Accuracy in Media

Having failed to inflate some Navy comedy videos into a national scandal, the major media are now reluctantly reporting that crew members of the USS Enterprise respect and defend their skipper, Captain Owen Honors, who stars in the videos and makes several off-color and anti-gay jokes.

“Former Sailors Defend Embattled Capt. Honors” is the headline over a column on Nevertheless, under sensational media coverage and pressure, the Navy decided to temporarily relieve him of command.

On both the CBS “Early Show” and the NBC “Today Show,” former sailors defended Honors. Pete Clarke condemned the Navy’s decision to relieve him of command, saying, “I think the political correctness at the Pentagon needs to be checked on this.”

A lot of criticism is being leveled at the media for dredging up the videos and inflating their importance.

A “Support Captain Owen Honors Facebook page” declared that “Captain Honors is being ‘convicted’ by the media and special interest groups…”

Similar sentiments were expressed on a Facebook page for the USS Enterprise. One said, “Capt. Honors…I feel it’s a shame you are being used by the PC media to promote their agenda…”

Several people took strong offense to the decision by some unknown leaker to provide the videos to the media. “This is the Navy for God’s sake,” said one. “If your delicate sensibilities are so easily offended what the hell are you doing here? Leave this man alone and let him do his job. We are turning into a nation of woosies more and more. Oh yes, and hang that jack ass who ‘leaked’ all the documents cuz his poor little feelings were offended.”

Several said the resurrection of these videos, which are four years old, are related to the repeal of the Pentagon’s homosexual exclusion policy, known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT), and represent an effort to weed out those officers and sailors perceived to be anti-gay.

Referring to the fact that the videos feature “derogatory” comments about homosexuals, this person said, “I believe that they want to now judge this officer’s past actions against the new standards being developed with DADT’s repeal. By using this man and his work from years past, ‘an example can be made.’ It is absolutely wrong, I believe, for this type of assault on a man’s character to be used for such political ends.”

Many complaints focused on the paper which broke the story of the old videos. One said, “Please contact The Virginia Pilot Author to stop trying to sensationalize this rubbish: Corinne Reilly, (757) 446-2949,”

The reporter was quick to appear on the far-left TV/radio show, “Democracy Now!,” hosted by Amy Goodman, where the story was headlined, “Navy Investigating Lewd, Homophobic Videos by Commander of Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier.”

The George Soros-funded Think Progress blog worried about the widespread support being given to Honors and what this means for the effort to implement repeal of the homosexual exclusion policy. “One wonders if Honors will be able to effectively lead in that effort and if the military’s ‘humor’ will present any additional obstacles to lifting the ban,” it said. “If anything, it will certainly prevent the kind of mass coming out that some supporters of the ban have predicted.”

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