JAG Hunter bullet: Harry Levins, editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is a recent graduate of the Jayson Blair / New York Times School of Journalism.
Both Harry and I went down to the Post-Dispatch and talked with Arnie Robbins, managing Editor, FAX 314 340 3095, 800 355 0820 ext 8130 e-mail email@example.com, Tim Poos, National Editor, fax 314 340 3050, 800 365 0820 ext 8298, firstname.lastname@example.org and Harry Levins about the two articles that Harry wrote for today's newspaper
Harry and I are concerned with the part of the article that deals with Maj. Schmidt not saluting. Please read Gittins reply below. Our concern was that [Levins] didn't confirm with anyone on the [Major's] side only with the AF side and questioned why it was written...our opinion is it was written to demean our son.
The other article "Board could recommend stripping of [Major's] wings" is also false. Maj. Schmidt is not going to loose his wings. Harry Levins responsible reporting? No! No other paper in the world printed anything about Maj. Schmidt not saluting. You opinions to the Post-Dispatch and you sending this e-mail to your e-mail friends would be valued in your support. Below is the letter from Charles Gittins to the editor of the Post-Dispatch.
Joan and Harry, proud parents of Maj. Harry Schmidt
I understand you are Harry Levins editor.
The article that alleges that Harry Schmidt didn't salute is in error. Had Mr. Levins not relied on a single source and contacted at least one other person who was present in the room, we could have prevented him from printing an egregiously false allegation -- that Harry Schmidt did not render a salute upon entering the office of general Carlson.
Mr. Levins' decision to rely on single source reporting is reckless, particularly where he called me and failed to mention this allegation in any way. Had he offered me the opportunity to address it, I would have disabused him of the notion that Major Schmidt would fail to follow such elementary military procedure.
Indeed, I would have told Mr. Levins, had he just asked, that just moments before Harry went into the General's office, I joked to Maj. Schmidt that the Air Force, with little in the way of a military tradition of its own, didn't know any better than to salute indoors and without a cover (hat). We who spring from the naval service do not normally salute indoors unless we are on duty (wearing a cover and under arms), so the procedure was notable for its lack of military protocol and I made note of a general returning Harry's salute in his office without his hat on. While he was standing there saluting, I also noted that General Carlson didn't wear military issue shoes -- he had on some Rockports or other similar shoes with squishy soles, rather than leather military style shoes. I thought it pretty humorous that the general not only was saluting without a hat on indoors but was wearing "comfy" shoes.
Charles W. Gittins
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