Dear American News Person
J. D. Pendry
First there was the Journalist - a: a person engaged in journalism; especially: a writer or editor for a news medium b: a writer who aims at a mass audience.
Next are the classes of the basic trade:
Journalism - a: writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine b: writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.† [Now extinct craft that some believe was once practiced in America.]
Advocacy Journalism - : journalism that advocates a cause or expresses a viewpoint.† [What most do, but pretend not to do.]
Checkbook Journalism - : the practice of paying someone for a news story and especially for granting an interview.† [When someone appears on the Today Show to promote his political attack book.]
New Journalism - : journalism that features the author's subjective responses to people and events and that often includes fictional elements meant to illuminate and dramatize those responses.† [Your nightly mainstream media newscast.]
---Descriptions, courtesy of the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
--- [Insightful examples provided by JD.]
I heard a news story about American Soldiers giving candy to Iraqi children.† The only reason I heard about the candy was that a murderer decided the children were a good target for his car bomb.† Imagine his surprise when he busted open the gates of hell expecting to find Allah and 72 virgins.† Iím betting there are not many virgins in hell Ė probably some journalists though.
Now donít all of you hard working journalists write me hate mail because Iím unkind to your profession.† Unfortunately, too many pitiful little people with a cause are squashing those of you who want to do the right thing and give America a balanced view of facts each day.† Problem is youíre not raising hell about it.† In silence, thereís complicity. †Maybe you donít have the courage you need to confront those who are taking your profession down the toilet.† It is hard to critique the people you might want to ask for a job some day, isnít it?
Did you know that weíve had a Congressional Medal of Honor awarded during this war?† Did you know that the first woman since World War II earned a Silver Star for Valor in combat?† Heroes donít get much notice from todayís journalists.† Oh, sorry, I forgot about Commando Kerry.
Did any of you journalists hear the one about the Iraqi civilian that led American Soldiers to a large weapons cache?† Or the story about Food Deliveries and School Supplies?† No?† You must have read the highlights from this July 4, 2005 progress report.† Hear about the 150 Primary Care Clinics weíre building?† Missed that one too?† OK, I got one.† Donít tell me that you didnít hear about the The Iraqi Schools Program and the 1,013,274 pounds of school supplies and clothes donated by Americans and distributed by Soldiers of the First Armored Division.† As interested as you are in our prisoner operations, I know that you are aware of the visitation policy at Abu Ghraib.† No?† Iíll bet youíre aware of the clinics our soldiers run in Iraqi communities?† Didnít know about that either?
Shouldnít a journalist be better informed about such a major newsworthy event?† Maybe if you re-read the descriptions listed at the beginning itíll help you some.† Now letís try a couple more.† Did you hear about this water project for an Iraqi farm village?†† What can you tell me about the on-the-ground progress of the Iraqi Security Forces?†
If youíre curious, Iíve only highlighted for you the first two weeks of July, which are typical of the work our Soldiers are doing.† Iím not a highly skilled journalist and I found all of that information in a couple of clicks of the mouse.† Most Americans wonít do that because they depend on you for their information Ė and you know it.† Now, if I asked you about weapons of mass destruction I bet you could ramble for pages rearranging the same tired words gleaned from political talking points Ė because quite frankly youíre to lazy to do your own work.† You can tell me how awful it is to be a prisoner in American custody Ė we let them keep the heads they arrive with by the way.† You can tell me how many times Ted Kennedy had underwear on his head, uh, I mean how many times he talked about prisoners while he had underwear on his head, well you know what I mean Ė donít you?† You can tell me how many Newsweeks were flushed.† You can explain away what Dick Durbin said.† You can do all of that, but you canít tell me one thing that the person who is willing to die for your right to write accomplishes on a single day.† Not one accomplishment Ė zip, zero, nada.† Are you proud?
If you are supposed to be bringing news to people concerned about what their brave young men and women are accomplishing in Iraq, I must count you as an utter and complete failure.† Of course, being a gullible old soldier, Iím assuming that you want to tell Americans the good their sons and daughters are doing.† That is what you want to do isnít it?† You do support the troops donít you?
Copyright © JD Pendry
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