If you don’t read Donald Sensing’s One Hand Clapping, you should. That being said, here are a few of his posts from the last couple of days:
The Battle of Midway and the media
I linked to the post about Torpedo 8 that he mentions prominently again this year. He also brings up the question of how would today’s media have covered the battle and links to the 2005 Pulitzer-winning photos as an example of what gets accolades today. Those pics are not exactly the way to win hearts and minds, in my humble opinion, and I’ve asked the same question about today’s media and yesterday’s battles before.
Abusing the Quran – a contrarian view
Rev. Sensing points out that abusing the Koran is not the same thing to Muslims that abusing the Bible is to Christians, and I can buy that. But it doesn’t change my position on the “patriotism” or lack thereof in Newsweek’s decision to run the story. If anything, an understanding that abusing the Koran is a Seriously Big Deal makes the decision to run the story even LESS patriotic.
It’s easy to accuse Newsweek and other media of wanting to embarrass the president, whom they generally despise. It may even be true. But at least as much if not more is the media’s fascination with the sensational. A detainee urinating on his own Quran is not sensational; a guard doing the same is very sensational. Sensational stories get attention, especially if they can be wrapped in the somber mantle of sober, “objective” reporting. Don’t think for a moment that Newsweek’s managers didn’t love being at the center of controversy; as Mae West said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” and “It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.” (And a sensational story that embarrasses the administration is the best there is.)
This echoes my earlier thoughts that running a story that damages a Texas Republican president is a triple word score scenario. Not to be passed up.
But I have repetitively pointed out that the media need to be biased and the only question is which bias shall they adopt.
And this is my point about Newsweek’s decision to run the Koran story. They practice self-censorship all the time. Every story they ever run contains self-censorship. By examining what they self-censor and what they don’t we can get a pretty good grasp of where they stand on an issue.
And I will repeat for the nth time that I’m not calling for censorship by the government or the military. I’m not even really calling for Newsweek to practice self-censorship. I’m simply calling them “unpatriotic” for not self-censoring things that are all but guaranteed to cost American troops their lives. Just don’t cry when I point it out.
And read Rev. Sensing daily.