Diary

AP Slips Bush Derangement Syndrome Into Farrow Death Notice?

Mia Farrow’s brother, artist Patrick Farrow, committed suicide Tuesday, June 16. As expected, on the following day the Associated Press released a wire story about the incident. But, the odd thing about the short recount of the Farrows’s lives and the account of the discovery of Patrick’s lifeless body is that that the AP found some reason to slip in an attack on George W. Bush into the story. Worse, the AP used the fact of a U.S. soldier’s death in Iraq as a vehicle to slam the past president. What did BDS have to do with the Farrows, Patrick’s death, and a report on the same?

The customary information about Patrick Farrow’s death was duly reported, of course. We were informed of the laundry list of facts. We got Farow’s relation to actress Mia Farrow; a bit about her life; some on Patrick’s life’s work in sculpture and art; and some of the initial findings surrounding his death also appear. All good and proper reporting, of course. But then, at the very end, we get to the anomaly of the story, a lapsing into Bush Derangement Syndrome that is completely out of place with the rest of the tale.

Here is the segment, all piled up at the end of the wire story:

Last year, a nephew of Mia Farrow and Patrick Farrow who had spent nearly 20 years in the Army was killed in Iraq.

Sgt. 1st Class Jason F. Dene, 37, died of injuries suffered in an incident in Baghdad, according to the Department of Defense, which gave no other details about his death except to say it was under investigation.

Patrick Farrow told The Associated Press after his nephew’s May 25, 2008, death he felt as though he had been “kicked in the stomach.”

“I’ve been opposed to this war since the beginning,” Farrow said then. “This lying Bush administration has gotten into this thing that has now killed my nephew. It’s up close and personal, and I am deeply angry.”

What does this have to do with Patrick’s death? What does it have to do with a general piece about his life, for that matter? Was Patrick a major activist against the Iraq war and Bush’s policies or well known in his anti-war positions? No, not really. Was Patrick’s career somehow intimately connected to his nephew to the point where the nephew’s non-combat death in Iraq might cause a major life’s crisis or heavily affect Patrick’s public life? Was it connected to the suicide? No to all of that. In fact, there is little by way of public knowledge connecting the hero soldier nephew and Patrick Farrow. There seems to be little else but mere relationship between Nephew and Uncle.

It’s very hard to justify a discussion of the death of Sgt. Jason F. Dene — certainly a lamentable incident — being added to a short wire story about the unconnected suicide death of uncle Patrick Farrow. But it did give the AP an opportunity to express rage against President Bush once again. BDS reveals itself at the most indelicate moments, doesn’t it?