Yesterday, Esquire magazine came out with an article falsely claiming that the former Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Ladin was not offered any health care benefits upon leaving the Navy. As Twitchy documented this morning, Esquire’s false claim was echoed by numerous MSM outlets, including the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
Now Esquire has posted a duplicitous follow-up article in which the editors claim they disclosed former Navy SEAL’s eligibility for VA benefits:
In the Stars & Stripes piece, [Stars and Stripes reporter Megan McCloskey] writes:
“Like every combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the former SEAL…is automatically eligible for five years of free healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs. But the story doesn’t mention that.”
Now granted, “The Shooter” is a long story, lots of words to sort through, but McCloskey is wrong here. We refer her to this paragraph deeper in the piece: “There is a Transition Assistance Program in the military, but it’s largely remedial level, rote advice of marginal value: Wear a tie to interviews, not your Corfam (black shiny service) shoes. Try not to sneeze in anyone’s coffee. There is also a program at MacDill Air Force Base designed to help Special Ops vets navigate various bureaucracies. And the VA does offer five years of benefits for specific service-related claims—but it’s not comprehensive and it offers nothing for the Shooter’s family.”
This echoes the claim made yesterday by the article’s author, Phil Bronstein:
@BFriedmanDC Brandon thanks for this. The 5 year care provision is in the story but you're right: outplacement didn't tell him.
— PhilBronstein (@PhilBronstein) February 11, 2013
The boldfaced sentence about the VA, however, does not appear in the Esquire article (at least not in the version that is online). Nor does the sentence about the program at MacDill Air Force Base. Here is the complete passage of the paragraph that appears online:
There is a Transition Assistance Program in the military, but it’s largely remedial level, rote advice of marginal value: Wear a tie to interviews, not your Corfam (black shiny service) shoes. Try not to sneeze in anyone’s coffee.
And here are screencaps, just in case a sneaky editor tries to retroactively edit what was written.
From today’s rebuttal:
From yesterday’s article:
Esquire finally acknowledges what Brandon Friedman pointed out some 24 hours ago — namely, that the online version of its story did not include anything about the Navy SEAL being eligible for VA benefits.
— Esquire Magazine (@esquire) February 12, 2013
Here is the note now posted at the beginning of the original article: “The original version of this story did not include a few sentences that ran in the issue printed last week. We regret the production error.”
Esquire’s follow-up post has not been corrected.