Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Reporter dismissed from staff 
The LA Times has dismissed Eric Slater for factual errors and bad reporting.

The blogosphere should keep a check on triumphalism, here. This guy was no Dan Rather, and he was no Jayson Blair, either. I suppose the Times had no choice. But I've made errors in print, too, and they still bother me, even years later.

Write a thousand stories, and you'll write a bad one somewhere along the line.

Meanwhile, the New York Times still has a reporter in Iraq who doesn't know the difference between a mortar and a mortar shell, and who doesn't know the difference between a soldier and a marine.

That's my bigger beef with the media. Errors can be corrected in a blurb. Biases, errors in perspective, and a lack of fundamental military knowledge to understand and contextualize what the 5W's are telling them can't be.

If I point out an error, say, that the New York Times doesn't know what a Medal of Honor is, it's not that the error itself bugs me (well, that one did), it's that the error is symptomatic of a larger problem, rooted in the demographics from which news organizations recruit journalists, particularly in the New York area.

If the news organizations are not equipped, intellectually, to report on military affairs, then the electorate is being ill served. The decisionmaking apparatus of the republic therefore rests on an unsound footing. And ultimately, it is servicemen and women who pay the price.

Splash, out


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Semper Fi!

Bill Adams
Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.
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