WASHINGTON — Senior editors and contributors to the popular military news website Duffel Blog were outraged today after learning of a recent "hit piece" released by Military Times.
The story, which is portrayed as an exposé of the Duffel Blog website, was released this week to all Military Times publications, including Marine, Army, Navy, and Air Force Times.
The author of the story was Gina Harkins, Staff Writer for the Marine Times.
"I absolutely cannot believe the levels that Military Times will go to try to marginalize our news organization," said Duffel Blog founder Paul Szoldra. "We are the #1 military news organization in the world. I have always said that we would take on and beat Mil-Times and Stars & Stripes."
"The jealousy in their newsrooms is quite obvious," he added.
The story begins by saying Szoldra is a "former Marine infantryman [who] runs a fake military news website."
Contributing editor SGT B said that this is clearly a case of anger over the high standards of quality, journalistic integrity, and the exclusive, breaking stories that Duffel Blog always provides.
"The article talks about our exclusive story on Colonel Richoux banning chairs at MacDill Air Force base as if it were a joke," said SGT B, who is currently on assignment in Afghanistan. "Tell that to the airmen who are currently without goddamn chairs in their office at MacDill. Ask them if it's a joke!"
One reader of Duffel Blog, who is a self-described "Duffel Blog News Junkie" and avid commenter, took to Facebook to voice his concerns.
"I first learned of DB when they broke the exclusive about Vietnam Vets outraged over the USS Jane Fonda," said Ron Johnson. "I immediately took to the comments and told the world that Jane Fonda was a communist whore, then I became a fan for life."
"This type of slander against a legitimate and important news organization is really uncalled for."
While many readers of the Military Times newspapers may find themselves confused by the story, Szoldra believes that eventually "the truth will win the day."
"I think that the real people who enjoy the news that we provide know that we are the absolute best," said Szoldra. "I mean, really, these people [Military Times reporters] probably sit in their cushy offices in D.C. wearing Tapout gear, which as you know, the DoD has already banned for all military personnel."
Szoldra continued: "It just goes to show you how disconnected these so-called 'military reporters' really are from their audience."
The Duffel Blog legal team, led by Barracks Lawyer Private First Class Evan Rodriguez, is exploring the possibility of a $20 million lawsuit against The Times over allegations of slander, libel, emotional distress, sexual harassment, and the wrongful death of our beloved kitten, Mittens, who committed suicide due to the stress the article caused him.