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Dear Laura Ingraham, Thanks…


Dear Laura Ingraham,

Thanks so much for man-handling the truth on the Today Show yesterday with regard to the situation in Iraq.  Your wingnutty truthiness sure has opened up a big ole can of worms with the press today, hasn’t it?

Sure warms the cockles of my big ole progressive heart to see the press pushback, too. 

Can’t imagine they taught you this backfiring press dare at the Karen Hughes Memorial Bigfoot Your Way Across the Talking Head Landscape media training course (sponsored by the Scaife’s, no doubt), but hey, I’ll take it.

I’m not sure if you’ve realized this as yet, but the producers at the networks and the editors at the big newspapers have been holding back the worst of their Iraq coverage, because they thought the American public would be too squeamish to watch video of dead bodies in the streets of Baghdad, day in and day out.  Or daily reports of the hundreds of Iraqi children and adults who have been kidnapped over the last year (let alone the foreign kidnappings).  Or constant coverage of armed militias in the streets of Basra.  Or frequently bombed out news headquarters.

Or repeated video of brave journalists like Jill Carroll who are still, god willing, clinging to life in some dingy hole, while trying not to piss off their captors before they can be freed or rescued — just because they were doing their jobs, and going out of the green zone to report the facts by talking with Iraqis.  (That is what you so glibly and snottily told journalists to do when you were shouting at David Gregory, wasn’t it?  Why don’t you ask Jill’s family how fun this has been for them — or the families of the more than 70 journalists and media assistants who have been killed since the start of the Iraq War?  Smooth move to belittle journalists on the network of David Bloom, Laura, really smooth.)

But, gosh, thanks to you, Laura, the gloves are off.  You’ve dared them to prove they haven’t been going on the air with bad news just the make the President look bad.  So now they are going to have to prove that things are, in reality, much, much worse for everyone in Iraq.  Including our troops.

All that holding back to protect the public and keep the White House happy day in and day out has just gone shit out the window now, hasn’t it?

I mean, today we have Richard Engel, reporting directly from Baghdad, with footage of all those things his producers were previously withholding from the public.  And saying stuff like this:

Gregory: Do we miss the overall story about what’s going on in Iraq, or does security remain the overall story?

Engel: I think the security problem is the overall story and most Iraqi’s I speak to say-actually most reporters get it wrong-it’s the situation on the ground is actually worse than the images we project on television.

Even Andrea Mitchell seemed steamed about this on MSNBC this morning, reporting that the White House is using this as a spin tactic to try and foist the blame on journalists for "losing Iraq," and that she thinks this tactic won’t work.  Wow — when you’ve ticked Andrea Mitchell off into outing your spin in public, you’ve really accomplished something.  Tim Russert even got into the act on the Today Show.  Well, huzzah, Laura, you are a wondergirl, aren’tcha?

Or this local news piece on how deadly the Iraq war has been for the press and their Iraqi counterparts, who help them navigate the dangerous streets to bring us all those sunny school-building stories you so desperately want splashed across the headlines.

You sure did poke a sleeping giant that totes around a really big microphone, didn’t you Laura? Ooops.  (Oh, and perhaps you should have checked with State Department spokesman Sean McCormack who says the media is reporting what is really going on in Iraq before opening your ill-considered yap.  Or the former US Embassy press attache in Baghdad.  I’m just saying.)

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks.  You sure have done the nation a service for insisting on the whole truth from Iraq.  Now we’ll get to see all that bad news they thought we’d be too afraid to watch.  Gee, that’s gonna be really helpful for the Shrub, now isn’t it?

All my best, Christy

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com