At first take, most would say yes, at least to the first. Many, myself included, and if you are a frequent user of the Internet or a listen to talk shows, you probably would be included to say no.
I generally form my opinions by reviewing a number on the ‘Net and then try to cross check a nugget of information against multiple sources for validity. Often, as I have found out, first blushes are wrong, yet get corrected quickly at the better sites. Your mileage may vary in the sites you use (and again, thanks for visiting us!).
Getting info from the major (ABC, NBC, CBS) networks – not at all. Frankly, I don’t believe that they are "just reporting the news". Rather, they are trying to shape the news, without telling us of that mission.
Here’s my problem. We are a conservative blog site, and we make no bones about it. We are also pro-America and delight in the wonders of this country and the freedoms it affords us all. Anything that we write, the reader should keep these two items in the background. We put that out front so that everyone will know.
The MSM outlets…..they continue to preach that they only report the news.
Oh really? What about this?
Photographer: Jaoo Silver
A sniper loyal to Shiite cleric Mogtada al Sadr fires towards U.S. positions in the cemetary in Najaf, Iraq.
Michelle McNally: "Right there with the Mahdi Army. Incredible Courage."
Now for my beef….I think that this is despicable! (H/T: Little Green Footballs)
Of course, I don’t want to see Americans targeted. However, we are in a war, and this is to be expected. War is nasty and not for the squemish – political correctness will get you killed (note: my son was over in Iraq with the US Marines….in the general sense, he could have been the one targed).
No, my beef is that an American took this picture of the enemy. This Michelle McNally verifies with her words that this picture is of an enemy combatant targeting American. THEN announces
This is not courageous behavior in my eyes….this is treasonous. To hold up a cameraman creating a picture that could be used to uplift the enemy spirits, to tell them they are right to kill Americans by association, , to compliment a picture of someone that may have just killed a fellow American? Both acts are disgusting in my eyes, but the latter is worse than the former. Incredible courage? No, incredible mendacity. Incredible courage would have been to run over, bowl the sniper over to ruin the shot, and then skeddadle out. All the while knowing that the skeddadle part may not end well.
Instead, a fellow American may have died just so that he could "get the shot". Gee, another case of "Pulitzer prize dancing in my head" syndrome? From Michelle Malkin, another picture:
Again, which side are these people one? Do they consider themselves Americans? Don’t they realize the ire that this raises in "common" Americans (the people who really make this country great and not "the elites")?
Like a lot of people, I was reminded of this article (H/T: NRO The Corner) concerning that famous news reporter, Mike Wallace (think "60 Minutes"). Even though I did not become aware of this interview until years after it happened (1987), it first opened my eyes to what the Media actually does. In my naive way, I (like most people) thought that reporters reported news, just the facts. I live in rural NH and we are blessed with 4 daily / weekly newspapers and it is pretty much the case that the local reporters ARE reporting the news (although sometimes I do detect personal / editorial commentary from time to time) in their articles.
Boy, was I wrong for so many years! Instead, I have now been educated by observation that journalism is all about "making a better world" while still insisting they are "objective". While they do uncover malfeasance in both the private and public sectors (as well they should), it is this untalked about (at least to the general public) philosophy that is coming back in this Posting (H/T: Newsbusters). It explains much about the above pictures and the mindsets of those that take them.
The setup for this: This is an interview by PBS that had Mike Wallace, Brent Scrowcroft (Now a former National Security Advisor), and Colonel George Connell (U.S. Marines) by moderator Charles Ogletree. The scenario:
Mike Wallace proclaimed that if he were traveling with enemy soldiers he would not warn U.S. soldiers of an impending ambush. “Don’t you have a higher duty as an American citizen to do all you can to save the lives of soldiers rather than this journalistic ethic of reporting fact?", moderator Charles Ogletree Jr. suggested. Without hesitating, Wallace responded: "No, you don’t have higher duty…you’re a reporter." When Brent Scrowcroft, the then-future National Security Adviser, argued that "you’re Americans first, and you’re journalists second," Wallace was mystified by the concept, wondering "what in the world is wrong with photographing this attack by [the imaginary] North Kosanese on American soldiers?"
Clueless, simply clueless, just so wrapped up in the philosophy that journalism is a sacred calling akin to a call to the clergy. I am as upset at this now as I was when I first came across this years ago. The lack of concern for your fellow countrymen is one that just leaves me flabbergasted. The idea that Mike Wallace puts out here in such a cavalier manner is that being an American is not such a big deal – there are more important things. This was my first run-in with someone that could be called a Post-American or transnationalist. To them, the phrase "a citizen of the world" is more comfortable than being saddled with the title "American".
The article proceeds with
George Connell, a Marine Corps Colonel, reacted with disdain: "I feel utter contempt. Two days later they’re both walking off my hilltop, they’re two hundred yards away and they get ambushed. And they’re lying there wounded. And they’re going to expect I’m going to send Marines up there to get them. They’re just journalists, they’re not Americans."
I agree wholeheartedly with the Colonel. The armed forces would be duty bound, would be honor bound, to rescue these AINOs (American In Name Only, just as conservative Republicans charge those in the Republican Party that vote against the Party platform as RINOs – Republican In Name Only).
The Newsbusters article then goes on to another interview with the same moderator but this time with Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings:
In a future war involving U.S. soldiers what would a TV reporter do if he learned the enemy troops with which he was traveling were about to launch a surprise attack on an American unit? That’s just the question Harvard University professor Charles Ogletree Jr, as moderator of PBS’ Ethics in America series, posed to ABC anchor Peter Jennings and 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace. Both agreed getting ambush footage for the evening news would come before warning the U.S. troops.
A pox on both their houses! Reaping the benefits of being American citizens without really understanding the responsiblity of being a citizen.
For the March 7 installment on battlefield ethics Ogletree set up a theoretical war between the North Kosanese and the U.S.-supported South Kosanese. At first Jennings responded: "If I was with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans."
Well, at least a decent first start, and not one that I had expected, given the tone of the overall article. My feeling that most Americans, given the same situation, would do just that – move heaven and hell to warn our fellow citizens – especially those that put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe. I certainly would see it as a chance to gratefully return the favor.
Wallace countered that other reporters, including himself, "would regard it simply as another story that they are there to cover."
Yup, American lives have no consequence to this famous journalist.
Jennings’ position bewildered Wallace: "I’m a little bit of a loss to understand why, because you are an American, you would not have covered that story."
"Don’t you ha
ve a higher duty as an American citizen to do all you can to save the lives of soldiers rather than this journalistic ethic of reporting fact?" Ogletree asked. Without hesitating Wallace responded: "No, you don’t have higher duty…you’re a reporter." This convinces Jennings, who concedes, "I think he’s right too, I chickened out."
Can I wish for a double pox??
Ogletree turns to Brent Scrowcroft, now the National Security Adviser, who argues "you’re Americans first, and you’re journalists second." Wallace is mystified by the concept, wondering "what in the world is wrong with photographing this attack by North Kosanese on American soldiers?" Retired General William Westmoreland then points out that "it would be repugnant to the American listening public to see on film an ambush of an American platoon by our national enemy."
A few minutes later Ogletree notes the "venomous reaction" from George Connell, a Marine Corps Colonel. "I feel utter contempt. Two days later they’re both walking off my hilltop, they’re two hundred yards away and they get ambushed. And they’re lying there wounded. And they’re going to expect I’m going to send Marines up there to get them. They’re just journalists, they’re not Americans."
Wallace and Jennings agree, "it’s a fair reaction."
A FAIR reaction? That’s all? I see no glee in seeing two of the most famous journalists in the world just brushing this off, that other American lives are not worth them doing their jobs. After all, their’s is the sacred calling of journalists, right?
The discussion concludes as Connell says: "But I’ll do it. And that’s what makes me so contemptuous of them. And Marines will die, going to get a couple of journalists."
I’ve gone on too long on this. Suffice it to say that many in the public are starting to have the same reaction as the Colonel, the General, and Mr. Scrowcroft; if not in thought, at least in deed – just look at the rating numbers..
Readership and viewship numbers are doing nothing but plummeting for newpapers, news magazines, and news shows. Yet, the journalistic bunch keep raising themselves higher and higher up as a breed apart, as very special people. They haven’t gotten the picture that the common folk have all but had it with them – while it is news, it is only the news. While the journalistic elite bemoan the fact that poeple are not listening to them any more, they aren’t getting the message that people not only want the straight news, but they want the reports to act and be like Americans. Failing that, at least report the news and separate it from the commentary not only by comission by omission as well.
My message to the Colonel – if journalists want to be journalists and get the story first, and be Americans second, plan that mission well. Take all the time you need to do it methodically and right while gathering all the possible resources necessary. After all, that sniper (that may turn on that journalist who now needs rescuing) still wants to kill Americans first.