On Casualties, Media and Ownership
Media Crickets Thrive During Afghanistan Casualty Spike
By Steve Schippert | November 25, 2009
As the Earth spins, the effect dictates that its inhabitants are driven into the predictable cycle of night and day, day and night. And so too it can be said of the effect of periods between election cycles and American media coverage of war.
Bill Dupray at the Patriot Room notes an article drawing attention to the fact that in Afghanistan "Obama's war casualties nearly double Bush's worst year," and the American media are virtually silent.
Statistical Reference: iCasualties: Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan
Now, I'm no more a fan of calling our fallen "Obama's casualties" any more than I was of calling them "Bush's casualties" over the previous 7+ years. It's ignorant political hackery and a cheapening of their sacrifices. This isn't a criticism of Bill Dupray, as I'm reasonably certain that he sees it much the same way, even in noting the article as it was written.
But the media? Yeah, they're fair game. Their prior conduct makes them so.
From the period of the 2004 Presidential election cycle through about the middle of the Iraq Surge that turned the tide there, it was virtually impossible to drive a car and listen to a radio news break that did not contain a nameless mention of how many Americans were killed in action the previous day. Nor could one watch a single newscast without the same episodic phenomenon even more laden with anti-Bush commentary in context of the casualty figure of the day. It was a daily rolling body count. It was a disgusting display of the demise of journalism in which honoring the fallen by name or personal story simply could not manage a measure of committed air time.
Driving to work or watching the news today is a blessed relief. Gone are the incessant nameless, faceless body counts as commentary disguised as news. All one needs the stomach for is a daily dose of Nancy Pelosi and the apparent life-and-death crisis of our generation's time: Government-run and -mandated health care.
I'm actually all for it. If you can never find the time or space to honor even a few of the fallen by name, show his or her face and tell their stories, I prefer not to be deluged with body counts.
But even in relief, the crickets from the MSM double-tiered and double-standard observation deck on reporting casualties is an outrage that should not go without conscious acknowledgment. For only the cognitively challenged can conclude that if President George W. Bush or any other Republican were president today, the reportage on casualties would be no different than it is for President Barack Obama.
And that is not an indictment of President Obama. It is an indictment of a media congregation that clearly reports and editorializes similar circumstances differently depending on which political party and/or popular figure is in power.
The war is ours, not his. The casualties our ours, not his.
Editors and journalists, report on our war and pause before selecting and editorializing news to suit your political agendas and favorites. Leave that to us, the ever-dwindling consumers of your product. But it is unlikely you will heed our plea. But Christmas is coming soon. And that leaves us relegated once again to ask for that from Santa. For the eighth year - and two presidents - running.