Friday, November 2, 2007

An old email discussion

Found this today while cleaning out an overstuffed Inbox. Thought it was worth sharing...

Sent to me almost a year ago...
MHoskins,
What noble cause does our press pursue now? My answer is the aiding and abetting of the suicide of the West and all it stands for. As a Marine officer, I've never trusted the press and never will. I counsel my Marines to do the same; especially when in Iraq. I will not dispute anything you say; it's all from your perspective after all. What your organizations report on are fact-based events but if your always looking for the elephants hind end then you'll have no trouble finding it; though we all know there's a lot more to the elephant than just the hind end.Now from where I stand, every experience I've had with media has been negative towards what I and my Marines are trying to accomplish. You may call it news and reporting; I call the end-product what it is: information operations or even propaganda at times.It is a sad state of affairs that our nation has come to the point that we tolerate the behavior of our press as it is when, once upon a time, we treated as traitors and enemies such individuals and agencies who were perceived to work counter to national goals in wartime. I ask: Has our press been worthy of the 1st Amendment?

My response...
OUR noble press pursues checks and balances - making sure that what our elected leaders say and do is accurate and doesn't put our heroic military in harm's way - whether those frontliners care or not.
A distinction: "media" has too much negativity and, in my opinion, wrongly lumps newspapers in with ratings-hungry TV crews that are only looking for a soundbite. I believe newspapers - at the ground level of working reporters and editors and not the corporate entities that have gobbled many up - are seperate, noble, worthy, and necessary.
I'm a reporter in Indiana, born and raised in St. Clair Shores and reported at a few places in Michigan before moving here. I've made my share of mistakes, gotten names or details wrong, inaccurately quoted some people, and so on. But never is it with malice, or intentional. Most in the field can say this. Whether the corporate newspaper moneymakers care, can't say.
I have nothing but respect for the military and everyone serving us in elected office and public safety. But I'm naturally skeptical, and just because you're wearing that uniform, or sitting in an elected position as president, mayor, councilman, or homeowners association leader, doesn't mean I'll agree or trust everything you say without seeing some evidence of what you're saying is true. Question everything.
That is the difference in the military world (as I understand it from a civilian viewpoint). Don't question your leaders or orders. Do as you're told. Two different worlds. Both are important and necessary, and both need checks.
When it comes down to it, a bad military can do more harm than a bad press. Denying people info about what could ultimately save their lives is, well, an easy choice. WE ALL need checks and balances. "Your mom says she loves you? Prove it."

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Mike,

I totally agree with your sentiments. It seems to me that there is a large portion of the population that wants the government to tell them what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. They want someone else to live their life for them. The media serves a vital purpose, and though the government would have you believe the media is "against us" - they're not. They're sometimes the only ones that are FOR what America stands for. I applaud you all.