rapes easy

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 27, 2007

The New York Times, I mean. The following appeared in an "Editor's Note" in Sunday's paper:

The cover article in The Times Magazine on March 18 reported on women who served in Iraq, the sexual abuse that some of them endured and the struggle for all of them to reclaim their prewar lives. One of the servicewomen, Amorita Randall, a former naval construction worker, told The Times that she was in combat in Iraq in 2004 and that in one incident an explosive device blew up a Humvee she was riding in, killing the driver and leaving her with a brain injury. She also said she was raped twice while she was in the Navy.

Dry the starting tear. No Democrats were harmed in the making of this display of imaginative journalism. The detailed explanations are not without their amusing side, but let's skip to the end of the Times' clarifying remarks:

Based on the information that came to light after the article was printed, it is now clear that Ms. Randall did not serve in Iraq, but may have become convinced she did. Since the article appeared, Ms. Randall herself has questioned another member of her unit, who told Ms. Randall that she was not deployed to Iraq. If The Times had learned these facts before publication, it would not have included Ms. Randall in the article.

Emphasis mine. It turns out, according to America's newspaper of record, that "only part of her unit was sent [to Iraq]; Ms. Randall served with another part of it in Guam." The two places are easily confused: don't try to tell me you've never done it.

Ms. Randall's other adventures, and misadventures, are not so handily accounted for. In fact, I wonder if the New York Times is fully aware of the damage its willingness to find excuses inflicts on its own agenda. There was a time when it was all but impossible to doubt the allegation -- any allegation -- lodged by a member of an approved victim group against a member of a recognized oppressor group. Yet the hunger with which the prestige media pursue their search for a yet another Tawana Brawley, and their too-obvious relish once they have found her, have set back the cause of "voiceless victims" to pre-1960 levels. Sure, for years to come folks will be obliged to play along with the etiquette that demands credulity in face of contrary appearances, but their hearts will be speaking quite another thing.

Ms. Brawley, I was pleased to learn, has re-named herself "Maryam Muhammad." Now there's a gal who knows which side her brood is battered on.

(tip to James Taranto.)

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Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Mar. 29, 2007 10:31 AM ET USA

    There is another aspect to this sad story: women should never serve in combat, in the first place. Legedary Amasons were just that - a legend.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 28, 2007 2:34 PM ET USA

    Personally, I believe that I graduated summa cum laude from Yale, and, after a Rhodes stint at Oxford, am now working as a fact-checker at the Times.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 27, 2007 12:19 PM ET USA

    From my time in Iraq (I haven't had to ask anyone if I served there, unfortunately -- I remember it too well), the Times should not have had to look far to find women who had been sexually harassed and assaulted there. Most of them were reluctant to report the abuse, because they were afraid they would not be believed or would be retaliated against, or believed that nothing would be done to punish those who victimized them. Kind of like victims of perv priests.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 27, 2007 11:56 AM ET USA

    Brain injury is NOTHING to joke about!!! Or to exploit. The devastating effect a brain injury has on a person's life -- and that of their family -- is earth shattering. Yes, indeed there is the possibility of delusions of 'fantasizing' but it also possible and highly probable that people _have_ indeed 'taken advantage' of one in deeply compromised condition.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 27, 2007 11:16 AM ET USA

    Here is another news flash, "before publication" means months before. The Times was informed at least a week before that she had never been in combat and had suffered no injuries. They chose to go ahead with the story because it is "factually true" if not true facts. Gotta love "liberal think"!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 27, 2007 9:33 AM ET USA

    OR, maybe I am the one who was brain-injured by a bomb and never realized it. Of course, it is unlikely that this soldier suffered a brain injury FROM A BOMB if she was in Guam. Note to self: Never write a comment before your second cup of coffee.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 27, 2007 8:51 AM ET USA

    Are the "insurgents" bombing our troops in Guam now? The Navy says the woman did not serve in a combat zone, and she had to ask other members of her unit the same. Clearly something is wrong with the woman, but if you're going to criticize someone for treating her badly, how about the Times, which used her to advance its agenda without bothering to see if she was "all there." Not the only episode of such sloppiness by the times recently, as witness the abortion story out of Latin America.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 27, 2007 8:17 AM ET USA

    I think the joke about how we ourselves would not confuse Guam for Iraq falls flat. It's quite possible that the woman really was brain injured by a bomb while serving our country, as the article says. Maybe if one's brain suffers insult from a bomb, one makes such mistakes or even fantasizes about being raped. Joke away about the Times' shabby fact-checking standards all you want, but it's off the mark to joke about this injured soldier, or to compare her in any way with Tawana Brawley

  • Posted by: - Mar. 27, 2007 7:29 AM ET USA

    The problem, Diogenes, is that you're still reading the Times expecting to find news, when it converted to fiction (and atheism) some time ago.