Thursday, February 17, 2005

Gee whiz, the military is not a bunch of "bloodthirsty maniacs." 
Who woulda thunk it?

The panel member who, one would have thought, would have the most to say about the subject of a "reporter as citizen" was Mary Beth Sheridan. But, she explained, she hadn't realized she would have to make a speech at the breakfast, and that her remarks about her experiences in Iraq would be just "free-flowing" — and, indeed, they were.

First of all, she said she was "overwhelmed by the military," but she did learn by being embedded that members of our armed forces were not "blood-thirsty maniacs." Yes, she really did say that.

In fact, she said, they were "really decent people." And even "sweet." Of course, after being shot at they were eager to shoot back — a military attitude that seemed to surprise her.

She also reported that when she asked soldiers why were they in Iraq, every single one told her, "to help the Iraqi people." Again she was surprised that the military could create such a unity of purpose even though, she said, she didn't see any "brainwashing" going on. She also noted that many soldiers had no opinion about the war. They had gone where they were ordered to go, like all good soldiers. Such an attitude seemed to dazzle her as well.

She didn't have anything much to say about "reporters as citizens," but clearly she appeared to be one citizen who had very little familiarity with, or understanding of, or even quite possibly respect for the military before her tour of duty. In a way, it is kind of sad that only after some first-hand experience did she learn what most American citizens believe: that American soldiers are "decent people." And that it is those soldiers, not our journalists, after all, who protect our freedom of the press.

That's from Myrna Blyth, a former editor of Ladies Home Journal and founding editor of More. She also published an interesting insider's account of the kneejerk liberalism, shallowness, and condescending attitude rampant in the magazine industry called "Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness - and Liberalism - to the Women of America."

The way the mainstream media's been foaming at the mouth trying to crush dissent lately, I'm surprised noone took the opportunity to shove a pencil in her neck.

Splash, out


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