CBS's Bogus Vet Suicide Epidemic Claim

November 19, 2007  ·  Michael Fumento  ·  Weblog

As you know, there are two federal holidays in November. Thanksgiving is one, "Exploit the Veterans Day" is the other. Say again? Never mind that we vets excel in measurable ways such as education, employment, and pay. Activist groups and the media always have fresh reports ready in November showing how wretched our lives are.

This year the goons were CBS News and a homeless activist group. I'll deal with homeless group in a later piece; but in the New York Post I take on CBS's claim that a study they conducted all by their lonesomes (Big red flag there.) shows an "epidemic" of veterans ending their poor miserable lives. (And if you don't believe that, CBS has some documents on President Bush's National Guard service they'd like to sell you. )

The CBS suicide claim goes against lots of detailed published reports regarding both active duty service personnel and veterans. For example, the suicide rate among Vietnam vets and Gulf War vets is no higher than among comparable civilians. Why would there be such a high suicide rate among vets in general then, most of whom served during peacetime? And while naturally CBS wants to blame its "findings" on PTSD, I also discuss studies showing that vets with PTSD are less likely to kill themselves. All CBS's "study" showed us was a crass way of raising ratings.