Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Last Thursday, ABC, for publicity purposes, released some tantalizing quotations and information from tonight’s first public interview with Jessica Lynch.
Also, last Thursday the NY Daily News obtained an unauthorized copy of the book Jessica coauthored with former New York Times reporter Rick Bragg, I am a Soldier, Too.
In the Daily News story, the Murdock-owned paper reports Bragg quoting military doctors as stating that Lynch may have been raped following capture.
A Friday New York Times story about the information released by ABC and the Daily News and still available on the NYT web site said:
The book…reports that Ms. Lynch's military doctors found injuries consistent with sexual assault and unlikely to have resulted from the Humvee crash…suggesting that she was raped after her capture…details of the book's contents were reported yesterday in The New York Daily News.
Without guidence from the outrage of a certain heroin-fueled Echo Chamber superstar, Matt Drudge grabbed this nascent virtual mud ball later Friday by using indirect quotes from Iraqi doctors to support textual allegations that the rape claim was a lie:
Dr. Mahdi Khafazji, who performed surgery on Lynch's fractured femur said he found no signs of sexual assault…She was injured at about 7 in the morning," Khafazji said. "What kind of animal would do it to a person suffering from multiple injuries?"
Dr. Jamal al-Saeidi, head of the orthopedic department at the now closed Military Hospital, recounts:
"When she was brought there she was fighting for her life. She was in shock because of the severity of her injury... Her clothes were not torn, buttons had not come off, her pants were zipped up."
Al-Saeidi also said he found no evidence of rape during an examination -- though he said he was not looking for evidence of a sexual assault…"Why are they saying such things?" the hospital's deputy director Dr. Khodheir al-Hazbar said. "We were good to her."
The rather generalized Iraqi medical quotations in Drudge do not refute the rape claim but you would be hard pressed to spot the distinction in weekend coverage where the word of rural Iraqi doctors superceeds the unmentioned US military medical opinions reported by Bragg.
More or less, over the last three days, I’ve watched cable TV and various local affiliates endlessly repeat:
The doctors who treated Jessica Lynch say she wasn’t raped. Why is Jessie lying?”
At no point, in the weekend reports that followed the Friday stories, were the reported doctors identified as Iraqi.
No matter the implication, the unfairly released book excerpts, most importantly, have US medical personnel indicating only that Lynch's injuries were consistant with sexual assault.
Now, into the swirl of factual confusion a dash of intentionally misdirected salaciousness.
This morning the Daily News heightened the pre-interview smear with:
A skin mag claimed yesterday it has pictures of Iraqi POW Jessica Lynch frolicking topless with male soldiers before she went off to war…Flynt said he plans to run the photos he says he has in Hustler's February issue…Flynt said the pictures - which he claimed to have gotten from two former soldiers who served with Lynch - would prove "she's not Joan of Arc."
Oddly FOX News, of all places, makes the Daily News seem less than truthful with a more believable set of Flynt quotations:
Pornmeister Larry Flynt said he's bought purported nude photos of Iraq war heroine Jessica Lynch to keep them from ever being published…"I was offered photos of Jessica Lynch. I purchased them in order to keep them out of circulation, not to publish them…Jessica Lynch is being used as a pawn by the media and by the government to create a hero who can sell this war to the American people…The U.S. government wasn't alone in their actions. They were co-conspirators with the media, who wanted to force-feed us a Joan of Arc."
In a manner similar to the President's 180 degree spins on policy, Mr. Flynt's one statement spins 180 degrees from one news account to another.
If Daily News readers and cable TV viewers didn’t buy the publicity seeking Jessica theme perhaps they will go along with the more salacious implied slut concept.
I'm wondering if this little item from this morning's Los Angeles Times has some indirect bearing upon the apparent Lynch vendetta:
CNN…planted a question about computer preferences at last week's debate of the Democratic presidential candidates, according to the student who posed the query…[the student] was "handed a note card" with the question and told she couldn't ask her alternative "because it wasn't lighthearted enough and they wanted to modulate the event with various types of questions."
As I indicated Friday, certain evil powers and their compliant flying monkey media henchmen seem greatly interested, now that Ms. Lynch is clearly not adhering to the script, in ruining the reputation of the young soldier they elevated in the first place.
While using NBC’s movie as an implied support for the media concept of a publicity mad Jessica, no news organization makes it crystal-clear that Sunday’s made for TV movie about the rescue was produced without the consent of Lynch or her family.
The Los Angeles Times story is a proof, not just of factual laxity within the American press, but, rather, their overt efforts to manipulate the events they are covering.
It is particularly disgusting that the trashing of Jessica Lynch is happening on a day meant to honor those who have served their country.
Photo: Vanity Fair