Monday, June 05, 2006

Media ignore good news from Iraq

Recently, I spoke with a young Army Special Forces soldier just home from his second (voluntary) tour in Iraq. He said that there was an embedded journalist with them during his second tour and asked me to not identify the newspaper but I will say that it is a large one and a familiar name. During his tour their unit:

Rebuilt a school and soccer field and gave the children clothing and school supplies. No pictures. No report.

Helped improve and expand a women's hospital. No pictures. No report.
Didn't respond when gunmen shot at them, taunted them and dared them to shoot back. The gunmen were in a school occupied by screaming children. No pictures. No report.

Captured a gunman who had just wounded one of the soldiers. During interrogation, the gunman spit in the interrogator's face and was slapped in response. The reporter snapped a picture of the incident and said he was writing a story.

When asked why there wasn't a report on the helpful things, he responded that Americans "don't want good news and are bored by it." He was tasked by his superiors to look for sensationalist things and to pay particular attention to acts by our soldiers.

The young soldier said that the troops are very wary of the embedded reporters and go out of their way to stay "on their good side," for obvious reasons.

The unit Commanding Officer told the journalist he was no longer welcome if all he would report were only bad things. The journalist angrily declared that he would destroy the unit in his next report to which the C.O. responded that he already had by his one and only story.

Media ignore good news from Iraq
- Coshocton, OH

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