Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Oh So True

"So again, we have almost up to the last instant trusted the newspapers as organs of public opinion. Just recently some of us have seen (not slowly, but with a start) that they are obviously nothing of the kind. They are, by the nature of the case, the hobbies of a few rich men. We have not any need to rebel against antiquity; we have to rebel against novelty. It is the new rulers, the capitalist or the editor, who really hold up the modern world. There is no fear that a modern king will attempt to override the constitution; it is more likely that he will ignore the constitution and work behind its back; he will take no advantage of his kingly power; it is more likely that he will take advantage of his kingly powerlessness, of the fact that he is free from criticism and publicity. For the king is the most private person of our time. It will not be necessary for any one to fight again against the proposal of a censorship of the press. We do not need a censorship of the press. We have a censorship by the press."

-G.K. Chesterton

This new millennium has been fraught with misrepresentations by the press. Talk to any soldier and you will hear the same. How many countless milblogs and soldiers have told you the truth is not being reported by the MSM? How has the current administration’s support for war been hampered by faulty reporting and blatant disregard for the truth? Why has the media been allowed to run roughshod upon the great Americans who sacrifice so much for our Constitution? What would have happened if the media reported this way in the
past? Why has so much hate been thrown towards Israel who is fighting the same battle as we are? Why do people have an insatiable lust to see the right side of the fight against terrorism lose? And therein lies the real question: Why is it so hard to see the truth at a time when it should be black and white?

Those who make sport out of cutting innocent people’s heads off are wrong. Those who use real torture (not like the games that took place in Abu Gharib) and mutilate bodies, by doing such things as sticking people’s genitals in their mouths, are wrong. Those who willingly murder women and children because they are too ignorant to make a point without terror are wrong. Those who murder Iraqis simply because they cook our food or cut our hair are wrong. Those who lob missiles into areas populated by civilians hoping to hit something are wrong. Those who use their religion as a reason to try and take over the world are wrong. Nothing gray about any of those statements, only black and white.

The media perpetuates ignorance among the American population because they fall into the trap of only reporting bad news. Also, as I have said before and will say again, they are ignorant of the subject matter they report on. How many ex-veterans are working in the MSM right now? Take away Oliver North and who are you left with? If non-military types are reporting on the actions of the military then they are bound to get their stories wrong. I wonder why the major news organizations don’t hire more military correspondents? Of course there are the retired generals that comment on television but where are military voices in print? I know several news organizations have made attempts at getting soldiers to do occasional blogs for them but nothing of any importance. What the public needs to hear is the truth-the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am not against showing death and destruction on TV but at the same time there should also be stories about growth and reconstruction. A nation is being rebuilt in Iraq and people are getting on with their lives but you would never know that from what you read in American newspapers or watch on American TV.

In the passage I quoted above Chesterton notes that newspapers have become the hobbies of a few who essentially censor what we hear by only reporting on what they want. I agree whole-heartedly with him although I would expand from “a few” to say it has become the hobby of the majority. If the MSM were truly objective we would hear from people all over the spectrum concerning the important issues of the day. No longer would we just have Hannity and Colmes where people from opposite sides of the spectrum argue in order to get ratings. We would have a group of people dedicated to spreading the truth. The news would sound something like “It was a typical day in Iraq today. In Ramadi there were several clashes between soldiers and terrorists leaving 20 terrorists dead and one soldier severely wounded. Mosul continues to get safer and safer each day and is gaining a lot of support from surrounding villages. Overall Iraq looked very much like a country dealing with rebuilding itself from the ground up. However, anyone who has been in Iraq from day one knows that despite occasional setbacks Iraq has improved leaps and bounds from the days of Saddam. The people of Iraq realize that life is tough now but they are thankful they will never have to live under the oppressive rule of a tyrant like Saddam Hussein. (End satellite feed)”

What we need in today’s world of instant news are journalists willing to do their job of reporting the truth. We don’t need uninformed beauties with their hair blowing in the wind telling us what has been scripted for them to say by others. We don’t need editors ripping the guts out of any good story up for print because it doesn’t fit their agenda. We need more men like Michael Yon who are going to report the good, the bad, and the ugly no matter what people will think of them afterward. We need men like Bill Roggio and Pat Dollard who will pay their way to a foreign country in order to report the truth. What good is our media if they are upstaged daily by amateurs who, at their own expense, travel to a distant country so that Americans can learn what is really going on in this crazy world of ours.

Like Chesterton said almost 100 years ago “We do not need a censorship of the press. We have a censorship by the press." If you really want to know what is going on in the world today you must read blogs. It is sad that is has come to not being able to trust the media but that is where we are now. It is not that the media always seeks to suppress the truth, they are just often times unqualified to give it to you.

I know I am often preaching to the choir here about the media, and I know I have done so often but I feel that it is important to know that you are not able to get the truth from the media. Maybe you can get some of the truth but overall the media is run by people who are unwilling to report on stories if they don’t properly fit into their agenda. Now if I can just figure out what my agenda is…


Bag Blog said...

This may be your best post yet - well written, clear and precise, and right on.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sgt. Boggs. Who-what-when where-and-why. The why is the tricky part I guess. That's where they twist the who what when and where. Their agenda gets slipped in. But don't forget our other great institutions that were infiltrated and or undermined years ago like the public education system, churches, the family. Oh and government, all three branches. You rarely hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in any of those places any more and the few standing for truth and speaking the truth are made out to be mad men, radicals or having stolen an election. I am wondering, if so many in our country keep refusing the truth and believing the lie, who will be left to defend them. I used to feel sorry for them, but no more as they are going to cause us to lose this war on terrorism world wide if the rest of us don't do a better job of exposing our enemies within and without and speaking the truth constantly. Thank you for always being truthful with your blogs, for volunteering to defend and protect the Constitution and us. We are in deep trouble if Americans don't get on the same page in this war. What a shame when it doesn't need to be so. Your blog is one more encouragement to us to never give up, to fight the big lie wherever we find it being handed out.

Susan said...

Thanks for another thoughtful post. Sometimes I wonder if our country can ever be straightened out again. Then I look at all the good things going on and know that it's under-reporting of the good things happening. I love blogs! Technology gets a bad rap, sometimes, but it's making truth more accessible to more people. Keep it up!

dj elliott said...

I hate to say this but, when it comes to the press, this is Situation Normal-All F@@@ED UP.
I have seen fewer than 100 accurate press reports in the last two decades.

The press thinks of the US Government as its enemy and allies with those that oppose it. Even those that would kill them...

22 years as an USN Intel Spec has made me very jaded on the subject of the Enemy's Propaganda Mills (PRESS).

Molly said...

It's frustrating, I know, but unfortunately this has been part of our history! From the Coloniol period on up, Thomas Jefferson himself had a hand in controlling the release of his competitors' news publications. Then with the abolishment of "The Fairness Doctrine" in the 80s, television and media programs now have free reign to air whatever their corporate sponsors interests or agendas may be.

Quick Poll: "Where do you get your news?" or, "What news source do you find most reliable?"

Susan said...


Finally, another opinion in the mass media!

Anonymous said...

You know there is another way to collect information other than TV, Computer and newspapers. How about opening our eyes and observing what is going on around us. Tells you a lot.

Webproze said...

Seriously the best post I've read yet about the bias in the media and the piss-poor reporting done so far.
Not sure what your plans are when you get home, but I'm quite sure that journalism would be a good calling. Unfortunately, I can't imagine that any self-respecting liberal editor would hire you.
Keep your head down and your hopes up. We all appreciate what you're doing for us (except that loud and vocal minority).