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 V.13 No.1 | January 1 - 7, 2004 

Thin Line

Don't worry, KRQE—even the Times is dead wrong, sometimes. A few weeks ago, “Thin Line” chalked up News 13's premature report of Joe Skeen's death to the station's need to be the first to report the story, and we still think the gaffe made the station look pretty stupid. But they might feel better to know that lots of news outlets have a hard time discerning if their subjects are dead or not. Last week, we received a copy of an internal memo sent to employees at the New York Times, chiding writers to verify cause of death in an obituary to avoid running an obit on someone who isn't dead.

“Every obit—every obit—must say how we know the person is dead,” Chuck Strum, a Times official, wrote in the memo. “This is not a change in policy or style. It is a restatement. The fact of death must be attributed, although attribution of the cause, in paragraph 2, will suffice. No exceptions without approval from a masthead editor or the news desk editor in charge.” (SH)

America's darling. Kudos to the Albuquerque Tribune for featuring an article on the front page of the Dec. 13 issue which featured an ex-POW who did not receive the same treatment as Jessica Lynch.

For weeks we have been seeing extensive coverage of Lynch in the Albuquerque Journal and television shows such as “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show.”

The article on the front page of The Trib referred to another POW, Shoshana Johnson, who was in the same raid as Lynch and did not receive the fanfare or the benefits Lynch received.

Johnson is being discharged after completing five years of service in the Army. She planned to spend 20 years

in the military but her plans changed

following her combat experience.

According to the Trib report, Lynch receives 80 percent disability and Johnson receives 30 percent.

Once again America's sweetheart is still gaining notoriety while others are still fighting the system. It's nice to see the Trib reveal the real news and reflect upon the injustices spawned by Pentagon propaganda and the complicit media. (SG)

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