26 October, 2006

More Fun With Journalists

The setup: a reporter for a smalltown newspaper writes an article about Michael Grout, a former Vietnam veteran and SEAL suffering from injuries and emotional anguish who finds comfort with a fellow vet. Details such as his time as a POW are included among his amazing adventures.

The complication: Reporter's editor is informed that no SEALs were POWs in Vietnam, that "Michael Grout" is not in the "SEAL database," and that there are myriad oddities in Mr. Grout's story that sound right out of Hollywood.

Editor's reply when confronted by a real-life SEAL with this information?:

He claims that because he was working as a CIA agent, he did not use his real name, and is still not at liberty to divulge the name he used and further information about his CIA mission. [snip]

I don't know what the truth is, and we'll probably never know. However, the reporter who wrote the original story is writing another story as soon as he gathers his information. He will quote what Grout told us Friday, and note that we have received letters that say he is a fraud. I guess the people will have to determine what the real truth is.

I think Grout's story is believable, but then I've never served in the military and don't know much about the CIA. But if the TV show "The Agency" that was on two or three years before it canceled bears any resemblance to to the way the CIA really operates, his story is believable.

Well, there's journalism at it's best. And these are the types of "informed people" we're supposed to rely on for our news. Unbelievable.