Media Matters reported yesterday with more questions for the NY Times, especially since Josh Sparling, the wounded Iraq veteran, appeared on most of the Fox programs to tell his side of the story with no substantiation. Sparling told Fox and Friends that there people with bats who wanted to hurt him and that protesters were cursing him out, flipping him the finger and spitting but remarked that there were a couple of non-violent peace protesters who passed by him though.
A DU'er who was present at the march posted a letter he wrote to the NY Times writer who wrote the original story:
Interestingly, while I was marching along the north side of the capitol, I was approached by a young woman who claimed to be a reporter for the NY Times working with you on the story. She interviewed my friend David Quinly and he was quoted in your story.
Then she turned to me and told me she had seen a protester spit on a soldier and asked for my comment. I told her I didn't believe that, and she repeated that she had seen this happen. I told her the peace movement is more supportive of the troops than anyone who supports this war, because we want our troops to come home, while those who support the war are advocating sending them into harm's way. So I really could not believe that anyone who opposed the war had spit on a soldier. My comments were not included in your story.
I was upset when I read your story the next day to see this was an "alleged" incident and the protester had supposedly spit on the ground in front of the soldier (which is quite different from spitting ON this soldier). In other words, what was related in your story was not at all what that reporter had told me. So she either lied to me or your story is false.
When I got back home, I did a little research that apparently you did not do and found out some interesting things about this soldier who claims he was spit on. He also claims to have received a death threat in the mail while he was in Walter Reed Hospital and he claims he was mistreated in an airport when he returned from Iraq.
He has been celebrated on Michelle Malkin's website and was a guest on Sean Hannity's show.
Now I am just a teacher and not a reporter but I hope you are wondering what I am wondering - what are the odds that a soldier who received a death threat also happened to get spit on at that march?? Adding in the fact that your assistant who interviewed me either lied to me or misrepresented the facts in your story, I now do not believe that this spitting incident happened at all.
Ian, the NY Times needs to print a retraction. I will wait for a reply from you and if I don't hear back I will contact your editor. The blogs are already on this story and it doesn't look like it will go away without a retraction in your paper.
It's unfucking believable.