January 28, 2003
Who Watches the Watchmen?

Two no-prizes in one day! Jeff brings us this unintentionally amusing whinefest from the press about how reporters are "wary of pentagon promises" for better access in future conflicts. Some choice comments:

"We got essentially zip, nothing of any value, during [the Afghanistan campaign]," CNN's Christiane Amanpour said.

"It just isn't fair... the press conferences the general gives us don't say anything interesting, the soldiers aren't allowing us to hitch rides on their jeeps, and the coffee is cold!"

Gee, last time I checked it was called "reporting" and "journalism", implying you actually have to get off your ass and nose around. Since when is the military obliged to cart your overpaid careerist machiavellian kiester anywhere? This isn't the President, they're not required to give you free rides like you get on Air Force One.

Amanpour ... said the military needs to balance its security concerns with "what we the press need to meet our responsibilities."

No you dumb twit, the military needs to balance its security concerns with what it takes to win. Your function is literally parasitic to them. Again, get off your asses and take a risk or two. Get dirty, walk around, talk to people. Especially disappointing coming from Amanpour, who has risked her fanny more than once to get a story, and should know better.

Tom Rosenstiel, a professor who directs the Project for Excellence in Journalism at Columbia University, said journalists understand that in war they must decide whether the information they gather might hinder the military.

Ah. Now academia opens its bowls to voice a typical opinion. Last I checked, sparky, it's the MILITARY'S job to decide what information might help or hinder their operations. Remember, they're here to win, not provide you with career opportunities. You see, if you or one of your pressmonkey colleagues make the wrong decision and hamper, say, a politician's secret plans to get some legislation passed, you will hinder that legislation. With most politicians, this is usually a good thing. If you or one of your pressmonkey colleagues make the wrong decision and hamper a battle, people fucking die.

Ah, but since it's not going to be one of your sons or daughters that's OK with you right? I mean, what's a few dumb grunts between friends? Most of these kids've never even been to college. You've got tenure to worry about!

"We can hear things and learn things that we must hold close to ourselves," added Kevin Klose, chief executive of National Public Radio.

No dumbass. If you hear something sensitive enough that it can effect an operation someone screwed up. The military cannot rely on the discretion of untrained civilians to maintain the security of its operations. You might be trustworthy and wise enough to know that reporting a bunch of tanks disappearing in the night might tip off a surprise attack, but do you really think all your colleagues are? Even the young punks who're looking to make a name for themselves? Are you willing to risk your daughter's life on that bet, you elitist freak?

"[The Pentagon] are saying the right things," [CNN news chief executive] Jordan said by video link from Atlanta. "Whether they do the right things remains to be seen."

So, lemme get this straight. In order for you to "trust" the military they must:

  • Give you free access to pre-attack, attack, and post-attack intelligence and planning, and rely on "your judgment" as to what is sensitive and what is not.
  • Provide transportation, lodging to you and your crew to allow you to go wherever, whenever you like, and allow you to talk to whomever you like. Oh, and enough protection to ensure you and your non-combat-trained crew don't have their names etched on a piece of glass.
  • Let you be the final arbiter of what constitutes a successful engagement, battle, or war.

Sound about right sparky? Pardon me, I need to go vomit somewhere.

There has never been a war in history that has been won by the press, but there are several that have been lost by them. The military has a job to do, and it involves killing people and blowing things up and getting killed and getting blown up and when you get yourself in the middle of it all you're just getting in the fucking way.

The military's job is to win wars any way they can. There are no rules, in fact the best skirmishes, battles, and wars are usually won by being the sneakiest, cleverest, meanest bastard on the field. Even you people know at least one colleague that's just a talking head, a pretty face who happened to blow the right producer (and they're not all women) to get their job instead of clawing to the top like you guys.

These are the people the military is protecting itself from, and I'm sorry to say I'd rather the military keep busy trying to win the freaking war than figure out which press monkey is a "good guy" and which is just a lizard looking to get noticed by Peter Jennings.

Should the press be out there? Damned straight they should be out there. If it weren't for the press we'd probably still be in Vietnam counting bodies as success on the battlefield. If a press monkey can find out about excess, abuse, incompetence, and neglect in our armed forces then I damned sure want to know about it.

But it's not the military's job to help.

Posted by scott at January 28, 2003 02:14 PM

eMail this entry!

Before the Watergate scandal the press was much more responsible in their reporting. Since that time they have considered it their God give right to be furnished every piece of information about everything and everybody. I swear I will never turn on CNN again! I am so totally sick and tired of their constant and repeated yammerings, where do they get their "Experts" ?

Don't hold anything back Scott, tell us how you really feel.

Posted by: Pat on January 28, 2003 07:19 PM

Why do you think I have "no comment" tatooed to my brain for any news asshole that has the balls to confront me with harassing questions.

Oh, I wouldn't "go vomit somewhere", I'd put someones name on a "list" that gets passed to specific people that have a certain amount of pull in certain circles. (let's put it this way, that reporter won't be at a White House brief, may find himself/herself assigned to Siberia).

Oh, I know! Even better! Lets put the damn reporters on the front lines with their microphones to ask questions of the enemy and then we'll watch CNN for all our intelligence.

See you got me started now. I rank most reporters with politicians and lawyers (good fish food).

Posted by: Cindy on January 28, 2003 11:43 PM

Don't you hold back either Cindy! LOL

Posted by: Pat on January 29, 2003 12:02 AM

Maybe the military can meet the reporters half way and supply them with warm coffee. LOL

Posted by: Bogie on January 29, 2003 06:38 AM

I don't hold back for assholes!
I only wish we could put those time-wasting, story-searching, lets give the country away to get myself ahead humans (term used because I didn't want to type the other one for fear of being asked to calm down again) to good use for the sake of The People of The United States of America.
Hey Bogie, lets lace that 'warm coffee' with something to make them work for the good of The People and I'm with ya.

Posted by: Cindy on January 29, 2003 11:14 PM
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