Add: General Boykin

Hugh Hewitt adds background to the Los Angeles Times story on General William “Jerry” Boykin’s Christian beliefs. Apparently the Times fed the story, along with some audio and video, to NBC for use on last night’s news.

The Los Angeles Times thus gave away a scoop on a story that ended up on its front page. Why would it do that? It may have a precedent in the world of journalism, but to me it stinks. Didn’t the Times engage in manipulation of the news to increase its impact on the audience? Or did the paper need cover for the story and gave it to NBC in order to generate that cover:

Arkin: “It was all coordinated, and I think that NBC’s contribution was really its ability to showcase the video and audio of General Boykin which I think is much more powerful than anything I could put into words on paper.”

Hewitt: “So the Los Angeles Times agreed to let NBC go first?”

Arkin: “Yes.”

What is disturbing is that this story, which has been carried around the world now, is based on the opinion of Mr. Arkin, who took it upon himself to put words into General Boykin’s mouth. Hugh Hewitt again:

I asked Arkin about the line that appears in his story: “Boykin is also in a senior Pentagon policymaking position, and its a serious mistake to allow a man who believes in a Christian ‘jihad’ to hold such a job.”

Arkin admits in my interview that Boykin never used the word jihad, even though it appears in quotes in his article. Arkin states it is a characterization. Right. In quotes.

Mental note: Add Hugh’s book “The Embarrassed Believer” to my list of things to read. General Boykin seems to have mastered the “bold and vocal” part of witnessing. The truth of his words is made evident by the swift and heated response this story is generating.

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