COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | LARRY STIRLING

'Infamous scribblers'

"Infamous Scribblers" is a book about "the Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism."

Its author is Eric Burns, and as billed, the book recounts the beginnings of the American domestic press, which of course antedated the revolutionary war.

If Burns is correct, various members of the American press indeed started the revolutionary war by printing totally scurrilous falsehoods about the British administration.

In his chapter entitled "The Weekly Dung Barge" (which is how the pro-British "Tory" press referred to the Boston Gazette), Burns tells how founding father Samuel Adams took the helm of the Gazette and changed it from a journal that made a marginal living by publishing official government announcements to a forum in which Americans could "spit their venom" at British officials.

So much for "fair and impartial."

Most of the venom was Adams' own. He had a personal axe to grind against the British for the failure of a family business and wanted to get even.

Adams' paper became famous for a collection of "piping hot atrocities guaranteed to inflame any that read about them."

Adams reported that: "British soldiers prowled about the colonies beating children, forcing their attention on young ladies, stealing merchandise from shopkeepers, and violating the Sabbath by getting drunk and horse racing through the streets of Boston endangering all of those who crossed their paths."

The only problem with these "atrocities" is they were just not true.

Adams' paper almost single handedly caused a late-night confrontation between a mob of Bostonians and a lone British sentry who did his best to ignore their taunts.

When the sentry called for help, as he was required to do, the mob attacked the few responding British soldiers available that night.

Not having any "non-lethal" weapons in those days, the soldiers fired on the mob to protect themselves (a court of inquiry with American lawyers and an American jury later confirmed the story).

Without the slightest shame, Adams proclaimed the event "the Boston Massacre," giving the story enough "legs" to gallop throughout the colonies, prejudicing the minds of the gullible who believed that the press, like themselves, generally told the truth.

Much of our history recounts that the story of the Boston Massacre set off a series of events that resulted in a full-scale revolution, which Adams and his peers wanted whether justified or not by the facts in his "dung barge."

Sadly, and totally contrary to its self-proclaimed ethics, it seems that much of today's press can also be readily categorized as "infamous scribbles."

Only this time, the dung barges are not stirring up support for the United States, the American press is by and large doing its best to bring the United States to its knees in any way that it can.

There are daily stories containing horrific information such as: "Afghan teacher is dragged from his house and beheaded," "Two Iraqi Teachers Slain in Front of Pupils" and "(Muslim) Demonstrators in front of Israeli Embassy in New York City demand nuclear annihilation of Israel."

On April 23, the Los Angeles Times Book Review Section referred to those that "took over" the American embassy in 1979, and in violation of all rules of international law held the staff hostage for 444 days, as "students."

They were not students. They were Islamic terrorists -- one of whom is now president of Iran.

Under his leadership, Iran is developing offensive nuclear weapons and threatens daily to kill all Jews and wipe Israel "off the face of the map."

Standing up to the blatant and totally indefensible demands of the murderous Muslims is George Bush, the duly elected president of the United States of America.

With the support of the Congress, and unlike his sleazy predecessor, he mobilized this country to confront the massive onslaught of a determined horde of Muslim killers.

Notwithstanding the scribblers' perfidy, the American military has been entirely successful in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

There is no longer any stand-up Army to confront them, only the murderous antics of a few not unlike the homicidal gangs that infect much of Los Angeles.

It is clear that the American press is attempting to reprise its role during the Vietnam War.

If our nation is so weak that this generation of infamous scribblers can once again snatch defeat from the jaws of not one but two American military victories, they can gloat that "they have made a difference."

The world is now certainly filled with "piping-hot atrocities," and they are the direct result of the Muslim murderous offense against the United States.

How do American newspaper writers live with themselves while giving aid and comfort to the repeatedly announced objectives of the Muslims to destroy America and our constitutional way of life?


Stirling is a retired superior court judge who now practices law with the firm of Garrison & McInnis. He is a former Army officer, member of the San Diego City Council, the California State Assembly and the State Senate. Send comments to larry.stirling@sddt.com. Comments may be published as letters to the Editor.

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