Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Woodruff Incident: Soldiers React To Press Coverage (Updated)

''d think we lost the entire 1st Marine Division or something.'

US troops in Iraq are reacting to a phenomenon I first mentioned here, as displayed by CNN's Christiane Amanpour in her unprofessional and shameful appearance on Larry King Live Monday:
So when something happens to people that we identify, like Bob and like Doug, we wake up again and realize, no, this is not acceptable, what's going on there.
It's not surprising that Amanpour can't identify with "ordinary" people. Journalism is not, by any stretch of the imagination, rocket science, and the standards of television place many dense and self-absorbed newsreaders, like Amanpour, in front of the public as "authorities". This idea that journalists, who follow undemanding courses of study to attain their positions (I studied journalism in college - absolute cake courses) are somehow an elite group of intellectuals is at the root of all problems with news reporting today.

Not being dense and self-absorbed; in fact, being pretty much the opposite, American servicepeople were quick to pick up on this.

A few quotes from the troops via United Press International:
"Why do you think this is such a huge story?" wrote an officer stationed in Baqubah, Iraq, Monday via e-mail. "It's a bit stunning to us over here how absolutely dominant the story is on every network and front page. I mean, you'd think we lost the entire 1st Marine Division or something.

"There's a lot of grumbling from guys at all ranks about it. That's a really impolite and impolitic thing to say ... but it's what you would hear over here."

"The point that is currently being made (is that) that press folks are more important than mere military folks," a senior military officer told UPI Tuesday.

"It's just a bit frustrating to see something so dramatized that happens every day to some 20-year-old American -- or worse to 10, 30-year-old Iraqi soldiers or cops alongside us. Some of the stories don't even mention the Iraqi casualties in this attack, as if they're meaningless," wrote the officer in Baqubah.
Via The Drudge Report.

Update: Others covering this story:

Prairie Pundit also notes the disproportionate coverage given Woodruff.

Austin Bay Blog zeroes in on a line from the UPI story: "...very few reporters have served."

Code Red: Women For The Troops - also at The Filthy One

The News & Observer's Public Editor says Woodruff's celebrity is responsible.

Also posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.