The Truth About Jayson Blair and Jessica Lynch

We now know that Jayson Blair lied about no less than 36 stories which he reported in the New York Times since last October. Geov Parrish argues that the financial pressures which allowed Blair to get away with storytelling for so long may very well get worse after June 2:

When Michael Powell's FCC opens the door for further corporate consolidation in media next week, by easing or lifting remaining restrictions on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership, the result will inevitably be more opportunities for the Jayson Blairs of this world.

Ironically, one of the stories Blair fabricated, Parrish points out, involved "describing (from photographs) a trip to [Pvt. Jessica Lynch's] West Virginia home when he never left the city." Its ironic, because while Blair's story of getting caught is big news in the US corporate media, little or no attention is being given to a more profound story of lying and fabrication.
A BBC (not American) investigation this month revealed that the entire Jessica Lynch story, from beginning to end, was an elaborately planned hoax perpetrated by the Pentagon and the Bush Administration. The pinnacle was a Hollywood-worthy spectacle of Lynch's Special Forces "rescuers" charging into her Iraqi hospital, shooting blanks and shouting as though an enemy were returning fire. There was no enemy -- only Pentagon cameras, which captured and carefully edited the footage to create a heroic and entirely fictitious "rescue" story that dominated American newscasts and headlines for days. That bit of fiction makes anything Blair did look even more like child's play.

By contrast, the revelation that thousands of media reports regarding [Lynch's] entire Iraqi experience were utter fantasy is only the latest instance in an endless string of uncovered Bush Administration lies or hoaxes -- faithfully and unquestioningly parroted by newsrooms from coast to coast which made little attempt to provide context, let alone accuracy.

The "Saving Private Jessica" story is straight out of Hollywood - Jerry Bruckheimer, to be precise. It was Bruckheimer's advice to the Pentagon which helped them formulate their strategy to "to ensure the right television footage by using embedded reporters and images from their own cameras, editing the film themselves." Dr Anmar Uday, who works at the hospital where Lynch was being treated and who witnessed the "rescue," said:
"There was no military, there were no soldiers in the hospital. It was like a Hollywood film. They cried 'go, go, go', with guns and blanks without bullets, blanks and the sound of explosions. They made a show for the American attack on the hospital."

As can be expected, the Pentagon rejects the claim that they stage-managed the rescue, and Lynch has no recollection of what took place "and probably never will." A Pentagon official said:
"The Pentagon never released an account of what happened to Lynch because it didn't have an account. She never told us."