Friday, June 02, 2006

Stuck On Stupid, Revisited, Revisited

Tuesday, I linked to a media gaffe Down Under. Today, Michelle Malkin at Hot Air has video, and a little video homage to the time-honored tradition of staging the news.

Update: On a more serious note, here's an example of media irresponsibility that could dramatically affect some soldiers' lives. There are allegations of some soldiers killing women and children in Haditha, Iraq, in retaliation for an IED attack which killed one Marine and injured another. It's pretty clear civilians were killed, but there is a big question as to why, and no question at all that the terrorists in Iraq use women and children to do some of their dirty work for them. These charges are being thoroughly investigated, and will, of course, be dealt with according to the law. (You'll remember Abu Ghraib. Although the media doesn't like to point out that justice was done, the guilty parties are now serving prison terms.) From what I've read in the blogosphere thus far on what happened, especially the military blogs, I tend to think the Marines are going to be exonerated, but regardless of whether they are or aren't, much of the media is handling this very badly.

Follow the link above to where The Mudville Gazette analyzes this headline to the story at a CBS affiliate in Denver-- Investigators: Unprovoked Marines Killed Civilians. Wow. Killed and injured Marines don't count as provocation? The Gazette tracks down the source of that headline, and it isn't "Investigators". Not to judge the media as a whole too harshly, but it seems that there is an attempt by some in that profession to try this case in the court of public opinion, prejudicing investigators, the country, and possibly the courts against them, before an ongoing investigation is even complete. Whether this is simply to sell papers and TV commercials, or part of an attempt to further the agenda of showing that the U.S. military is a criminal organization, I don't know, but if these soldiers are innocent, they will spend their lives carrying the added burden that comes from a part of the populace believing they are murderers, simply because the media said so. If you ask me, that's criminal.

HT: Instapundit

Update II: There's a really valuable perspective on the Haditha story, by 1st Lieutenant Jeffrey Barnett, at Michael Yon's Frontline Forum. This forum is a place soldiers in the field can express their views; and a soldier's point of view is something we civilians should all be giving lots of consideration when we are discussing military matters. They're the ones who can speak from experience.


  1. On the Lords day, I seem to let myself actually absorb (or try to) portions of those things that I cannot cope with. This subject is so very hard for so many of us.

    The reality is this: War is hell. How many times do we have to we have to remind ourselves daily to consider the source before we "accept" something as true? Unfortunately, the public in general places a lot of misguided trust in the media. All forms of the media. As a result, we have, in general, a herd mentality about so many things. It is an extremely small portion of the population that acutally tries to understand and get their information from enough varied sources to make an acutal "intelligent" observation about whatever the subject is. I use the word "observation" intentionally, instead of decision.

    How can anyone, unless they are directly involved, (and even then there are usually several influences) ever "believe" what they are told? The world is so full of "opinions". But so few of those opinions are based on participative action. I appreciate the link to the frontline forum, I am sure that everyone has someone they love or loved, that has served our country. Either willingly or not. We should be grateful that they are there, do a job that we might never be capable of doing ourselves. Every day, choices are made in an instant. Perfection is impossible, but survival is a necessity. With sometimes horrific results. How many possible scenarios can you come up with as a back-drop, set-up, trap, or just plain old combat moment? There are too many. All possible and all sad. One conlusion on the part of the "media" is ridiculous and rightly said, downright dangerous to the soldiers involved.
    Regardless of what level of responsibility.

    When the Media is tried and convicted for their so-called "right-to-know" services, I will have a lot more respect for them. With no true checks and balances, aside from other "media" sources, how can we trust anything we hear or read?

    I am filled with disquiet and melancholy over the "fact" that I have so little trust in my world.

    I think I keep my attention limited on purpose. My world must stay small, order to cope with all that is disgusting, unjust, and downright untrue. It truly saddens me that I abdicate my social responsibilities in order to save myself from all that I am not able to have faith in.

    There are always going to be expendable people, the world over. It is collateral damage and acceptable losses on a small and large scale. Sometimes, we, the public protected are the damaged ones. And we don't even know it.

  2. Boy, I need to learn to proof read, I can't spell today. sorry.

  3. Thanks for your comments, Colleen. They are always either fun or insightful. I can't call these fun this morning, but they are insightful. I appreciated what you said, "When the Media is tried and convicted for their so-called "right-to-know" services, I will have a lot more respect for them. With no true checks and balances, aside from other "media" sources, how can we trust anything we hear or read?" I think that blogs are act as check and balances to a degree. They hold the mainstream media to account when they really get a story wrong, but it has yet to reach the point where the blogosphere really influences what the MSM covers, or how they cover it. I'm just grateful there are so many good sources of information now that bypass the networks and the newspapers. Don't get your dauber down. Things on the information front are getting better. Rotten things do happen in the world, but good things do, too, and with the new media around, we get to find out what some of them are. That's a big step forward.

  4. You are right. Thanks for the uplift! :):) I guess I was a little depressive? I guess I am really still feeling irresponsible for not only ignoring the world at large but keeping my head buried in the sand for as long as possible to keep it from getting kicked where it applies to my own life. Every week, I get something very necessary done. Every day I try to be open to something informational. Fun or serious. So I appreciate the encouragement. I have always been a closet wanna-change the world type. And when it got too ugly to cope at home, I lost hope in myself and the world. (but never you!) I am getting it back. One piece at a time. And even find myself trying to plan and hope for the future. That has to be a good sign. Now all I have to do is find enough to believe in the future of the world. Maybe I should just leave it in God's hands. :):) He knows what he is doing.

  5. Amen to that. There's no place safer, but I do think He wants us to care. He just wants us to take on the assignments He gives us, and not the ones we tend to take on ourselves. We can change the world. We just can't change all of it. I can't fix "poverty", but I can obey when God tells me to feed someone, or give something, and I can be ready if He gives me a bigger assignment. Same thing in our own lives. It's a matter of proportion and perspective.

  6. "Before kingdoms change, Men must change" (spoken by John the Baptist in the Franco Zefferelli production "Jesus Of Nazareth").