The Army has been using "Interceptor" body armor in Iraq. While a superior form of protection to the previous forms of body armor used by the military, there are a few special rounds that can penetrate it. There is no evidence the terrorists in Iraq have access to such specialized rounds, but the Army wanted to be proactive. For emphasis, there is no evidence that these rounds are being used against U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The Army released new specs for improved body armor and let companies in the U.S. design and bid for a replacement. The improved armor has been delivered to U.S troops as early as March of this year, despite the specs only being released in January.The New York Times interviewed Colonel Spoehr and was given all the information I just summarized, above. How did the story read?
For the second time since the Iraq war began, the Pentagon is struggling to replace body armor that is failing to protect American troops from the most lethal attacks of insurgents.Apparently, and rightful so, Spoehr is angry with the NYT for distorting the truth.
The ceramic plates in vests worn by most personnel cannot withstand certain munitions the insurgents use. But more than a year after military officials initiated an effort to replace the armor with thicker, more resistant plates, tens of thousands of soldiers are still without the stronger protection because of a string of delays in the Pentagon's procurement system.
At first I was going to suggest that the New York Times in no better than a grocery store tabloid. But upon further reflection, "no better" isn't fair--to the tabloids. The New York Times is far worse than a trashy tabloid. Tabloid articles focus on topics such as alien babies, Elvis sightings, and the Loch Ness monster. They are obviously false. The articles in the Times are deviously and purposely deceitful. How many people read the lies written in the Times about the body armor story? How many people will read the real story?
Some herald the coming of blogs as the death knell of print media. If this behavior by the Times is any indication of what print media can give us, I can only hope that it happens as quickly as possible.