Friday, May 20, 2005

Not Fade Away

One of my favorite Buddy Holley tunes...but I digress.

I'd like to go one more round on the Newsweek story, and here's why. The MSM, even when it makes up stories, or over blows them, gets traction with this tripe because they don't (unbelievably) lose interest in them. They beat the dead horse, until an exaggeration or falsehood is widely believed...even if later to be proven completely false, they still have advanced their agenda. The power of the Urban Myth.

So, one more critique of Newsweek and its defenders. Let's compare this to Tailhook '91. I am sure most remember the facts...Thousands of drunken officers, groping thousands of women. Thousands court martialed. Thousands resigned. The MSM played this image out for months.

In the end, what really happened. No convictions on the most serious charges. The central character would not testify for the prosecution after the Article 32 hearing because some of her own actions during that weekend put her perilously close to earning her a courts martial as well. No conviction on the most serious charge...the one the media leveraged for a year. The people most hurt were those officers who accepted responsibility (pled guilty) for their actions that fell outside of those generally expected of an officer. Most pled guilty to some variation of Conduct Unbecoming, and many received career ending disciplinary many cases, as it should have been. In some cases, they were the sacrificial lambs to get the media off the case. Nonetheless, they were held accountable for their actions, and the matter was resolved. Key here though...most pled guilty. They recognized that their conduct had fallen below standards, and that there were consequences for their actions...even if it meant getting kicked out of the rod and gun club.

Additionally, the impact of Tailhook was felt well beyond the Naval Services...the Army and AF had to adjust for the actions of the Navy and MC. So not only were the guilty disciplined, but the non-participants were drug into the fray as well. ALL of the services had to tighten their behaviors as a result of Tailhook '91.

What is my point?

First, Newsweek lied. This is egregious. This is not glossed over with a reluctant retraction and a scornful apology. This requires attention to fix, and we should not let this fade away because we now have to deal with Pepsico (which will get its turn).

Two, Newsweek intentionally defamed America to the world, and inflamed anti-American feelings, which resulted in deaths. Again, Newsweek must accept the link, even if they can scrape up the anecdotal evidence that maybe not every person was there rioting against the Koran "violations." Clearly their stale lies were fodder for the enemy. They were scooped up by agitators, and subsequently resulted in deaths. Step up and accept more "proof" is needed.

Three, if the Koran lies were true...the media would be on them like a pit bull on a steak. They would be thrashing the US and the military, and I feel that they deserve the same treatment. They need to be reminded of this until they can fix the systemic problems within their organization.

Lastly, the rest of the media needs to pay attention. Closing ranks here, which is basically denying the truth, is tantamount to the Navy saying..."leave us alone, this is who we are," after Tailhook. That would not have been acceptable, and would have only thrown gas on the fire. So, ALL of the media needs to get the hint...this is not just a Newsweek problem...this is an MSM problem. Fix it. Change your institutions. Change your product. Others have been forced is the time for you to change.


devildog6771 said...

Well said Major Mike. I added my own two cents worth but not quite as elouently as you have.

Subsunk said...


Perfect analogy. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. They must hold themselves to the same standard they hold us.


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