Q I'd like to know, like a lot of other people in this room, we have family members -- we have family members who are actively involved in the security of this country in various ways. From them, we've received positive information that we consider credible, who say about the success and the good things that are happening as a result of us being in Iraq. I would like to know why and what can be done about we, the American people, receiving some of that information more from the media, or (inaudible.) (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: If you're trying to goad me into attacking the media, you're crazy. (Laughter.)
It's interesting, people get their news all different kinds of ways. This is an interesting, different type of war. I mentioned asymmetrical warfare. That means an enemy can use inexpensive weapons to try to defeat expensive defensive armament. A car bomb, a suicide bomber, an IED, these are inexpensive weapons that help them achieve strategic objectives.
It's also different in that this is a volunteer army that we have fielded. And, therefore, the role of government is to make sure that our families are well-supported -- our military families are well-supported, that the veterans get everything they deserve, and that the health care is perfect as possibly can be. And we're working toward it.
By the way, I was proud of our Secretary of Defense the other day. When he found inadequate health care, he responded, because he knows -- and the Congress shares the same view -- is that when we have somebody volunteering to be in combat, they and their families deserve the best that we can possibly provide.
Thirdly, back to your question. You thought I was kind of doing one of these -- (laughter) -- Washington, D.C. dodges. (Laughter.) I talk to a lot of families who have got a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, or anywhere else in this global war on terror, and they are in constant communication with their loved one. That's amazing, isn't it. You've got a kid in Iraq who is emailing mom daily, talking about the realities of what he or she sees. Information is moving -- you know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it's also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets. It's amazing how many emails I see from people that are writing in what they think and what they hear.
We've all got -- those of us who believe that we're doing the right thing must continually speak. Joe Lieberman has been great about continually speaking about the consequences. (Applause.) Wait a minute -- you didn't give me a chance to say something nice about Chairman Warner. (Laughter.) He, too, has been strong. (Applause.)
It's just a -- I can't answer your question beyond that people just need to be -- the best messenger, by the way, for us is David Petraeus, because he's actually there in Baghdad, and Ryan Crocker who is actually -- he's the ambassador who is there in Baghdad. And freedom of the press is a valuable freedom here, and it's just something that we've all got to live with and value it for what it is, and just continue to speak the truth as best as we can without trying to -- without trying to gloss over the inherent dangers.
The interesting thing I find is that our -- as the president here mentioned, there have been multiple rotations. People have gone back to Iraq. In other words, they've re-upped. And the re-enlistment rate is high. People are signing up for the first time, as well. And it's just an interesting statement, isn't it, about the character of our military, a character which is -- says that we've got people willing to serve a cause greater than themselves.
I saw a Marine yesterday -- came out of Anbar. His brother, who was in the Army, was lost. And I was comforting his family as best as I possibly can, or could. And he said, we're making great progress in Anbar, I just wanted to tell you that, President. You know, is he the kind of guy that tells the President what he wants to hear? I don't know. All I can tell you is what he told me. And I told that to David Petraeus, who confirmed it.
But slowly but surely, the truth will be known. Either we'll succeed, or we won't succeed. And the definition of success as I described is sectarian violence down. Success is not, no violence. There are parts of our own country that have got a certain level of violence to it. But success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives. And that's what we're trying to achieve.
I'm asked all the time about strategies. I liked what James A. Baker and Lee Hamilton reported back after a serious investigation of Iraq. I liked their ideas. And it's something that we should seriously consider. And their idea was, is that at some point in time, it makes sense to have a U.S. presence configured this way, embedded with Iraqi forces, training Iraqi forces, over-the-horizon presence to provide enough security to know that people will have help if they need it, but put the -- more onus on a sovereign government of Iraq, a presence to keep the territorial integrity of Iraq intact, a special ops presence to go after these killers who have got their intentions on America. It's an interesting idea.
By the way, in the report it said, it is -- the government may have to put in more troops to be able to get to that position. And that's what we do. We put in more troops to get to a position where we can be in some other place. The question is, who ought to make that decision? The Congress or the commanders? And as you know, my position is clear -- I'm the commander guy.
The families that talk to their family members in Iraq notice the differences in what our media portrays as realities on the ground to us, who they mistakenly believe have no access to the soldiers to get to the truth of the actual conditions son the ground.
We do and we spread their words as often as we can, but the question remains, why does the media not address these concerns from the families that give so much to our country?
Read the rest but continue to ask yourself that question....why does the media avoid, like the plague, the words of our soldiers, the questions from their familes and the realities, good AND bad on the ground in Iraq?
Where has their balance gone and is it one of the reasons that papers like the NYT is dropping advertisers like flies and reporting loses while papers that bring more balanced news are recording profits?
The Unbalanced news outlets:
The three large national papers made some strides in increases. However, The New York Times, which usually experiences small gains, lost daily circulation, down 1.9% to 1,120,420 while Sunday fell 3.3% to 1,627,062.
Some of the largest declines occurred at metro papers. The Dallas Morning News hemorrhaged 14.2% of daily circ to 411,919. Sunday fell 13.3% to 563,079. Daily and Sunday circulation at The San Diego Union-Tribune slipped 6.5% to 296,331 and 7.2% to 378696 respectively. At the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, daily circ declined 4.9% to 230,870 and Sunday decreased 4.4% to 251,666.
The Miami Herald lost 5.5% of its daily circulation to 272,299 copies and 10.1% of its Sunday circ 342,432 copies. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale was down 8.6% to 226,591 while Sunday fell 6% to 319,103. The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., which recently revised its September 2006 publisher's statement, said daily circ fell 6% to 372,629. Sunday dropped 4.3% to 570,523.
Daily circulation at The Orange County (Calif.) Register slipped 5% to 284,613 while Sunday was down 7% to 329,549. The Austin American-Statesman reported daily circ dropped 5.6% to 173,579 and Sunday declined 215,894.
The Washington Post lost 3.4% of its weekday circ to 699,130 copies. Sunday fell 3.2% to 929,921.
Just a few examples there.
Now those that show more balance as well as more support for our troops in a time of war:
As reported earlier, The Wall Street Journal also increased, up 0.6% to 2,062,312.
The New York Post soared past the New York Daily News. Daily circ at that paper jumped 7.6% to 724748 and Sunday increased 6.5% to 439,202.
Go through the numbers at the link above and see who is losing circulation and who is gaining.
If these papers and news sources do not start balancing themselves, and soon, they may just discover that they will be obsolete in the not too distant future.
As I said about Rosie, goodbye to bad rubbish if that does happen and if they learn nothing from the numbers and loss of profits.