A Letter to the Officers of National Public Radio

Dean Lawrence R. Velvel

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have noticed that, by the wording of questions they ask guests, your newscasters continue to propagate the outrageous lie that cutting off funds for the Iraq war constitutes a failure to support and protect our troops.  As you should know, there are bills in Congress that would cut off funds for the war, but which make clear that funds nonetheless can be used to protect the troops during the period of withdrawal.  To word questions in a way which posits that a fund cut off is a failure to support and protect the troops is outrageously irresponsible and contributes to the lie being spread in this regard both by Republicans and by Democrats who, for political purposes, don’t have the courage or desire to cut off funds.

What your newscasters should be asking of various guests, if the newscasters are to be responsible and honest, is the following:  “How can you claim that a cut off of funds for the war undermines the safety of the troops -- is a failure to support and protect the troops -- when bills calling for a cut-off specifically say that funds can nonetheless be used to protect the troops during the period of withdrawal?  Your claim is false, isn’t it?”  That, and not the lie being propagated by your newscasters, is the appropriate question.

This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel.  If you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me at velvel@mslaw.edu.  Your response may be posted on the blog if you have no objection; please tell me if you do object.

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Harvard Square Commentary, February 19, 2007