08. August 2005 · Comments Off on Memo:Lamestream Media · Categories: General, GWOT, Media Matters Not, Military, Rant, War

To: Damian Cave, @ The New York Times
From: Sgt Mom
Re: Some Cheese with that Whine

1. So you are baffled, baffled, I say by the lack of coverage in the major media, to the stories of heroism in Irag and Afghanistan, and wonder disingenuously as to why the names of SFC Paul Smith, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester and Sgt. Rafael Peralta are not right up there in the consciousness of the nation as heroes, heroes on par with Audie Murphy and Alvin York. (My comparison, not yours. Audie Murphy and Alvin York were… oh, never mind. Use a search engine, or read some history books.) Such is your supple intellect and grasp of the obvious that you manage fix the blame anywhere but with your own media culture. “…The military, the White House and the culture at large have not publicized their actions with the zeal that was lavished on the heroes of World War I and World War II.”

2. Myself, I grasp the fact that the cluebirds are over your position, but at a very great height. I will do what I can, to bring certain realities within your reach. First, I suggest that you walk out of your office, leave the building, and stand on the sidewalk outside, and look back. (I assume of course, that you are a full-time employee of the paper of record. If you are a free-lancer, skip this paragraph.) Somewhere on the building you have just departed should be the inscription or legend, “New York Times.” Yes, Mr. Cave, you work for a newspaper, a fairly major national newspaper, as it turns out. I would suggest, if you wish an answer to your question as to why there is no attention paid to the heroes of this war, you first ask them of your co-workers at the Times.

3. And it’s not as if the stories have not been told: you know that mouse-clicky thing, to the side of the keyboard in front of the oddly-television appearing monitor on your desk? The stories are there, Mr. Cave, on the milblogs such as this, on Mudville Gazette (among hundreds of others), on various DOD websites, and at military press briefings. It’s called investigative reporting— remember when they covered that at j-school? Other newspapers can manage it, mostly papers in markets located close to military bases. Military bases… you know, those federal reserves, out in the sticks, full of noisy tanks and airplanes and things, and people with very short haircuts and a tendency to all wear the same sort of clothes? All these places have a little office on it someplace, called the Public Affairs office. They’d love to hear from you some time, tell you all about heroes and anything else about their personnel that you’d like to hear. Give them a jingle, they’re in the book.

4. And you expect to be spoon-fed by the White House, or the military, or whomever, about the heroes of this war? You want it tied up in a nice pink bow, or something, after three years of pretty much ignoring anything but the ever-floggable dead horse of Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo. Well, there is no contenting some people. Just do your job, instead of blaming everyone else. Pick up the phone, click on the mouse. I swear, when you go to the men’s room, do you have to have someone else hold your…. Oh, never mind, that’s a question to which I really don’t want an answer.

5. Just do your job. And stop whining.

Sgt Mom

(Correction pointed out by Byna… I should not do rants when I am cooking dinner at the same time, from an unfamiliar recipe!)

Update: Full-frontal evisceration of Mr. Cave is here, and a gallery of heroes here.

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