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Media Complainers Can Pound Sand

In highlighting Matt Burden's response at Blackfive to the change in rules regarding the media photography of flag-draped coffins of our fallen brothers, I am somewhat less polite at The Tank on National Review Online in response to the media complaints.

I am paraphrasing from memory here, but absolutely confident in the recollection. After noting the decision as a victory for the media, who have long simply wanted to "honor the fallen troops," the article noted objections from the media regarding the requirement of permission from families because it "made it nearly impossible to photograph the planeloads of flag-draped coffins arriving at Dover."

That early graph is quite telling. If the aim is to honor the fallen, then with the permission of the surviving family, the best way to honor a fallen American man or woman is to capture their indiviual coffin and procession. Name them. Explain who they were, what they did, why and where they served. That's honoring them.

But most of the media simply doesn't want to get dragged out to individual funeral processions. It's quite a bother. Instead, their objectives are often disconnected from honor and instead focused on journalism critical of war efforts.

Don't take my word for it. Look at the coverage of the Iraq war sans images of draped coffins. How many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines were you introduced to? How many reports of individual stories of sacrifice, courage and honor did you hear? How many of the fallen did you actually get to know as they were dutifully honored by the national media?

Now, contrast that struggle with how many times you have read daily and cumulative U.S. body counts on the morning paper's front page, heard the numbers on the radio on the way to work, or seen the figures displayed on the evening news?

Quite a revealing exercise, no? Well, images of groups of coffins being unloaded from the backs of millitary cargo planes at Dover are the graphic equivalent of the same: body count. Rarely is that image intended to honor. If it were, there would be some honoring within the accompanying text of precisely who rests beneath the Colors, what they did, and how they served.

So those who object to the family permission requirement being applied to media photography of both the Dover arrivals and the individual ceremonies at the resting places of the fallen can, quite frankly, pound sand.

When it comes to protecting and respecting our fallen brothers-in-arms from self-serving media exploiters, we do not operate with "no-income-verification loans." We've followed your history and find you with a record of bankruptcy and unworthy of credit.

Seriously. Pound sand.

Please, media whiners, just shut up already. Show me the money. Show me - and the rest of the American public - where the media "honoring the fallen" has occurred in the past in comparison to incessant body count figures and anonymous, nameless mentions of casualties.

I don't mind disagreeing. We can argue point-counterpoint like adults with differing views.

But I do mind being lied to and will not accept - at all - the false premise that pictures of coffin-laden cargo planes are needed to "honor our fallen heroes." That's such a load of crap it would be laughable if the honor and memory of the fallen were not so closely and passionately guarded by brothers-in-arms.

Indeed, the media's 'military honor fund' (generally speaking, with a few exceptions) has a credit history that reaches back over four decades to Vietnam. It has maintained a consistent history of bankruptcy and default throughout the duration. We are not inclined to reducing the honor of the fallen to junk bond status in exchange for another extension of credit that will immediately go into default.

Go shop crazy some place else. We're all stocked up here.

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