June 05, 2004


Remember last week when I said I'd strangle the journalist who values "the story" over someone's life? Well, according to Steve Sky and Charles Johnson, I just might get my chance:

MOSUL, Iraq - Coalition soldiers questioned two news media cameramen and a reporter after a roadside bomb exploded near a Coalition convoy two kilometers north of Mosul June 3.

The media, who were at the scene prior to the attack, told soldiers at the scene they had received a tip to be at that location prior to the attack and they had witnessed the explosion.

One of my good friends is attached to 3-2 Infantry. That hits close to home. And those "detached" journalists were going to sit there with their cameras and watch American Soldiers get blown up.

What in the hell is wrong with these people?

Posted by Sarah at June 5, 2004 10:09 AM

Don't strangle them. That's too kind. "Detachment" has another meaning.

Posted by: Amritas at June 5, 2004 12:05 PM

Oh, and if one does "detach" ... something, be sure to give the victim's fellow propagandists a tip. Let's see how "objective" they are then.

Posted by: Amritas at June 5, 2004 12:06 PM

This is unbelievable. What price "objectivity," "impartiality," or any other euphemism for this sort of callousness?

If this is the way "journalists" regard their occupational obligations and perquisites, they're more dangerous to our men at arms than the weapons of the enemy, and should be treated as such.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at June 5, 2004 12:18 PM

You've got to take the time to watch these programs just to see Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings discuss just this topic.

Posted by: Mike at June 5, 2004 01:01 PM


As far as I can tell, journalists' conduct in wartime wasn't covered among the ten videos. Maybe they should produce a new volume. Nah, they'll just remake the My Lai volumes with Abu Ghraib.

Posted by: Amritas at June 5, 2004 02:41 PM

Rantingprofs covers this topic - including the Jennings/Rather response. I guess I love my country and those who protect us more than any story I could "cover." No way could I sit there and wait knowing American soldiers were about to be killed.


Posted by: Shannon at June 5, 2004 03:11 PM

Thanks, Shannon. I'll never be able to look at Jennings or Wallace the same way again. Not that I'll ever have to. I haven't watched broadcast network TV news in a long time, and I haven't seen FOX or any other cable news in months.

Here's another ethical dilemma: What if Wallace were covering the would-be-slaughter of NON-Americans? Would he intervene then? Is this purely a nationalistic issue? Is "objectivity" really a fig leaf for anti-Americanism?

Posted by: Amritas at June 5, 2004 04:45 PM

This is consistent with how the media views their job-- "Detached" means recording events but never altering them-- no matter how right or how easy it would be to do so....
Remember the award-winning photo of the starving child in Somalia who was dying as he tried to crawl to the aid station a few yards away-- with vultures waiting in the background of the photo?
The photographer was interviewed after he received the reward. The gist of the interviewers' questions were, "Did you move the child to the aid station...?" so he wouldn't starve or get attacked by vultures.
The photographer being interviewed never "got it." His answers focused only on what he had to do to compose the photo. "No," he said. He didn't need to move the child, because he was able to take the photo from just the right angle to get the pitiful starving child, vultures, and aid station all in the picture! Apparently, he took the picture of a starving child and walked away. It wouldn't surprise me if he sat down, ate a ham sandwich, and waited to see if the vultures would eat the kid.
So the only response of the media profession to this photographer's inhuman cruelty was to give the guy an award!

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