Accuracy in Media

The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, is edited by Bill Kristol, a commentator on ABC’s Sunday show “This Week With Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts.” But despite its conservative reputation, The Weekly Standard has made some serious errors that have left some conservatives scratching their heads in amazement.

Recently, for example, in reporting an otherwise good story about the phony CNN nerve gas allegations, the Weekly Standard inaccurately reported that former chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Thomas Moorer was “mixed up” and living in a nursing home. Moorer was, in fact, living in a luxury retirement complex, he plays golf regularly, and he’s not mixed up at all. He was extremely angry about how CNN tried to use him to buttress its phony nerve gas charges, but he was also angry about the Weekly Standard’s disparaging remarks about him.

Prior to that, the Weekly Standard had joined the liberal media in attempting to discredit Chris Ruddy, a veteran journalist who wrote a book about the mysterious death of former Clinton White House lawyer Vincent Foster. When he was a journalist at the New York Post, Chris Ruddy’s reporting forced a re-opening of that case. But before that, he was the editor of a New York Weekly called The New York Guardian, where he broke another significant story.

That story exposed how a public television film called The Liberators had falsely claimed that Nazi concentration camps had been liberated by black American soldiers during World War II. The story had a lot of human interest appeal, but it just wasn’t true. Chris Ruddy exposed this falsehood, which is one reason why he was eventually hired by the New York Post. He had a proven track record as an investigative journalist.

Now the Weekly Standard has discovered that the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. is perpetuating this falsehood. Writer Mark Schulte discovered that the second floor of the museum features some photographs suggesting that the black soldiers did participate in the liberation of those camps. But in summarizing the history of this controversy, Schulte fails to give Ruddy credit for his work. Schulte notes that, by February 1993, the truth was already known because “damaging articles” had been written by “among others, the late Eric Breindel of the New York Post…” Among others? Chris Ruddy is the reporter who broke this story. This is all a matter of record. It is apparent that the Weekly Standard failed to credit Chris Ruddy because if they admitted that he had uncovered this fraud, they might have to explain why they have tried to debunk his excellent work on other stories, such as the Foster death. In short, if Ruddy was right about this story, maybe he was right about Foster. That is a possibility the Weekly Standard can’t bear to think about.

It is bad enough that we are up against liberal media power that refuses to tell the truth about some of these events. But when a conservative magazine like the Weekly Standard piles on, the situation gets much worse. It is acting silly by not giving Chris Ruddy the credit he deserves.

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