Monday, June 07, 2004
Abu Ghraib obsession: The media has gotten a ton of criticism (much of it deserved) for injecting the prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison into everything from theater reviews to food columns.
The Union-Tribune's Gina Lubrano steps up and acknowledges that, at least in one case, the reference was inappropriate.
After seeing the story, White, who was awarded the Bronze Star, said he knows he made a mistake in elaborating after he told the reporter her questions were inappropriate.
He was especially troubled by two references. He cited a paragraph that said he urged Americans to support President Bush. The next sentence said he blamed the media "for uncertainty about Iraq policies and the outrage over prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad." His focus during the address was urging support of the commander in chief and for the troops, he said.
He also was troubled by a paragraph that said: "Unlike White, veterans interviewed said the Abu Ghraib abuse has tarnished the honorable image of the military and that the small number of people who committed the crimes should be punished."
The reporter used White's reluctance to discuss Abu Ghraib as a device to get into the opinions of other veterans. I think the way it was written was unfair to White. In fact, White said, he has an opinion about the prisoner abuse scandal but because he did not share it with the reporter, she had no way of knowing what he thought.
I understand why White was upset by the questions and the way his opinions were connected to Abu Ghraib. In the end, the story did him a disservice.
Now if only The New York Times would follow suit.