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June 16, 2003

Terry Southern is writing the news now:
“Attached you will find the outlines of a proposal that includes ideas from CBS News, CBS Entertainment, MTV networks and Simon & Schuster publishers,” Betsy West, a CBS News senior vice president, wrote to Private [Jessica] Lynch’s military representatives. “From the distinguished reporting of CBS News to the youthful reach of MTV, we believe this is a unique combination of projects that will do justice to Jessica’s inspiring story.”

CBS Entertainment executives, the proposal said, “tell us this would be the highest priority for the CBS movie division, which specializes in inspirational stories of courage.” Simon & Schuster, it said, “is extremely interested in discussing the possibilities for a book based on Jessica’s journey from Palestine, West Virginia, to deep inside Iraq.”

MTV Networks, the letter went on, was offering a news special, a chance for Private Lynch and her friends to be the co-hosts of an hourlong music video program on MTV2, and even a special edition of its hit program “Total Request Live” in her honor. “This special would include a concert performance in Palestine, West Va., by a current star act such as Ashanti, and perhaps Ja Rule,” the proposal said.

Notes the Times: “In the process, CBS renewed concerns among critics about the independence of news divisions owned by media giants.” Yes, I guess you could say that. [09:46 PM]
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Comments on Terry Southern is writing the news:

Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2003, 06:36 AM:

Oh, what Goebbels could have done with such a magnificent propaganda machine! These Americans, they have no imagination. Your lies, they need to be big, great big! None of this small stuff. Exaggeration is for amateurs!

edub ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2003, 09:24 AM:

And this morning's WaPo has a long story that begins to shed some light on what really happened.

Lynch tried to fire her weapon, but it jammed, according to military officials familiar with the Army investigation. She did not kill any Iraqis. She was neither shot nor stabbed, they said.


Lynch was riding in a Humvee when it plowed into a jackknifed U.S. truck. She suffered major injuries, including multiple fractures and compression to her spine, that knocked her unconscious, military sources said. The collision killed or gravely injured the Humvee's four other passengers.

Edward Liu ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2003, 09:26 AM:

Er, have all these press outlets that are jockeying for Pfc Jessica Lynch's story forgetting that much of the drama of her capture and rescue were fabrications? I even think the Times was among the newspapers that were willing to bring this up without prefacing it with, "A horde of liberal communist pinko unpatriotic America-hating French-loving cowardly stinking terrorist-aiding cheats and thieves are spreading lies and slander that..."

Oh, right. Suggesting that makes me unpatriotic. Bad Ed. No cookie.

-- Ed

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2003, 01:48 PM:

The real hurting will start when Precious Moments releases its line of very special Private Lynch figurines.

(Figure One, depicting the plucky soldierette during her possibly theoretical battle with the Iraqis, comes with a hand-painted M-16 assault rifle, and a FREE wooden case designed to proudly display all the figures in the series. Yours for three payments of $29.97 plus shipping and handling.)

rusty ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2003, 04:52 PM:

Stefan, that's both horrible, and horribly plausible.

Jon Stopa ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2003, 08:46 PM:

More plausible than you might think. I almost fell off my chair when I read Stefan's comment, and so shared it with a fanish friend. Here is his reply:

We have a client that competes with Precious Moments.  I've passed
this idea on to the Account Rep that works with them..."

Jon Stopa ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2003, 11:36 PM:

I have a feeling that the Private Lynch story may have a tragic ending. Too much seems to indicate she may not be able to walk. That could be during a time of healing, or never. Spinal injuries could leave her with pain for the rest of her life.

MadJayhawk ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2003, 12:24 AM:

I tried to go back and research the original Private Lynch story and found the orginal news story full of quotes and representations from "officials". It does not say if those officials were Americans in the Pentagon or Americans on the ground in Iraq. I could not tell from the context. The story was in the Washington Post. This was the mother of all the stories that were later written about Private Lynch. The story had some basic facts incorrect and these were corrected by the Post a short time later. The inaccuracies in the original story that were repeated over and over by other news organizations eventually grew into the term "Administration Lies" that those unfriendly to the administration bandied about with glee. I can find nothing in original set of stories that would lead me to believe that the adminstration deliberately lied about anything connected with the story.

Here's the original mother story from the WP:

"Private Lynch fought fiercely before capture
April 4 2003

Private Jessica Lynch fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed her unit, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition, according to US officials.

Private Lynch, a 19-year-old supply clerk with the 507th Ordnance Maintenance company, kept firing even after she was wounded several times and saw several soldiers in her unit die, one official said.

The March 23 ambush occurred after their convoy took a wrong turn in the southern city of Nasiriyah. "She was fighting to the death," the official said. "She did not want to be taken alive."

Private Lynch was also stabbed when Iraqi forces closed in, the official said, noting that first reports indicated that she had been stabbed to death. No official suggested that Private Lynch's wounds had been life-threatening.

Officials said the precise sequence of events was still being determined. Further information would emerge as Private Lynch was debriefed. Reports so far were based on monitored communications and from Iraqi sources in Nasiriyah, they said.

Pentagon officials said they had heard "rumours" of Private Lynch's actions but had no confirmation.

- Washington Post"

This is the official Defense Dept press release:

"The US Department of Defense announced today that Pfc. Jessica D. Lynch, 19, of Palestine, W.Va., was recovered and returned to U.S. control as the result of a successful rescue mission.

Lynch had been listed as listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown following an ambush of her convoy by enemy forces on March 23.

Lynch is assigned to the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas."

On June 17th the WP published another, more detailed article about Private Lynch. It can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A2760-2003Jun16?language=printer. It paints a different picture about Private Lynch than the first story.

Rather than question the motives and methods of the administration someone should question the motives and methods of the media.

Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2003, 07:45 AM:

MadJayHawk: But Howell Raines has been ritually chased beyond the city walls by a crowd of journalists striking him with leafy switches; and so this problem has been solved, hasn't it?