The press loves to point out flaws in other people. Much of there problem is because the same news persons who interview gourmets pretend to be competent in military affairs. For example, asking an embedded reporter to interview a marine laying below the crest of a hill with his eyes and weapon trained on a village sending sniper fire on Marines advancing on the village, "What exactly is he doing?"
News reporters tend of want to fault the US and military. The reporter exclaims, a supposedly precision missile must have missed and struck Baghdad's fuel supply for the civilian population. In fact, the Iraqis had lit smudge fires to hamper US air attacks.
Penetrating questions. "Did you feel you were in "harm's way"? The reporter must have just learned a new-to-her expression.
Tell us "exactly" what is happening? This pretended precision in investigative reporting is embarrassing. They don't seem to know the meaning of the expression "fog of war" yet. Nor acknowledge the inaccuracy of press knowledge. I would never answer a question including the word "exactly".
Self-centered attitude of the press as shown in the wording such as, "Thank you General Franks for meeting with us, finally." This by a reporter who wants news handed to him and not acknowledge that General Franks has other things demanding his time in the first two days of the war then to put up with such arrogant press. Maybe the press conferences should be held in the bar of the reporter's hotel so he doesn't have to leave their stools.
Also those reporters who feel betrayed, "Where is the shock and awe we were promised?"
Barely hidden is, I promised my audience there would be pictures of fireworks. Failure to acknowledge that the military has reasons for most of what it does.
"How do you feel about innocent lives being loss?" is a failure to acknowledge that the US has spent billions in developing weapons able to avoid/reduce unintended damage, and that research and planners spend thousands of hours developing the safest approach paths, and that these efforts and the restriction of targets from sensitive civilian areas are not attacked, all take away from the prosecution of the war in time spent and in duration of the war. A longer war means more deaths, to both our military and otherwise.
Antagonistic to military attitude shows rather markedly in "We have reason to believe you are understating US losses." As if the free press would not report every US casualty.
"Have you found the weapons of mass destruction that is the alleged
reason for this war? As if the soldier and marines advancing
on guard for their lives were supposed to look for items of that reporter's interest. Search and analysis of captured territory is a function of the after battle period.
"With all these soldiers around, why are there
missiles attacks taking place that make me put on and
take of my gas mask -- this is the sixth time today? My answer to the whiny reporter is : leave your gas mask off. An advancing division is concerned with
its own point and flanks being attacked with its troops killed, rather than your comfort. It is the task of artillery detection and air attack to pin-point and take out launch sites.
Math knowledge is not a press strong point either. 100 miles into a 400 drive is called "half-way" and a reverse is called a "120" degree turn. Coupled with self-impressed ignorance, on day two, a reporter prefixed his question, "In this 4th day of this aggression . . ."
Almost humorous is the previously uninformed reporter explaining to us, "They were evacuated by helicopters with propellers."
After casting scorn on the press, let me say with seriousness that
NBC (I don't have cable) has done an admirable job. Tom Brokaw and Ted Kopple are great. Yet the soulful Katie Curric insists on opening each segment with American losses, rather than victories, and the "insightful" question of what has gone wrong in the last hour.
150 opposition tanks are destroyed, many by Apaches, that are now unable to take the lives of American soldiers and bringing the war closer to a close; one helicopter is downed and that loss is the story.
Fragging, rather than assassination. Fragging was used in Vietnam
to redress personal grievances with local leaders who were considered too free with their men's lives and fragging was performed in a drug induced state. The incident in Iraq was a politically motivated attempt to kill Brigade leadership personally unknown to the assassin. The press seems to think that killing officers is natural.
The press seems to consider disrespect a part of journalism:
"This information comes directly from a Marine General -- I haven't confirmed this with anyone else."
To the BBC, a morter attack on a market is a symbol of disapproval
of policy, rather than terrorist murder.
The press has a way with words.
Embarrasment of suspects becomes torture of captives.
A pistol becomes the weapon of choice of criminals.
A North Korean battleship enters waters of the South.
There are twenty-two gauge handguns and twelve caliber shotguns.
With sound effects of a chainsaw in the background, a newschick
intones, "Once again Floridians have their weed wackers out to clear debris from the latest hurricane."
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brought about the press on themselves.