The depravity of the war whores

News & Politics
Management writes: "For two years the Daily Egyptian (the student newspaper of Southern Illinois University) has unwittingly been a tool in perpetuating a cruel hoax on it's readers. The story of a marine father deployed in Iraq, mostly told through the perspective of his young motherless daughter. One problem... He didn't exist and the child was a pawn who had been tricked into believing that she was involved in filming a documentary."

Here's a sample from the one story preserved by Out of the Box:
"To Kodee [the daughter], Bush is her father's boss and she does not understand why people think he is evil. She has also has a very difficult time understanding the war protesters and has begun to fear them the way most kids fear the boogeyman or monsters."
The paper has since scrubbed the stories and apologized but can you? Can you apologize for adding kindling to a fire that's already killed? Can the Times? Can the Post?

Clearly, we have national myths and narratives that must be perpetuated to make the dirty business of war seem like a good guys/bad guys proposition. But given the lies with which the media's been complicit, is it any wonder that 77% of Americans think that the military lies and increasing numbers find the media unreliable? This is just a student paper, sure, but it's an ethos.

It reminds me of a character in Metropolitan, a film about some shallow, bratty private school kids in Manhattan in the 80s. When he's caught telling the same story over and over in different contexts and places, featuring different characters at different times. Does he admit that the story's not true?

Nope. He looks confused, hurt even, and replies (paraphrasing...): "Okay, so that person wasn't real: he's a composite, like in New York Magazine." (Out of the Box via Atrios)

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