May 18, 2004

It would seem like cheerleading...

Mr Lileks writes:

...The story of the prison abuse might have had a different impact if the media had chosen a different tack. The only news that hits the front page is bad news; the innumerable small fragments of good news don’t make A1 because papers have their standards, you see. We are expected to repair Iraq’s dilapidated electrical grid, so replacing an old generator and turning on the power to a neighborhood that’s had brown-outs for ten years is not news. Two Marines dead in an ambush is news because A) death leads, and B) that “mission accomplished” aircraft carrier photo op needs to be debunked, however subtly, as often as possible. The media has come to believe that reporting more good than bad somehow makes them suspect; it goes contrary to The Mission, which is to find out what’s wrong. I had the idea before Jarvis, but he was first to float it: a rebuilding beat. Every day, a story about what’s being accomplished large and small. I’d also pump for the occasional story of heroism, but I suspect that this would make editors uncomfortable. It might be true but it’s not . . . helpful. It would seem like cheerleading.

And we can’t have that.

This smothering gloom, this suppurating corrosion – this isn’t us. This isn’t who we are. If it is, well, we’re lost, because it contains such potent self-hatred that we’ll shrink from defending ourselves, because what we have built isn’t worth defending. Thanks for the push, al Qaeda! We’ll take it from here...

Cheer up, James. The self-hatred doesn't run as deep as it looks. If a Democrat were by some miracle wafted into the White House, the clouds of gloom would lift like magic. The positive side of things would suddenly be acceptable in the news.

The press is like those mafia guys in The Godfather: "Nothing personal, it's just business." They're Democrats, so it's their business to sabotage our country in time of (Republican) war. It's their business to heap abuse on our troops, to seek and cherish the bad and ignore the good. It's nothing personal that they make America look as bad as possible, and any country that opposes us look as good as possible. Just business.

What really gripes me is that, as a conservative, I don't forget the past. I don't dump it down the memory hole, or re-write it. So I am intensely aware that most of America's wars in the 20th Century were Democrat wars. And I am very aware that in each of those wars, Republicans put aside most of their partisan rancor and loyally supported their country. And we were glad when our soldiers were successful, even though it would help Dems politically. And sad when they were not successful. No Republicans glowed when our forces were defeated at Kasserine or LZ Bitch. No one called for resignations when 749 lives were thrown away at Slapton Sands.

In time of war we were Americans first and Republicans second. And not once in the 20th, (and now 21st) Century was the favor returned.

Posted by John Weidner at May 18, 2004 11:50 AM
Weblog by John Weidner