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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Crossing the line

There are no words to describe the feelings that I feel right now. No words. Rage is an understatement. Grief is an understatement. Sympathy, empathy, are not enough for how I feel for the family of U.S. Army SSGT Hector Leija, both for their loss and for the blatent lack of disrespect shown to them by the New York Times in their article entitled ‘Man Down’: When One Bullet Alters Everything.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin and Chuck for this one.

I was absolutely numb after seeing this article and video; numb partly because of reasons that I won’t go into, but mostly because one of our own had fallen, and it was treated as a story. Just part of the reporting. An incident for the news. Just the facts, ma’am. The reporter showed absolutely no emotion whatsoever, other than to make the point that from his point of view, the street and building sweeping operations of the unit he was embedded with were useless.

Let’s go to Webster’s again, shall we?

Embed \Em*bed"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Embedded}; p. pr. & vb. n.
{Embedding}.] [Pref. em- + bed. Cf. {Imbed}.]
To lay as in a bed; to lay in surrounding matter; to bed; as,
to embed a thing in clay, mortar, or sand.

Isn’t that how we describe a tick when it attaches? “It’s head is embedded, we need to remove it carefully.” Chiggers embed under one’s skin. Mites embed. Reporters embed…am I seeing a trend here? Ticks, chiggers, mites, aren’t these all parasitical creatures? What does that make an embedded reporter? I think I’m on to something, here.

To be fair, because Lord knows I do try to be fair in my path of following the codes of Chivalry that I hold so dearly, I’m sure that there are reporters out there embedded with our troops who DO hold them in respect and have built relationship of trust and friendship with them. I can’t think of who that might be off the top of my head, other than Michelle Malkin and Bryon Preston, but I’m sure that SOMEWHERE that is the case. But wait, aren’t they, gasp, BLOGGERS? And don’t BLOGGERS try to report things FAIRLY and with some COMMON SENSE? Well, some of us, anyway.

That being said.

(And for those of you who know me, you know that when I say “that being said” that I’m about to go off.)

Where in the HELL does the New York Times get off on using the death of a United States soldier for shock value and reporting? Where is the “moral conscious” of the media in releasing the graphic scenes surrounding the death of one of our warriors BEFORE HIS FAMILY IS NOTIFIED?

“Pardon me, Mrs. Smith, I’m Chaplain Baker and I, um, oh, I see you’re reading the New York Times. Well, all I can say, ma’am, is that we’re sorry that we were unable to inform you through the proper chains established to provide comfort to the families of our boys when they make the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom…”

From the CEO down the reporter writing the story they should every one who came in contact with that be FIRED. Any one who KNEW that that story was being released before the family was notified should be taken out and beaten. Hard.

I’ll be more than HAPPY to help.

But his mother gets to lay the first strike.

During World War II the press corps was told what they could report BY the military.


Freedom of information?

Do we REALLY NEED to see the events surrounding the deaths of our soldiers?


Once upon a time there was a thing called journalistic integrity. It’s gone, obviously. This is just the latest in a string of things by the LEFT WING MEDIA that flies in the face of the American people and the American military. There is no longer any honor in being a reporter, evidently. Honor is a word that might as well be Greek to today’s press and media.

I take that back. I do recant that raving moment there. Honor is not dead in the South, and again, this brings back to mind the North versus South mindset, bringing it CLEARLY AND SHARPLY in focus. In my mind, there isn’t much that can show that there is a difference between North and South than this from the Houston Chronicle:

14 rules govern journalists

The media and the Pentagon have sparred about the issue of the portrayal of Americans killed in Iraq — or even caskets containing remains — since the beginning of the war.

Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington, said the incident was typical of the dilemmas that face news organizations in war.

"The fact that a photograph upset people, even family members, is not always sufficient reason not to run it," Rosenstiel said. "Editors may decide that there is a compelling public interest in running a photograph precisely because it does upset an audience."

The agreement that journalists are asked to sign as a condition of embedding has 14 rules. Rule 11 covers military casualties: "Names, video, identifiable written/oral description or identifiable photographs of wounded service members will not be released without service member's prior written consent."

The ground rule goes on to say, "In respect for family members, names or images clearly identifying individuals 'killed in action' will not be released." The rule says names of soldiers killed can be released a day after family notification, but it does not address photographs or video images.

Chira said as far as she knew, the journalists had signed the forms. But she also said: "This issue has never been raised before when the New York Times has shown photographs of wounded soldiers."

The Times said it planned to discuss the issue today with Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Force Iraq.

Chira also said she had been told by the reporter in Baghdad that he had reached out to two people with Texas connections to act as intermediaries to alert the family that a video was going to be posted. They were Kathy Travis, a press aide to Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, and Principal Gilbert Galvan of Raymondville High School.

Travis had a different account.

"Whoa, that isn't what happened," she said Tuesday night in a telephone interview. "The reporter called me late Monday afternoon and said he understood that the family was upset and that he wanted us to know that he had the utmost respect for the soldier and wanted us to let the family know that."

Galvan said a New York Times reporter called Monday, saying he could not reach Leija's relatives and asking Galvan to notify the family of the story and the impending release of the video.

Galvan said he went to the Leijas' house and relayed the message. "They looked upset," he said.

Leija's death saddened many in the close-knit agricultural community 45 miles north of the Texas-Mexico border, where he was an honor student and a member of the football team.

The flag was at half-staff at City Hall and was also lowered at the American Legion Post.

God bless Texas.

I didn’t create this North and South thing, it’s been there for over two centuries. Kudo’s to the Houston Chronicle for treating the Leija with proper respect and honor.

To the New York Times: TAKE DOWN THAT GOD DAMNED VIDEO. You’ve done enough damage without continuing to insult these fine people, who I’m sure simply wish to mourn their fallen at this point.

I want to join in with Chuck at From My Position…On the Way in asking an attorney somewhere, to take on this case on behalf of the Leija family and sue the New York Times into bankruptcy.

If they’re going to cross the line and be irresponsible, I don’t give a damn HOW long they’ve been publishing, they need to be shut

the fuck


We don’t need this bullshit.

Once and always, an American Fighting Man

Open Trackback Weekend at Wake up America.

Trackposted to Right Pundits, Outside the Beltway, A Blog For All, Maggie's Notebook, Right Truth, Big Dog's Weblog, basil's blog, Shadowscope, Stuck On Stupid, Cao's Blog, Adam's Blog, Conservative Thoughts, Pursuing Holiness, Faultline USA, stikNstein... has no mercy, The Uncooperative Blogger ®, The Right Nation, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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