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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Role of the Media

I couldn't pass this up....


A man in Paris saw a pit bull attacking a toddler. He killed the pit
bull and saved the child's life. Reporters swarmed the fellow to cover
the story....

"Tell us! What's your name? All Paris will love you! Tomorrow's
headline will be: 'Paris Hero Saves Girl from Vicious Dog!'"

The man said, "But I'm not from Paris."
Reporters: "That's OK. Then the whole of France will love you, and
tomorrow's headline will read: 'French Hero Saves Girl from Vicious
Dog!'"

The man said, "I'm not from France, either."
Reporters: "That's OK also. All Europe will love you. Tomorrow's
headlines will shout: 'Europe's Hero Saves Girl from Vicious Dog!'"

The man said, "I'm not from Europe, either."
Reporters: "So, where ARE you from?"

The man said, "I'm from Israel."
Reporters: "OK... Then tomorrow's headlines will proclaim to the world:
'Vicious Jew Kills Family Pet!!!'"

Now, do you understand the media?

12 Posts From Readers:

The Beltway B@stard said...

Ouch.

TM said...

Good article point Robert. I just wrote an e-mail to my girl friend about what I hate about to-days media.
I put some time and effort into this because she has a degree in journalism, so she knows more about the technicalities of all this than I do. So if you don’t mind, I’ll just post it here, with personal information redacted out, of course. Because it would take too long to re-write the whole thing.

Don't get me wrong. I love the first amendment. And I love that it protects the unpopular speech, not just the popular.

But that doesn't change the fact that I have very little respect for journalists today. And I slam them pretty hard in this letter. And I really don’t care what sort of smart, intellectual argument Bill Keller or some other media type comes up with to say I’m wrong, or that yes, I make some good points, but….

Screw that. Don’t try to impress me with your fancy words. Impress me with your actions. The day I see journalists acting in a way that inspires respect is the day I will respect them. Until then, I will not.

TM said...

Hello [girlfriends name redacted]. Here is something I have cut and pasted from Michelle Malkin's site. It isn't a funny one. We have heard sooooo much about all the alleged "abuse" at Gitmo, yet very little from the guard’s perspective. Why is that? Just not very "newsworthy" I guess. After all, we wouldn't want to mess up our journalistic objectivity by reporting the other side now, would we? Errr, wait a minute....

Anyway, here it is. Feel free to e-mail me some questions if you want. Or wait for the massive furor of news that I am sure will answer all questions that this may raise. On second thought, don't waste your time waiting. Just ask me, ok?

The Animals at Gitmo

OK, well, how about we read the AP report she mentioned? No problem. One AP report coming right up!!!

Gitmo Guards Often Attacked by Detainees

OK, how did you like that article? Questions? Comments? Complaints? [Comments redacted because embarrassing “lovey-dovey” terms of affection were made towards girlfriend] I'm looking forward especially to that last... ;-)

Seriously, I know it seems silly to bitch about press bias or immorality when they come up with a report that seems to show what I've been asking for, but I hate to say it, but it is a case of "too little, too late." Seriously. The media has been fighting tooth and nail to get access to pictures of Abu Ghraib abuse and every other bit of salacious "news" it could get its hands on. Which the government tried to avoid revealing. And yet, who ever could it have been who fought the government to get this information? Was it Keith Olberman? Dan Rather? Reuters? The New York Times? Well gosh no! "The Landmark Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group that fought to force the Pentagon to release the reports under the Freedom of Information Act, said it hopes the information brings balance to the Guantanamo debate." Why would they have to do that? I mean, wouldn't the media all ready be bringing balance to this?

To be continued…

TM said...

Continued…

You know what [girlfriend’s name redacted]? Let's just see about this little "bias" I keep whining about. Tell you what. Why don't you research how many articles you can find about U.S. troops and their alleged fuck ups? Like Haditha, or the Mahmoudia murder/rape by SPC Green, or the Pendleton 8 accused of crimes at Hamandiya. What about 1LT Ilario Pantano? I'll bet you can find bunches! Yay! Keep in mind that most of these are still pending in the criminal justice system. Or you could look up Abu Ghraib, or SPC Lynndie England or SPC Charles Graner. How about Goggling something like "Navy SEALs Face Abuse Charges" or any such combination? My point is, you'll find that the new media is VERY interested in covering, in extreme depth, these sorts of stories.

Well, after you find you will have literally thousands of articles to choose from, let’s just try another little search.

Look up all the articles you can find on U.S. military decorations for valor and heroism. See how many you can find. Here is a question for you. How many Medals of Honor (the nation’s highest award for military valor) have been awarded since the Global War on Terror began? Don't know? Gee, I guess the media must have forgotten to cover that. How many Distinguished Service Crosses? How many Silver Stars, or Bronze Stars?

And now, once you research how many have been awarded, then go and look up how many times these awards made the paper. Yeah, that's what I thought. Not many times at all. Really. When is the last time you read in the paper about a U.S. soldier or Marine actually doing anything heroic in Iraq? Just a simple story about how some kid from back in some small town/big city got up and put his own life on the line for his buddies. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

You see, [girlfriend’s name redacted], you won't find many stories like that, certainly not in the main papers, because to be honest, the journalists of today just don't give a shit about those sorts of stories. In fact, they don't just not care about those stories. They actually hate those sorts of stories. They. Hate. Those. Kinds. Of. Stories.

And why is that? Because in those stories, the journalist comes face to face with someone who has completely put his life on the line, often times sacrificing it, for a cause, a higher purpose, and that this person, right or wrong, dedicated themselves to a cause that they were willing to give the last full measure of devotion to. There was nothing nuanced about it. No objectivity. Just someone who took a stand for something.

And then the reporter realized the utter bankruptcy of his moral position. The reporter stands for nothing. Nothing. He will say he stands for "truth" or "objectivity", but the objective truth is that the reporter stands for nothing. In the midst of moral clarity, when given a choice between Good and Evil, the reporter finds himself saying, "Well, I can't take sides on this. I can't say who is good or evil. I have to stay above all of that." But instead of being above it all, instead the reporter finds himself in a moral swamp. And he resents the soldier who by his simple existence and actions reveals this to him.

Today’s reporters, when faced with a moral choice, find them selves unable to do it. Today’s reporters, if they were covering World War II, would be unable to say that they considered the Nazi's to be anything other than just another "side" to be covered. They would be incapable of admitting that there could be "good guys" and "bad guys" in anything. They have taken journalistic objectivity and turned into moral depravity.

Democratic candidates vs. Republican candidates? Yes, journalistic objectivity is called for here, because there is putative moral equivalence. Nazi's vs. Americans? U.S. troops vs. Al Qaeda? If you think there is moral equivalence, you are lost. And if you find yourself faced with something that is so completely Evil, yet you can't take a stand on it, you have damned yourself.


To be concluded…

TM said...

Conclusion…

Let’s go back to the example we talked about last night at the restaurant.

Why Americans Hate the Media:Journalistic ethics vs. Soldier’s ethics (read only the first page of a seven page article)

U.S. troops would risk their lives to rescue reporters. Why? Because they believe in something larger than themselves. Truth, Justice, and the American way. No joking. They believe that all Americans, even reporters, are special and worth protecting because they are Americans. This is a truth that they hold to be self-evident.

And what would our reporters do in our little situation in North Korea? North Koreans are getting ready to ambush U.S. troops. The U.S. reporter, who has embedded himself with the North Koreans, could warn the U.S. troops. Let us assume that he could do so with NO danger to himself, because he has a hidden cell phone that he can use to text the warning to the U.S. troops. Does he do so? Well, what does his journalistic objectivity tell him? He isn't there to inject himself into the story. He is there to report the story. So he lets the ambush happen. Report the story. U.S. troops get killed. And he has his scoop. His story is intact. His objectivity is intact. Or is it?

After the story is filed and read, who will thank the U.S. reporter for his "objective reporting?" Did anyone ask for this? Or was it thrust upon them? Did the U.S. troops killed in the ambush ask for this? Certainly not. What about the survivors? No, I think not. Do the family members of the victims appreciate this? No, they do not. Well who does? When the reporter stands before the nations on his interview with NBC, and tell the country, "I sacrificed the lives of 50 or 100 of your fellow citizens in order to get this story of a successful North Korean ambush," does the Nation thank him? No? Well who does? Well, unfortunately, the only ones who thank this morally bankrupt reporter is Kim Jong Ill, the brutal dictator of North Korea. And that is where it ends. While attempting to serve his god of "objectivity", our reporter has only served the dictatorship of North Korea.

And that is where it ends and begins. So it ended for our fictional reporter and so it has begun for our real live reporters. Let's see how low they will sink. My guess is you will see them sink much deeper. They and others may be surprised at how low they will go, but I don't think I will be.

So it goes.

But Hey! I'm sure the Marines and CPT Iglesias with Pat Dollard will say I'm all wrong, right?....

[Embarrassing emotional wishes redacted]

TM

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Robert said...

Captain Brian Chontosh. Off the subject a little TM, but you brought this up. (WIll read your posts later...my eyes are tired and my head is killing me).

Here is the citation from Captain Chontosh's Navy Cross Award:
While leading his platoon north on Highway 1 toward Ad Diwaniyah, Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire. With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.

He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position, enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.

He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.

When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.

When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.

In the finest Marine Corps tradition, he is as close to Audey Murphy as you get this war. You don't find as many articles about this as you do about rapes in Iraq. Somehow the media has forgotten what country they live in, forsaking Americans for "objective journalism."

It is the warriors they detest, and the wars we fight that keep them able to do that. Imagine if we didn't do the things they whine about.

Robert said...

I did the google search for you....834 hits for Captain Brian Chontosh. 1,480,000 for "Iraq rapes"

Ellie said...

haha. that's funny. I have a liberal example similar that I'm sure you will not enjoy but I'll post it anyways. I'll put it tomorrow I gotta get to sleep if I'm to function tomorrow morning. :)

TM said...

Thanks for the Google search Robert. I figured it would be something like that.

By the way, when I said "Don’t try to impress me with your fancy words. Impress me with your actions. The day I see journalists acting in a way that inspires respect is the day I will respect them. Until then, I will not. "

I was not challenging you with the above comment. I was addressing Bill Keller, editor of the NY Times and his ilk in my rant.

Also, that monster three piece post of mine? Like I said earlier, that was from an e-mail I sent to my girlfriend about how I'm pissed at U.S. journalists. Yeah, it seems kinda strange of an e-mail to sent to a girlfriend, but what can I say? She's an intellectual sort of girl and she likes it when I challenge her in that respect. Or at least is kind enough to pretend that I do...

Plus since we are separated more than we like, well, mega-sized e-mails result.

TM said...

Thanks for the Google search Robert. I figured it would be something like that.

By the way, when I said "Don’t try to impress me with your fancy words. Impress me with your actions. The day I see journalists acting in a way that inspires respect is the day I will respect them. Until then, I will not. "

I was not challenging you with the above comment. I was addressing Bill Keller, editor of the NY Times and his ilk in my rant.

Also, that monster three piece post of mine? Like I said earlier, that was from an e-mail I sent to my girlfriend about how I'm pissed at U.S. journalists. Yeah, it seems kinda strange of an e-mail to sent to a girlfriend, but what can I say? She's an intellectual sort of girl and she likes it when I challenge her in that respect. Or at least is kind enough to pretend that I do...

Plus since we are separated more than we like, well, mega-sized e-mails result.

Robert said...

I didn't think it was directed at me, TM. And I am sure some of the reults for "Iraq Rapes" are weird posts or not relating to the military, but I surely can't click on all of them....lol.

I think the worst part is the few hits for Chontosh. As a Marine myself, I can't tell you the pride I feel over his actions. In WWII, heroes like this were sent on tour to promote war bonds to aid the war effort. Today they barely even get mentioned between the "Bush lied" stories and the "America is evil" stories.

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