Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Riddle me this, national media... 
UPDATE II: As another blog commenter points out, ALL of the press coverage on Dawn Halfaker happened after she was wounded, and features her not as a warrior, but as a victim and amputee. (I hadn't gone back and read the news stories Dave McLemore pointed out). The larger point stands. Withdrawal of post withdrawn.

UPDATE: Turns out Halfaker did get some coverage prior to being wounded, as Dave McLemore points out in the comments section. Post withdrawn. Well, except for the "tough, tough warrior" part. --JVS

1LT Dawn Halfaker, a West Point graduate, and a tough, tough warrior, won a bronze star last year for leading her platoon in a six hour battle in the defense of a police station in the Diyala Province of Iraq.

So how come she has to have two of her limbs blown off before she gets one word of coverage in the press?

That's right...Not one word before today.

Splash, out


Via Cori Dauber.

What are you talking about Jason?

There was a widely picked up story on Halfaker (she's a captain now, BTW) by USA Today on April 28, 2005.

She was featured in a CBS News report in April 2005.

And she was on Hardball with Chris Matthews in the fall of 2005.

There were other reports as well.

Try a little fact checking next time.
Earliest mention of her I can find:

Insurgents Surrender To Iraqi Police At Imam Ali Shrine
20 August 2004
CNN: American Morning


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Army First Lieutenant Dawn Halfaker more than keeps up as she works out alongside other amputees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She lost her right arm in Iraq after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

1st LT. DAWN HALFAKER, U.S. ARMY: It came kind of from the back and through. And it took a big chunk out of here. And then it came through this way and took off basically the top part of my arm.

STARR: She woke up days later at Walter Reed.

HALFAKER: I was screaming, you know, don't cut my arm off and things of that nature. So my dad calmed me down. And told me, you know, you've already lost your arm. So it was a lot to take in from just waking up.

STARR: A West Point graduate where she starred on the basketball team, Halfaker, 25 years old, is one of only three female amputees from the war, a woman in combat now facing intensely personal challenges.

HALFAKER: The hair has been a big issue. I feel, as a female, you might relate. I can't do my own hair as of yet, which is very, very difficult. You know, you want to look nice, and it's hard.

But then moving down, you know, obviously the bra. You know, it's hard to put on a bra with one hand. So, you know, guys aren't faced with that.

You know, putting on makeup, I was trying to do this eye, and I'm trying to put on mascara, so that was a little bit tough.

STARR: Still, Halfaker thought the Army would be her life.

HALFAKER: You know, I had all these plans. All of a sudden your life is just turned upside down.

STARR: Now moving on, but not forgetting.

HALFAKER: There's no way you can go through this alone. You need people to be able to talk to, to vent, you know, to ask why.

STARR: Barbara Starr, CNN, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


COLLINS: First Lieutenant Dawn Halfaker, a portrait in courage this AMERICAN MORNING.

See also:

Chris Matthews Hardball interview, 16 Dec 04

A Soldier's Battle Back; Eight months after losing his right arm in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Norberto Lara takes hold of his new life.
27 February 2005
The Fresno Bee

Two Women Bound by Sports, War and Injuries
10 April 2005
The New York Times

Iraq forces America to accept women dying on the battlefield: Joanna Walters reports from New York on a critical change in the role of female troops
Joanna Walters
1 May 2005
The Observer

Women on the front lines?
17 May 2005
The Washington Times

Taps Plays for a Hospital That Tended All Ranks
26 August 2005
The New York Times

Football funds aid disabled troops, families [Corrected 11/30/05]
Booyeon Lee
27 November 2005
The San Diego Union-Tribune

Run To Daylight
S.L. Price
12 December 2005
Sports Illustrated

Everybody Wins in Military Buddy Bowl; The Camp Pendleton football tournament assists families of those killed or wounded.
Tony Perry
Times Staff Writer
27 November 2005
Los Angeles Times

Following Up on Six Soldiers: Happiness, Acceptance, Pride and Loss
29 December 2005
The New York Times

Sorry, Jason... she's had many thousands of words of coverage in the press. =)

I wonder why Google News didn't pick them up?
Type 'failure' into Google and press "I'm feeling lucky" and you will see why their news section might not pick up what you are looking for.

Jason, I don't know why you're withdrawing your post. You just need to remove the part that says "Not one word before today."

All of this coverage that others have posted has been since she had "two of her limbs blown off". None of it predated that event. Nobody wanted to talk about her when she was merely a 1LT MP earning a BSM for valor for defending the police station. They all decided to cover her after she became a 'victim of Bush's war'.
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