Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Stories They Chose Not to Tell

What about the heroes? Yes, many of us have heard of Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester and Sgt. Rafael Peralta and many other modern American heroes, but too many have not because the mainstream press has chosen instead to focus on names like Scott Peterson, Lyndie Englund, and Natalie Halloway. And now they blame us, the public for a lack of interest and 'zeal.' What a crock. When will the Times realize that they are the problem?

UPDATE: Jason over at IraqNow writes a letter to the NYT that is just too good to miss. A taste:
You raised the specific instance of SFC Paul Ray Smith, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for an action in which he lost his life -- and of course, blame the President for your failure to get the story.

But the record shows that in February 2004, just about everyone on the planet had the story. Except the New York Times. Hell, even the Australian media picked it up.

Now, granted, your staff is operating at a significant handicap: Apparently, you have entire editorial units, entire copy desks, and fact checkers who don't even know what a Congressional Medal of Honor is.

This, in and of itself, is symptomatic of the yawning chasm between the class of people from which you draw your editorial staff and the class of people you serve.

This is an example of the immense deficit you're running in your collective fund of information when it comes to covering military affairs.

This, in and of itself, is dysfunction.

Bill Keller, your paper is stumbling around like a drunken fool, and it's gotten to the point where you're ruining your reputation. Military men have already all but washed their hands of your crap coverage in exasperation. We already know you are too wrapped up in your own neurosis to cover our fighting men and women with any degree of accuracy.

Yes, some people like Blackfive, Greyhawk, Cori Dauber, and myself, have already tried, on numerous occasions, to stage an intervention. But your illness has already caused a lot of people to give up on you.


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