More Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics by LTC Robert Bateman at SWJ Blog.

Originally posted at Committee of Concerned Journalists.

I spend a lot of time trying to convince my colleagues in the Army and the Marines that the media are not the problem. I cite chapter and verse of the history of our relationship -- the dysfunctional periods, propaganda phases, the development of the ethics of good responsible American journalism -- and Iím usually able to demonstrate that while what passed for mid-19th century journalism truly was enough to drive one to distraction, in the 20th and thus far in the 21st, journalists really have been at least as professional as we, and quite often more so.

This self-appointed task, unfortunately, often remains an uphill battle, as many soldiers, Marines and their officers are convinced a media bias exists against the military in general and the ground forces in particular.

I wage my little internal struggle because I think it is right, and that my peers are often blowing small things out of proportion and seeing a bogeyman where there is none. I try to show them how this is part of a narrative that periodically recurs in military circles (the German army after WWI, the American army after Vietnam). I also try to demonstrate to them how they have been conditioned to accept the narrative as true without being critical of the assertions.

In short, I argue for journalists and journalism all of the time, and passionately.

And then the editors of the New York Times dig themselves a nice deep pit, fill it with slime and muck, and dive in headfirst...