Dayton Daily news writer Laura Bischoff – pretends to be a journalist

In today’s Dayton Daily news- “reporter” Laura Bischoff questions State Representative Jim Butler’s official bio:

In his official Ohio House biography, state Rep. Jim Butler, R-Oakwood, tells the public that he “served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat. ”Butler trained on the F-14 but received a medical discharge from the Navy before he ever landed one on an aircraft carrier or received an assignment to a fleet. So does that still make him a ‘fighter pilot?’ ”

via Lawmaker’s military claims questioned | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

She goes on to cite a Retired Navy Capt. Jack Kennedy- claiming that Butler is “exaggerating his military experience.”

My question is if Mr. Butler had crashed his F-14, would the story have said he wasn’t a fighter pilot? The difference between being a fighter pilot and not being a fighter pilot- is one of them has actually flown a fighter. There are plenty of Naval Captains that never were Captain of a ship- does that still make them a captain (if you want to go totally stupid Capt. Kennedy). In the military, you are assigned a vocation, MOS, which is what you are trained to do, you are also assigned a unit- which may or may not use your vocation. What unit the military assigns you to has nothing to do with your skill set, or what you put on your résumé.

To be clear, there is no 2-pilot seat version of the F-14. If you’re in it- either you are a pilot- a back seat RIO or a jackass VIP getting a chance to shit yourself. The Navy doesn’t let people sit in the front seat and take their $38 million planes for a joyride for giggles.

Unfortunately- they’ll let any fool sit down in front of a computer at the Dayton Daily news and write crap. No lives are at stake, and if you make a mistake, no one dies and you don’t crash $38 million worth of avionics and propulsion systems.

Jim Butler served his country as a jet jockey after graduating from the Naval Academy. There aren’t that many people that get to do that. He now serves as our elected State Representative. Is Bischoff’s next article going to question if he really is a State Rep. because he didn’t sponsor enough bills?

The only thing that needs questioning is why did she write this bullshit article and why did it appear in the newspaper?
Frankly, if you want to talk about dishonor- questioning this naval officer’s résumé in public, when there is no legitimate basis- is the true dishonor.

The editors of the Dayton Daily News owe Mr. Butler a public apology.

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48 Responses

  1. Nka December 17, 2013 / 10:24 pm
    Jim is my representative and he’s awesome. 
  2. Joe McKibben December 18, 2013 / 8:44 am
    Disagree with this reasoning. I can go to school to be an electrical engineer. Get a bachelors degree in that field. Until I get a job as such I am not actually an electrical engineer. 
    To say you were a fighter pilot for the US Navy but never actually flew in a mission is misleading or at least in accurate. 
  3. David Esrati December 18, 2013 / 9:38 am

    @Joe- excuse me, does that mean that if you didn’t fight in a war, you aren’t a veteran? Once you complete training and are awarded your wings, you are a fighter pilot.

    If WW3 broke out, Jim would have been scrambled- and flying a Tomcat. That’s a fighter pilot. What unit you are assigned to, has absolutely nothing to do with what your job is.

    A friend of mine went to jump school as an E-5. When she graduated with 5 jumps- she was assigned to the school and became a black hat- teaching other paratroopers. She never left a training unit. She has master blaster wings. She never was assigned to a combat unit. She has several hundred jumps- by your reasoning, she’s not a paratrooper. I dare you to say it to her face.

  4. Joe McKibben December 18, 2013 / 10:16 am
    Yes, semantically I would say that is true. But in reality it is not. Going through training gives you all the abilities to do said thing. But if you have never actually done said thing out side of school/training you have never actually been that thing in my opinion. It is definitely an achievement but not the same thing.
     
    The paratrooper example is a different situation. She trained as a paratrooper, then her job after that required her to actually do jumps. If she had trained  then got a job as a waitress then this example would correlate with the fighter pilot reference.
     
    In the end saying I was a fighter pilot for the Navy invokes certain thoughts about what he did for the Navy. Saying I finished training to become a Navy Fighter Pilot invokes a different set of thoughts.
     
    So, going back to my original argument. If I went to school for electrical engineering and got my degree, then decided I wanted to be an auto mechanic instead and worked as an auto mechanic for 10 years . Would it be misleading to say I used to be an electrical engineer?
  5. David Esrati December 18, 2013 / 10:44 am

    @Joe McKibben. He flew the F14. Did you? Did I? nope. Flying an F14 makes you a fighter pilot. A pilot is someone who flys the plane. The F14 is a fighter.  That makes him a fighter pilot. You and I, nope, we’re not fighter pilots. The Navy would say he’s a fighter pilot too- since he got these things called wings. They don’t hand those out either.  Making four jumps as a paratrooper- makes you trained as a paratrooper- but not one until they pin the wings on – on the dz after the fifth jump. From that point on- you are a paratrooper- even if you NEVER serve in an airborne unit. Sorry Joe- you just don’t know wtf you are talking about.

  6. Joe McKibben December 18, 2013 / 11:09 am
    I’m not sure how I don’t know what I am talking about. I’m not arguing about specifics of military service or questioning his military service or the ability it takes to fly an F14. 
     
    There are fundamental differences between being trained to do something and actually doing that thing after you are trained to do it. Its that simple.
     
    Is it semantically true that since he once flew F14s, he was once a Fighter Jet Pilot? Generally speaking? Yes. But to say I was a Fighter Jet Pilot for the US Navy has a completely different connotation. Its does not accurately portray what he did. And that is the point.
  7. csnoke December 18, 2013 / 11:12 am
    Wow, she’s literally adding insult to injury. The guy received a medical discharge.. who knows what or why, but she seems to be implying there is something dishonorable about that. If the guy was injured serving our country to the extent he could no longer do his job, that makes him even more of a hero in my book.
  8. Joe McKibben December 18, 2013 / 11:18 am
    And Chad I’m not questioning that. I’m not questioning that he tried to serve or anything like that. He definitely did.
  9. Sharon Pemberton December 18, 2013 / 11:41 am
    I use to know someone, named Robert Crombie, while he was stationed at Wright-Patt attending AFIT.  If you Google his name, it shows he was selected to be an astronaut in 1985.  He never went into space.  But he’s still considered an astronaut.
  10. Ashley Webb December 18, 2013 / 11:44 am
    Joe,
    Jim was a fighter pilot, period.
    I would be shocked to find out you are a Veteran.  My assumption is that you are not, because if you were you would get this.  Today for 99% of our military service members the toughest days of their military careers will have been training days.  In every branch of the military, the leadership makes the training tougher than what Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen could potentially see on their worst day in combat.  For the vast majority of those that deploy, that worst day never comes.  War is tough, no doubt, but most of us that have been to war can look back on a training day that was harder than any day in theater.  There are exceptions for some, but they are just that.
    By the way, I went to Ranger School but never served in the Ranger Regiment.  Unless you have a scroll on your shoulder I suggest you don’t try to tell me I’m not a Ranger.  Funny thing is, while a scroll bearer might poke fun at me for wearing a tab, we’d both know he’s glad that I was trained and ready if that’s where the Army sent me.
    General Schwartzkopf visited West Point after the Gulf War.  I was a cadet at the time, and although his remarks were to the Corps of Cadets, he was really talking to all the officers on the faculty who spent the war teaching cadets.  He made a point to commend them for being trained and ready and then doing the job the Army needed them to do at the time, even if it wasn’t combat.
    I think that is the point that you are missing.  Being a fighter pilot, a paratrooper, or a Ranger, isn’t about being in a particular unit or a specific conflict.  It is about having the discipline and the fortitude to earn those wings, that badge, or that tab, and making the commitment to give everything you have (including your life if necessary) in executing whatever mission you are given.
    Jim did that.  No one that has would question his service.  No one that hasn’t has the right to.
  11. Joe McKibben December 18, 2013 / 11:56 am
    Again not questioning anyone’s service or the abilities it takes to finish these different training programs. I understand they are extremely difficult programs.  And I am not saying that someone can’t say they are these things and it not be true. I am saying when you do say that you are something, most people have a certain idea of what that is. When you say you are an astronaut people think you went to space. If you didn’t go to space most people are going to be like “Your not an astronaut”. Just because something is accepted to be an appropriate title in one circle doesn’t mean it is in all other or even the majority of circles.
  12. Dan Durocher December 18, 2013 / 12:28 pm
    Ashley is 100% right on this. There is no room for debate. You earn your wings, you’re a pilot. You earn your ranger tab, you’re a ranger. You earn your airborne wings: you’re a paratrooper. Take it from a couple of combat vets (Ashley and Me), Jim Butler is a fighter pilot.
    I don’t know though, perhaps we vets just value Jim’s service more than civilians because we know what it takes to volunteer for a dangerous job (Jim: Fighter Pilot, Ashley: Armor Officer/Ranger, Me: Infantry Officer) and put your butt on the line. And we know that once you’ve done that, and completed your training, you’ve earned every bit of that title.
  13. Gene December 18, 2013 / 12:36 pm
    You both could be right. Honestly there isn’t enough information here to determine what he did and did not do. In this situation we have to assume his training and service qualifies him to be a fighter pilot ( in theory he could have flown once (in training) hopped out of the plane and broke his leg) So with that being said he is a fighter pilot, one who did not fight in a war. The problem word here is fighter, which to the average bear does mean you have fought someone. He is a boxer with no official bouts, just training bouts.
  14. David Esrati December 18, 2013 / 12:38 pm

    Thank you both Lt. Col Webb and Dan (sorry I don’t know your rank) Durocher.
    Thankfully- there only seem to be two idiots claiming Jim isn’t a fighter pilot at this point- Joe McKibben and Laura Bischoff. Anybody else want to step up to the idiot soap box and try to discredit a fighter pilot?
    I’m half tempted to send this post over to some of the military sites- and let some other qualified people weigh in. McKibben- give it up.

  15. Gene December 18, 2013 / 12:39 pm
    Pilot yes. He is not arguing that. It is the “fighter” part I thought was in question here, or maybe I am misunderstanding this debate. 
  16. Gene December 18, 2013 / 12:41 pm
    Is fighter pilot an official title? Or just a description of his job?
  17. Gene December 18, 2013 / 12:46 pm
    If it is a title it should be capitalized. Fighter Pilot would be most appropriate. Not capitalizing these words is more of a description of a job. I think he is a Fighter Pilot.
  18. Joe McKibben December 18, 2013 / 12:48 pm
    Im not sure how I can be an idiot for having a different opinion. Thanks for that. I guess this wasn’t an open discussion as I thought it was.
     
    I feel I have been very clear about this not being accusation about someone’s military service. Just a simple argument about there being a difference between the guy that was trained to be a Fighter Pilot and the guy who actually flew on Fighter Pilot missions. And that the title Fighter Pilot for the US Navy when brought to the ears of the general public almost everyone would picture the later… meaning that most people would say it is inaccurate.
  19. Gene December 18, 2013 / 12:59 pm
    Joe you are not an idiot. I agree with you in that people think automatically he fought in combat with the title Fighter Pilot. This is a gray area because you can be a MD in the military, or an MP, or whatever, and May or May not have been in some sort of combat/battlefield situation. It is the Fighter part that makes this different from other job titles. I thank service people all the time and often the one who served no combat time bother to point that out to me. Not sure what that means but their service is appreciated either way.
  20. Joe McKibben December 18, 2013 / 1:08 pm
    @Gene I completely agree. And I understand that the military has different positions and different titles and they all mean something and they all have there roles to play. But we aren’t talking about military documents here, we are talking about what a certain persons Bio on a public website. And the question is from a public point of view, is it accurate to say I was a Fighter Pilot for the US Navy when the person never flew a fighter jet outside of training? That is the question. Not whether or not inside the military that would be his title or not.
  21. David Esrati December 18, 2013 / 1:12 pm

    The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twinjet, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft.”

    He flew F14 and had his wings. That makes him a fighter pilot. If it was a bomber- he’d be a bomber pilot etc.

    There is no reason for this article in the DDN other to disparage his service to our country. Anyone siding with the lame newspaper, either has a grudge against Jim Butler- or has no clue.

     

  22. Gene December 18, 2013 / 1:23 pm
    Title does matter for this argument. Is Fighter Pilot a title? An OFFICIAL title? If it is a title then he is a Fighter Pilot, inside and out of the military. a non-combat Fighter Pilot….
     
    to to the average joe the title Fighter Pilot does suggest service in a war type setting…..
  23. Joe McKibben December 18, 2013 / 1:30 pm
    @David Esrati – Again I understand and I agree. I have already said that I do.
    Can you not at least admit that the normal non military person when they see “Fighter Pilot for the US Navy” they picture someone who has done more then fly an F14 in training exercises and has the ability to fly an F14? That the general public thinks of someone that flew in combat type missions in side a F14?
  24. David Esrati December 18, 2013 / 1:58 pm

    @Joe- if he flew it, got his wings, he’s a fighter pilot.  Training, deployed- never fly again- he’s a fighter pilot.
    The general public better get that into their head too. Watching Top Gun doesn’t make you an expert either.
    If he had his wings- he’s good to go to fly combat missions. END OF STORY.

  25. Joe McKibben December 18, 2013 / 2:02 pm
    Ok I guess you can’t…
  26. Mike Bock December 18, 2013 / 2:39 pm
     
    David, I’ll attempt to answer the question you ask, “If Mr. Butler had crashed his F-14, would the story have said he wasn’t a fighter pilot?”
     
    From the DDN:  “Butler graduated the United States Naval Academy in May 1995, earned his wings in September 1998, and was then assigned to the Fighter Squadron 101 at the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia and began training on the F-14, according to Mike McLellan, external media manager for Navy Personnel Command. Butler separated from the Navy on Oct. 10, 1999, he said. … Butler said that after nine months of training flights on the F-14, a medical condition became apparent and he was grounded from flying in 1999 and then medically discharged the following year.”
     
    As I read the DDN article, Mr. Butler did fly the F-14 — what a thrill that must be! — but never finished his F-14 training, and, therefore, was never certified to pilot the F-14. Had he lost his life while doing this training, I imagine the headline would have been something on this order: “F-14 Crashes — Pilot In Training Perishes.
     
    The article says the Mr. Butler “earned his wings” in 1998 — meaning, I’m guessing, he became officially credential as a jet fighter pilot — but evidently jets that had less power and sophistication than the top rated F-14.
     
    About referring to himself as a “fighter pilot,” Butler in the article is quoted as saying: “I never would want to brag or anything like that, but it’s an easy way to communicate that when I flew in the Navy I flew a fighter jet,” he said. “It is a way to communicate that that’s what I flew in the Navy.”
    For Butler to refer to himself as a “fighter pilot,” I believe is fair. But the question raised by the DDN article is whether Butler’s biography — posted on the Ohio House web-site — misrepresents his military service. The bio says, “Representative Butler served in the United States Navy as fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat.”
    If the facts are that Mr. Butler withdrew from the F-14 training program, never completed his training, never was certified to pilot the F-14, then the Ohio House bio is misleading, and if these facts revealed in the DDN article are correct, then, to do the right thing, Mr. Butler should re-write his bio. He could still include the fact that he has had the rare and thrilling experience of piloting the F-14 jet and include the info in the DDN article. It is no shame to have to withdraw from the F-14 training program.
     
    Mr. Butler is an outstanding individual and he doesn’t need to inflate his accomplishments. He, however, deserves to be replaced in the Ohio Assembly — not because he lacks character or brains — because in his political decisions impacting all Ohioans, he again and again has been shown to be guided by a very narrow philosophy. 
  27. David Esrati December 18, 2013 / 3:12 pm

    See the unit in question: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VF-101

    Note- you can be in a training company, and when war breaks out- you stop training and go to war. They may have even chosen to overlook his medical condition. I’m not sure what you people think he was doing sitting in the front seat of a F14. Was he not a pilot? It doesn’t fly itself. The Navy doesn’t let just anyone get in the seat, take the keys and go. Nope, you have to be a genuine, qualified fighter pilot to even take an F14 up once. He did it many more times than once. That makes you a fighter pilot Mr. Bock.
    Stop splitting hairs. There is no justification for this article, other than to smear Mr. Butler and his service.

  28. Mike Bock December 18, 2013 / 3:43 pm
    David, I believe you are correct that it is valid to say that Butler served as a “fighter pilot.” That’s not the question.
    Butler’s bio says, “Representative Butler served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat.”
    The question is: Does Butler’s bio misrepresent his military service? If the facts revealed in the DDN article are correct, and Butler never finished his F-14 training, never was certified to operate the F-14 as part of a regular Navy force, then, I think any fair observer would conclude that the Butler bio is misleading. The bio indicates that Butler was flying the F-14 as part of his service to the Navy, but he never completed his F-14 training. The bio simply needs to be re-written. 
  29. David Esrati December 18, 2013 / 4:37 pm

    @Bock- he flew Tomcats. It’s a fighter. He was in the Navy. You weren’t in the Navy, you didn’t get wings, and you didn’t fly a Tomcat. Do you understand the difference?
    That’s what he did. And- for the record- you never complete your training in elite positions in the military. His job was to fly Tomcats. His description is correct.

  30. Mike Bock December 18, 2013 / 5:49 pm
    David, The DDN article indicates that he did not complete the training that would have qualified him to be a fully commissioned F-14 pilot. The key sentence in his bio — Representative Butler served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat — could easily lead a reader to imagine Butler serving in a capacity that simply doesn’t fit the facts. Yes he was a fighter pilot, I agree, as he explained, because he piloted jet fighters. But, I would think that Butler would be very sensitive to implying a level or type of service that is incorrect and, now that this matter has been brought to his attention, that he would want to revise his web-site so that there would be no chance for misunderstanding. He has a lot of accomplishments that make him stand out. I’m very impressed that he was in the top 10% of his graduating class. His web-site needs to be re-written.
     
    I realize this POV is an aggravation to you because you are zealous in your one-dimensional trashing of Laura Bischoff and the DDN and don’t want to acknowledge that the research and effort put into this article has any merit. I’m wonder why this story of Butler’s biography is just now getting any attention? I wonder if maybe people in the military — including those quoted by Bischoff — are the initiators of this public attention.  But why now? 
  31. David Esrati December 18, 2013 / 6:21 pm

    @Bock- he was a navy pilot. He had his wings. He was qualified to fly- and was flying F14s. They don’t give pilots wings to everyone you know? You have to COMPLETE FLIGHT SCHOOL to be a pilot- he did that. He didn’t fly bombers, or submarine recon planes, or drones- he strapped into an F14 and flew it- multiple times. Again- he’s a navy pilot- he had his wings. He flew fighters. That makes him a fighter pilot. You don’t get a different set of wings once you complete check out on one kind of plane or another. He was checking out on the F14- a fighter. To dismiss it is crass, rude, and an insult.
    Butler isn’t a fraud. You don’t go through the Naval Academy, graduate in the top 10% of your class, and then lie about flying fighters. It’s not the way academy people work.
    His MOS- Military Occupational Specialty says PILOT. Stop being a schmuck.

  32. Mike Bock December 18, 2013 / 10:11 pm
    David,  I’m not suggesting that Butler is a fraud. I’m not saying that in his biography he is “lying” about his military service. I’m not saying that he wasn’t a fighter pilot.
     
    I am saying that his bio statement —  “Representative Butler served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat” could easily lead a reader to imagine Butler serving in a capacity that simply doesn’t fit the facts. The facts cited in the DDN article evidently are not in dispute — that Butler withdrew from his F-14 training for health reasons and that he never was designated as a fully commissioned F-14 pilot. The issue is whether the bio published on the Ohio House web-site is misleading.
     
    If I have the facts of the matter correct, then, yes the statement “Representative Butler served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat” fails to communicate how Butler actually served in the military.  This seems so obvious, I am baffled why that is not your POV as well. 
     
    The facts, as reported in the DDN, is that Butler never served the United States Navy by flying the F-14. Because of his health issues, he never was qualified to do so.  As I said, I would think that Butler would be very sensitive to implying a level or type of service that is incorrect and, now that this matter has been brought to his attention, that he would want to revise his web-site so that there would be no chance for confusion. 
     
     
     
  33. Enrique December 19, 2013 / 10:12 am
    I find it interesting that the article is arguing that the term “fighter pilot” is misleading, however it never defines the term “fighter pilot”.  The article never mentions the term or definition because it does not go with the narrative. 
    According to wordnetweb dictionary is defined as “a military or naval pilot of fighter planes.” Ref. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=fighter pilot
    According to wikipedia is defined as “A fighter pilot is a military aviator trained to engage in air-to-air, and often air-to-ground, combat while at the controls of a fighter aircraft.” Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_pilot
    The article confuses the term Fighter Pilot with Combat Pilot.  Combat pilot is defined as – airplane pilot who fights in an action between two military forces Ref. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/combat+pilot.
    Representative Butler bio’s never claimed that he was a combat pilot.  So everyone that is writing that his combat action is important are misleading people.  
    The article is also misleading because there is no debate that Representative Bulter was a naval aviator that piloted F-14.  In fact her own sources acknowledged that he was a naval aviator that flew F-14.     Furthermore, there is no dispute that he was trained to engage in air to air combat.  By definition Representative Butler is a fighter pilot.  
    What I find interesting is that the article is arguing whether a term is misleading or not, but it never defines the term.  Personally because if it defines the term, it would be showed that Representative Butler did not mislead people.  However, she argues that is misleading when her definition of Fighter Pilot is not correct.  
    I don’t understand how people can argue against facts.  The word fighter pilot means only pilot that flew fighter planes.  Everything else is done to confuse and mislead people who do not even look up at the definition. 
    I would expect that she would have the journalistic integrity to put important facts that does not go against her agenda.
     
  34. MJA December 19, 2013 / 10:41 am
    David, even if you disagree with Mike, Joe, Laura, or whomever, I find the way you dismiss any other perspective on an issue as “crass, rude, and an insult.”  I understand you have a lot passion around this issue, but I would encourage you to actually listen to what others are saying with an open mind instead of being too busy saying the same thing over and over, belittling the journalist and publication, sidestepping what commenters actually say, and insinuating that anyone that has a different perspective is unpatriotic or an idiot. And it may be beneficial to apply that advice more broadly than just this blog post.
  35. David Esrati December 19, 2013 / 11:44 am

    @MJA- thanks for the advice. I’m not sidestepping. They didn’t talk to Jim Butler- and ask the clarifying questions. I did. I know why he was medically discharged. I’m working with a bit more info than those who got their info from the paper.

  36. Mike Bock December 19, 2013 / 2:43 pm
    David, I think you’ve made a strong case for why it is accurate to refer to Jim Butler as a “fighter pilot.” Laura Bischoff quotes four military connected people who say that Butler would have been well advised to have to describe his military service using other words. However, I think Butler has a good explanation why his use of the term is appropriate.
    The point of Bischoff’s article was to report that some in the military question Bulter’s use of the term. The question is: Does Butler’s official Ohio House biography misrepresent his military service? The key sentence in this bio is, “Representative Butler served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat.” 
    The facts in the DDN article are evidently not in dispute — that after nine months in training, because a medical issue that developed, Butler had to withdraw from F-14 training program and so he never completed the program and never was commissioned as a F-14 qualified pilot. So, the bio could easily lead a reader to imagine Butler serving in a capacity that simply doesn’t fit the facts. You evidently disagree. But the person who needs to think this through is Jim Butler and I’m thinking he was honest in his response to Bischoff when he said, about referring to himself as a fighter pilot: “I never would want to brag or anything like that, but it’s an easy way to communicate that when I flew in the Navy, I flew a fighter jet.”  I don’t think it is in his character to misrepresent his service in the Navy and I’m thinking he will probably decide to re-write his bio.
  37. djw December 19, 2013 / 6:17 pm
    That is one of the lamest attempts at gotcha journalism I’ve seen in a while. 
  38. David Esrati December 19, 2013 / 7:01 pm

    Just to add to the record. Representative Butler trained in the T-45 trainer- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_T-45_Goshawk
    And completed his training- including carrier landings in it. Because he was going to fly F-14s- he took an advanced section, dedicated to being a fighter pilot, all before he got to the replacement wing where he was flying the F14.  At the completion of the Goshawk training, he was a Navy Pilot- and had taken advanced fighter training. He flew the F14 33 times. He could at that point, flown F18s or E2’s or any number of planes- but, he was flying the F14- a fighter plane. He was a fighter pilot, and could complete missions if need be.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with his bio.
    What’s wrong is that the story made it in the paper- and tried to discount the admirable and honorable performance of Mr. Butler while in the Navy. No honorably discharged veteran who served should have to have his accurate record of his duties discounted by some lame reporter over semantics- esp. when what she wrote was absolute crap.

  39. Enrique December 19, 2013 / 7:27 pm
    Mike, 
    I believe that you are trying to be open minded about this.  I do think we are arguing over the definition and semantics of a word.  I don’t think the article is fair because it only shows one side of the picture.  The four veterans that describe their respective opinions.  However, the article is not fair because I am pretty certain that not every veteran have the same opinion. 
    I think most reasonable people can arrive to the conclusion that Rep. Butler is not misleading anyone.  He never said anything from his service record that was not true.  Rep. Butler never mentioned anything that was incorrect.  
    I do believe that it is the duty of the newspaper to inform the public first and then give an opinion.  It felt to me this was more an agenda than actual reporting for several reasons.  First, the article makes it look like it is a forgone conclusion that Rep. Butler is misleading people. However, the reality is that Rep. is not attempting to mislead people.  Second, I think it would have been helpful to put more information about Rep. Butler aviation history and flight record.  The report makes a conclusion but it does not ask Rep. Butler his flight log hours.  Third, the article fails to explain that the F-14 is not a training aircraft, is probably one of the hardest aircraft to control.  Fourth, the article also omits information about Rep. Butler flight squadron.
    I am not saying that anyone that disagree is wrong or dumb, but the article itself is not “neutral” it does not show both sides.  It just an opinion from a reporter that disregards or ignores important and relevant information. 
  40. Mike Bock December 19, 2013 / 11:54 pm
    David, the following is presented as factual information by the DDN: “Butler trained on the F-14 but received a medical discharge from the Navy before he ever landed one on an aircraft carrier or received an assignment to a fleet. … Butler graduated the United States Naval Academy in May 1995, earned his wings in September 1998, and was then assigned to the Fighter Squadron 101 at the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia and began training on the F-14, according to Mike McLellan, external media manager for Navy Personnel Command. Butler separated from the Navy on Oct. 10, 1999, he said. … Butler said that after nine months of training flights on the F-14, a medical condition became apparent and he was grounded from flying in 1999 and then medically discharged the following year.”
    Are you saying that some of this information is incorrect? Did Butler ever land an F-14 on an aircraft carrier? Did Butler receive a medical discharge before being assigned to a fleet?
    If the DDN info is correct then regardless of the training experiences you cite, a fair observer would need to conclude that Butler’s bio could easily lead a reader to conclude that Butler served in a capacity that simply doesn’t fit the facts. Your position that, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with his bio” cannot be justified, because such a position means that there is no room for improving Butler’s bio to make it more clear and understandable. 
  41. David Esrati December 20, 2013 / 6:02 am

    @Bock- not that it makes a damn bit of difference to you- but, he landed the T-45 on a carrier as part of his training. Note- while we use it as a trainer- others use a similar aircraft as a “fighter” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAE_Hawk ).
    He didn’t land an F14 on a carrier. He was in the replacement squadron- where he flew F14s and continued training, however, by this point, by Navy Standards, he was a fully qualified pilot, flying fighters. There is no further indication on your military status for what plane you fly. He could have switched to a B52 (if the Navy flew B52s) and been a bomber pilot. He was, in the Navy’s eyes- a fully qualified pilot, awaiting an assignment on a ship and doing advanced training.
    WTF is your problem Bock? Why do you continue to try to smear this mans military achievements? As I’ve said before, they don’t give the “keys” to an F14 to someone who isn’t already a pilot. And he flew the F14, one of the most awe inspiring, powerful jets on the planet. You did not. Do you have pilot envy?

  42. Mike Bock December 20, 2013 / 9:12 am
    David, restrain yourself. Anyone with the patience to read my comments would not arrive at the conclusion that I am trying to “smear this man’s military achievements.” You can’t change the truth of something via the force of insults or threats. I’m confident that no fair reading of my comments gives any reason to conclude that my motive in pursuing this conversation is to “smear” a veteran. By making such an unfounded, mean-spirited and over-the-top accusation you are indicating that in this matter you being driven by emotion, not objectivity.
     
    You have additional information concerning Butler’s military service, but none of this information, so far as I can tell, contradicts any of the information provided in the DDN article.  Here are the facts we both, so far as I can tell, agree to:

    Butler was admitted to the Naval Academy and graduated in the top 10% of his class;
    Butler “received his wings” and in his training programs flew military fighter jets;
    Butler was never commissioned as an F-14 pilot;  
    Butler never landed an F-14 on an aircraft carrier;
    Butler received a medical discharge before being assigned to a fleet.

     
    By entering public life — being appointed to the Ohio House in 2011, and standing for election in 2012 and being elected by a 60% majority — Butler has willingly placed himself in a position of public scrutiny. He would have every expectation that the information indicated in his official bio would be looked at carefully. If these five statements I’ve listed as all true, then, it would seem that an honest observer would agree that the last statement in Butler’s biography posted at the Ohio House site — “Representative Butler served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat” — could easily lead a reader to a conclusion about Butler’s military service that simply is not true. 
     
    The DDN article focused on the question whether it is appropriate for Butler to indicate he was a “fighter pilot.” The four military people quoted in the DDN article indicate that this phrase in an “exaggeration.” But, as I’ve said, you and Ashley Webb have a good argument why this criticism of “exaggeration” is unfair. Butler, I think, got into trouble with the military people Bischoff interviewed, mainly by appearing to boast that he piloted the F-14 as part of his active duty.
     
    Butler’s solution is simple — rewrite the bio — he has a background that is admirable and the fact that he could not fulfill his dream of joining the Navy corp of pilots in active duty flying an F-14 is unfortunate, but, doesn’t detract from his service. In a way, talking about this personal disappointment may add to his political appeal.  
     
    There are plenty of reasons a progressive Democrat would want to oppose Butler’s re-election to the Ohio House. Butler has gone along with the most radical elements of this most radical Republican Assembly. But, setting aside his right-wing positions, as I’ve already indicated, I am very impressed with Butler. He seems a very well meaning and genuine person. I was happy that when there was no particular political advantage to do so, Butler agreed to a Lincoln-Douglas style debate with his Democratic challenger, another outstanding individual, Caroline Gentry.  You can read about it here http://daytonos.com/?p=12030
     
     
     
     
     

  43. David Esrati December 20, 2013 / 9:44 am

    @Bock – The Navy doesn’t commission F14 pilots- they commission pilots. Once he completed training and received his wings- there is no further designation in his records. There are Navy airwings that are stationed on dry land- that don’t do carrier operations. WTF is your problem? He flew fighters- so did John McCain- until he was shot down. Is that a qualification that shows in your Navy record? Does being a POW count as a Military Occupational Specialty? Why are you fixated on completion and assignment of Butler to a Carrier as proof that he was a fighter pilot?

    Go away please.

    Butler was never commissioned as an F-14 pilot;  
    Butler never landed an F-14 on an aircraft carrier; – See more at: http://esrati.com/dayton-daily-news-writer-laura-bischoff-pretends-to-be-a-journalist/10695/#sthash.3jhEZesd.dpuf
    Butler was never commissioned as an F-14 pilot;  
    Butler never landed an F-14 on an aircraft carrier; – See more at: http://esrati.com/dayton-daily-news-writer-laura-bischoff-pretends-to-be-a-journalist/10695/#sthash.3jhEZesd.dpuf
    Butler was never commissioned as an F-14 pilot;  
    Butler never landed an F-14 on an aircraft carrier; – See more at: http://esrati.com/dayton-daily-news-writer-laura-bischoff-pretends-to-be-a-journalist/10695/#sthash.3jhEZesd.dpuf
  44. Mike Bock December 20, 2013 / 11:24 am
    David, the only point I am trying to make is that this concluding sentence in Butler’s bio — “Representative Butler served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat” — could easily lead a reader to a conclusion about Butler’s military service that is not true.
    To me, this concluding sentence in Butler’s bio does not fit with the facts and it would seem to me that Butler would be well advised to revise his bio so that there is no confusion about his military service. The question that is worth discussing is whether Butler’s bio should or should not be revised.  You say “No”, but the four military people interviewed by Bischoff say “Yes.” You are arguing that in a technical sense, the sentence in question can be defended. The four people interviewed by Bischoff seem to say the bio is easily misunderstood.
    The group that Butler should most consider is the citizens of OHD-41 and, if Butler concludes that his bio is unintentionally misleading as to the details of his military service, then I would expect he would re-write his bio. The question of whether this sentence is technically accurate, or not, is not the point. As a public servant, Butler has an obligation to do his best to communicate as clearly as possible.  
  45. Sue December 20, 2013 / 11:59 am
    All I know is Laura Bischoff is one of the best and most probing reporters to have ever covered Dayton – many years ago – and when she left to cover the state beat, the City took full advantage of her absence and the string of reluctant successors the DDN assigned to the beat (and still does).
  46. Dave C. December 23, 2013 / 10:51 am
    Interesting….this debate went back and forth, invectives were hurled, pros and cons passionately argued….then, all of a sudden…..nothing. Shutdown at 11:59 AM on December 20.
    —————–
    I guess everybody was suddenly overcome with Christmas spirit.
  47. El Bischoff February 10, 2016 / 10:26 pm
    I asked Bischoff about Gordon Gee’s significant other in California *ahem*, Monterey California, *ahem* Miis *ahem* and all the lights in the entire restaurant went out.

    Alutto

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