement. But I don’t think it will have any impact.”
Ladies and Gentlemen Carol Morello did a very professional job. Sadly it wasn’t a professional job of reporting, no it was a skilled job at skewing a story without making it obvious. Perhaps she should become a columnist so she can become more blatant in her bias.
Below is the Retired Generals and Admirals’ letter: