Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lt. General Sanchez's Top Ten List of Least Newsworthy Quotes

When Ricardo Sanchez declared the Iraq War a "nightmare with no end in sight," it made headlines. He had a lot more to say in that same speach that the mainstream media considered unfit to print.

“My Top 10 Least Newsworthy Remarks”

by Ret. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez

10. “Unfortunately, I have issued ultimatums to some of you for unscrupulous reporting that was solely focused on supporting your agenda and preconceived notions of what our military had done.”

9. “Almost invariably, my perception is that the sensationalistic value of these assessments is what provided the edge that you seek for self aggrandizement or to advance your individual quest for getting on the front page with your stories.”

8. “As I understand it, your measure of worth is how many front page stories you have written and unfortunately some of you will compromise your integrity and display questionable ethics as you seek to keep America informed.”

7. “It seems that as long as you get a front page story there is little or no regard for the ‘collateral damage’ you will cause. Personal reputations have no value and you report with total impunity and are rarely held accountable for unethical conduct.”

6. “The speculative and often uninformed initial reporting that characterizes our media appears to be rapidly becoming the standard of the industry.”

5. “Other major challenges are your willingness to be manipulated by ‘high level officials’ who leak stories and by lawyers who use hyperbole to strengthen their arguments. Your unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda-driven biases contribute to this corrosive environment.”

4. “All of these challenges combined create a media environment that does a tremendous disservice to America. Over the course of this war, tactically insignificant events have become strategic defeats for America because of the tremendous power and impact of the media and by extension, you, the journalist. In many cases, the media has unjustly destroyed the individual reputations and carriers of those involved.”

3. “In my business, one of our fundamental truths is that ‘the first report is always wrong’. Unfortunately, in your business ‘the first report’ gives Americans who rely on the snippets of CNN, if you will, their ‘truths’ and perspectives on an issue.”

2. “When you assume that you are correct and on the moral high ground on a story, because we have not responded to questions you provided, is [sic] the ultimate arrogance and distortion of ethics. One of your highly-respected fellow journalists once told me that there are some amongst you who ‘feed from a pig’s trough’. If that is who I am dealing with, then I will never respond, otherwise we will both get dirty, and the pig will love it. This does not mean your story is accurate.”

1. “All are victims of the massive agenda-driven competition for economic or political supremacy. The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war…For some of you, just like some of our politicians, the truth is of little-to-no value if it does not fit your own pre-conceived notions, biases and agendas.”

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