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April 19, 2003
MODERN MEDIA MARCHES OFF TO WAR (PART III)By Greyhawk
Cox and Forkum are now on my blogrole. And they feature a blog called "Report No Evil" that expounds on the ever expanding CNN-Iraq fiasco. It looks like something I thought was true is true. Eason Jordan's tear jerking little"tell-all" piece in the NY Times was a pre-emptive strike. CNN's bad behavior regarding Saddam was known by others and denied by Eason Jordan some time ago. Of course, CNN is at long last free to explain their motives were completely altruistic. But the bottom line is simply that it looks more and more like CNN has been little more then Saddam Hussein's personal news service for some time now. But apparently they are done being the mouthpiece for any Government and taking a noble stand for journalistic integrity by refusing to have their programming broadcast into Iraq.
The Bush administration took over Iraqi state television yesterday, replacing tributes to Saddam Hussein with conciliatory greetings from President Bush, the Pentagon and British Prime Minister Tony Blair...
...Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of the Westwood One radio network and a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, said the new channel's mission will be to give Iraqis "an example of what a free press in the American tradition actually is."
CNN declined to have its newscasts included. "As an independent, global news organization, we did not think it was appropriate to participate in a U.S. government transmission," spokeswoman Christa Robinson said...
Well, it's certainly good to see CNN finally come to their senses!
Two things strike me about this situation.
The first: If I had a dollar for every time over the past couple months I've heard CNN refered to as "a US/right-wing biased source of news" by some clueless lefty in the blogosphere I could retire and Blog full time, and the world would rejoice. Seriously though, CNN can't win, no matter how un-American they try to be, they get this inexplicably bizarre response from the left that insists they (and all American media) are mindless pro-Bush pro-war brainwashers of the moronic American public. The irony of this situation kills me. However, the lefty grapevine must be buzzing "Hey we look stupid bashing CNN as 'right-wing' because anyone with eyes and a peanut brain knows otherwise" because I'm starting to see the reference shift to Fox. Whatever. CNN may be doomed to irrelevance as nothing but a useful "generic" term for American news, which is, I suspect, how those uninformed lefties were using them anyway. Uninformed insofar as we're talking about people who a) can not, or b) would not watch CNN in a million years and c) would not admit it if they had. Bottom line: CNN bashing is officially cool on both sides of the aisle. And the aiding and abetting Iraq thing just isn't helping. Only the hard-core lefties ever really loved Saddam, and like the Nazis post WWII they can't even admit it now, so CNN may be on their own.
The second point: Bloggers are lighting up the web with this one. Cox and Forkum compiled multiple links from several other Blogger sites and added commentary. I am commenting further as it fits my running theme here lately. I'm saved a lot of effort by referencing back to their Blogs. Thus much of my work is done for me. Others are commenting. Blogs are re-posted. Word gets around. And this whole Blogging thing is in it's infancy. So think about this: whereas the media (talk radio excepted) in taking care of it's own will not excoriate CNN to the degree they deserve, the blogosphere will. Does this matter? Not as much now as it will in the future as this medium grows. (How much did Talk Radio matter a few years ago?) Which of course returns nicely to my fundamental theory: "The liberal view in the liberal vs. conservative debate can not survive the immediate 'printed' media that is today's web."
The first Gulf War brought CNN to unprecedented prominence. The second may help hasten their decline. (Quagmire, anyone?)
For your further enjoyment:
The New Republic Online, 16 Oct 02:
NPR "On the Media," 25 Oct 02
NY Times, 11 Apr 03 " The News We Kept To Ourselves" Eason Jordan: "Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard -- awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff."
"Corruption at CNN" - The Washington Times, 15 Apr 03 (A must-read, and hey, it's free!)
And once again, from the Washington Post, 11 Apr 03
Posted by Greyhawk / April 19, 2003 3:36 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
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Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com