Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Someone Else Does My Homework

This is from Greyhawk. It's long, it's complicated. But you need to read it to understand why it's so dangerous to get all your news from the mainstream media. They took a horrifying story of child abuse and turned it into something political.

Child Abuse: Because of Bush!
By Greyhawk

or "how America's news is made".

Chapter one: the locals

Our story begins with the sort of tragic child abuse story that appears in local papers all too often. This one was from the Nisqually Valley (Washington) News - a report of an arrest made on January 31.

Man suspected of beating 4-year-old
By Megan Hansen

A Yelm man was arrested Sunday [January 31] for allegedly beating and torturing his daughter. Police said they found the child covered with bruises.

Officers were dispatched around 2 a.m. to Umptanum Road behind Safeway for a report of a disturbance.

Joshua R. Tabor, 27, was allegedly walking up and down the street with a helmet, saying he was going to bust windows, said Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil.

He appeared to be intoxicated.

When police arrived they discovered Tabor's 4-year-old daughter had locked herself in a bathroom.

Tabor's girlfriend allegedly told police that Tabor has an anger problem and beats his daughter, Stancil said.

The child was interviewed and photographs were taken of the bruises that covered her body.

During the investigation it was also discovered Tabor may have held the girl's head, backward, in a sink of water because she wouldn't say her ABCs, Stancil said.

The Seattle-Tacoma News Tribune added additional details, including that the suspect was "a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier."

Anger over alphabet ends in arrest
Charged: Man accused of dunking 4-year-old

According to court records:

Tabor's girlfriend told Yelm police that Tabor beats his 4-year-old daughter and that the child's back was covered in bruises. The girlfriend reported that the 4-year-old had locked herself in a closet because she was afraid of her father.

The girlfriend also reported that when the child wets herself, Tabor "makes her sit in the urine-soaked clothes" until he gives her permission to change.
Tabor spoke to a Yelm police officer and said that he and his girlfriend had "held her down on the counter and submerged her head into the water three or four times until the water came around her forehead and jawline." He said that she was face-up when her head was in the water. He added that they gave this punishment for the 4-year-old "refusing to say her letters."

Tabor was released Monday from the Thurston County Jail after posting $10,000 bail. He is restricted to base at Lewis-McChord as a condition of his release.

The "dunking" was an important point because - as the Nisqually Valley News had reported - "Tabor was arrested for third-degree assault of a child, but police are requesting charges be increased to second-degree assault of a child because of the alleged water incidents." And "they are also asking the prosecutor to charge Tabor's girlfriend, who he said helped hold the girl down in the water." And according to the News Tribune: The Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed a charge of second-degree assault of a child against Joshua Ryan Tabor, 27, on Tuesday.

As to why he chose dunking her in the sink "until the water came around her forehead and jawline" - "Tabor allegedly admitted to police that he did it because he knew she was terrified of water."

And there you have it. Tabor's arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 16. Until then he is confined to post. It's a tragic story, and it happens all too often. As a parent, it's horrifying and unforgivable and a reminder that ability to have children and ability to raise children are two different things - and that some thankfully small percentage of people just barely qualify as "people". There are some in your neighborhood and mine. That's one of the reasons when it happens in your neighborhood, it isn't news in mine.

Chapter two: Tabloid data (in which our story sets out for Britain to seek it's fortune)

Somehow the British tabloid Daily Mail heard the child abuse story, and one week after the arrest they found a way to make news from Nisqually Valley an international sensation: add "waterboarding" and CIA" to the mix.

U.S. soldier 'waterboarded his own daughter, 4, because she couldn't recite alphabet'

A soldier waterboarded his four-year-old daughter because she was unable to recite her alphabet.

Joshua Tabor admitted to police he had used the CIA torture technique because he was so angry.

"The practice of waterboarding was used by the CIA to break Al Qaeda suspects at Guantanamo Bay," the Daily Mail helpfully adds. "Detainees had water poured over their face until they feared they would drown. President Barack Obama has since outlawed the practice."

But they also include a description of what allegedly did to his daughter. The story even includes a photo captioned "Human rights activists demonstrate waterboarding in front of the Justice Department. A soldier father stands accused of waterboarding his daughter because she couldn't recite the alphabet" - even though the photo itself is proof that what Tabor is accused of isn't waterboarding.

But that's what tabloids do. Here's the front page of the Daily Mail's web site, here's a list of libel suits that have been filed against them in the recent past - that has no bearing on this particular story, just an indication of how they do business. This is no secret - "Brangelina's Secret UFO Sex Diet" sells - especially with added Beckham quotes. "Man beats kid near Seattle" doesn't draw the average housewife's attention away from the Snickers bars in the checkout lanes - unless he used secret CIA waterboarding techniques.

Fortunately, no one's really that gullible. (/kidding)

Chapter 3: Back in the USA (In which our week-old story makes it's way back across the Atlantic to it's home country, reborn.)

"Money see, monkey do. And the chimp in chief made it a household word," explains the American web site Political Carnival in their endorsement of the Daily Mail story. Fortunately no one reads... wait - "Joshua Tabor admitted to police that he used a CIA torture technique on his 4-year-old daughter because he was angry she couldn't recite the alphabet. (h/t The Political Carnival)" reports Alan Colmes (fomerly of Fox News). So now we have a man admitting he used a CIA technique? Astoundingly, Colmes uses the Daily Mail photo, too - but doesn't quote the portion of the story that reveals this isn't what the father is accused of doing.

The Daily Beast web site links the Daily Mail story too, and adds another twist: "He chose waterboarding--the CIA torture technique that simulates drowning and has been banned by the Obama administration--because he knew the girl was terrified of water."

AOL News Filter ("With so many news aggregators out there, who can keep up? AOL News filters the filters to steer you to the headlines that really matter" reads their banner) announces "The Daily Beast picks up a story from Britain's Daily Mail, reporting on a U.S. soldier who allegedly waterboarded his 4-year-old daughter." The AOL roundup includes several stories - but the overall headline is "The Filter: Soldier Accused of Waterboarding Daughter".

One of the people who writes at The Atlantic using the name Andrew Sullivan writes "A US Soldier Waterboards His Own Child." He (I believe all the "Andrew Sullivans" are he) calls the Daily Mail a "populist paper" (the original Andrew Sullivan is British - so he should know) but is mostly concerned that Marc Thiessen might claim "she wasn't really "waterboarded" as the professionals do it." I have no idea who Mark Theissen is, but if he does make that claim it's because it's true, and apparently at least one of the "Andrew Sullivans" knows this. (Does his willingness to acknowledge up front that he's wrong somehow increase the truthiness of what he writes?)

But more hilariously, "Andrew Sullivan" further notes that "No US paper has yet to report the story. Why am I not surprised?" Except that US papers broke the story a week ago - a British paper twisted it into a form suitable for international news of the tabloid variety, and not only are lefty bloggers and web sites falling for it, but the New York Daily News, Fox News, and ABC all have the "waterboarding" headlines now, too. (ABC News adds that the suspect served in Iraq!!!!)

With at least three "Andrew Sullivans" you'd think at least one of them could have checked that.
But there you have it - that's how "news" is made in America today.
And if you ever doubted that leftists are convinced that American soldiers are "monkeys" who would torture their own children because of Bush, now you know a little more about that, too.
Oh, and free advice to any potential lawyer in this case: ignore the people quoted above, don't try to blame Bush.
Story tip: Miss Ladybug.

(Instant update: Fox has re-written their story to eliminate the false "waterboarding" claim. You can see their original headline here)
Villainous Company
Confederate Yankee
And update: this is Mark Thiessen. Now I know.
Thank you to Greyhawk for doing all the legwork and pulling this together. So now you and I know the real deal on this sad, sad story.

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