Sunday, October 22, 2006
I rarely lose my temper, but that does not mean I don’t have one. Generally, I am disappointed in certain actions or words I disapprove of by people or organizations, rather than angry. But this time, I am really angry at CNN, because I am taking it personally.
When a CNN executive accused U.S. troops of targeting journalists in Iraq to stop their reporting, I viewed it as anti-military left wing rhetoric, with no basis in truth. I think most Americans who bothered to read this story agreed with me. When CNN showed the U.S. Marine shooting a terrorist pretending to be wounded, while attempting to set off the explosives wired to the booby-trapped body next to him, I knew that any reasonable inquiry would exonerate the soldier; and I was right. As CNN showed the embarrassing pictures of the detainees at Abu Ghraib over and over, I ascribed it to their agenda to discredit American forces, in much the same manner as Illinois Senator Dick Durban when he compared our soldiers to Nazis and the Khmer Rouge of Pol Pot. Again, they were just pushing their well documented agendas, with little regard for its repercussions. But this time, they have crossed a line that no news agency in the United States should cross. They have become a news service advocating for the enemies of our Nation.
I am referring, of course, to their decision to broadcast the sniper “Snuff Film” provided by a terrorist organization in Iraq. CNN defends this with the absurd argument that they were reporting the “unvarnished truth”. The truth is that they have played, on international television, the worst form of pornography, the “Snuff Film”. That they have done so to advance the cause of the Islamic terrorists is not an opinion that I have arrived at lightly, but the evidence is beyond circumstantial. When taken in context, it is obvious to me that they are rooting for the other team. While CNN would certainly refute this, I think the facts speak for themselves.
Beginning with the attacks on the United States on September 11th, CNN has scrubbed much of their coverage. As with other main stream media, they have abstained from showing all of the video and pictures from that day. Never has the viewing public seen the pictures of those victims who leapt to their deaths from the World Trade Center, rather than suffer the pain of being burnt to death. Most Americans have never seen the tape and pictures of scores of bodies lying on the sidewalks and streets of New York, before the collapse of the twin towers. The sounds of bodies hitting the pavement have never been heard on CNN, out of their “sensitivity”. CNN has also shielded us from the graphic videos of helpless prisoners being shot or beheaded by terrorists. While most Americans are aware that these incidents have occurred, they are not aware that hundreds of bound innocents have been murdered in this manner, and that the practice continues to this day. The terrorists not only take pride in these murders, they provide the videos to news services on a regular basis. But the American media, including CNN, has decided not to show them, as they are “disturbing”. The murder by beheading of three Christian schoolgirls by Islamists in Indonesia was not even reported by most media; let alone the broadcast of the pictures of these young girls with their heads resting on their chests. Not one American news service has ever shown the cartoons of Muhammad that sparked world wide Muslim rage, including the deaths of scores of people, out of “respect” for Islam. But they are perfectly willing to show an entertainer like Madonna showing her disdain for Christianity by turning the crucifixion of Jesus into a vaguely obscene musical skit.
What CNN and most of the mainstream media have actually done is to do their best to hide the true nature of the enemies of the United States. While claiming that certain images are too graphic for us to see, the effect is to hide the barbarity of those against whom we struggle. Some of these decisions are due to cowardice. The media is simply afraid that taking a truly unbiased journalistic stance will put them at risk of becoming a target for Muslim rage, which often turns deadly. Certainly CNN has admitted they deliberately omitted reporting on the atrocities of Saddam Hussein, although they were well aware of the horrendous acts committed by his regime; because their access to him might be restricted, and their personnel placed at risk. And yet, they appear to have a direct pipeline to the terrorists, and are on the priority mailing list of these murderers.
The airing of the sniper footage by CNN has, in my opinion, placed them at a new low. The intent of the terrorists in filming the sniper attacks is to show that they can kill Americans at will, without repercussion. The recent upsurge in attacks aimed at Americans in Iraq is a blatant attempt by the terrorists to influence the upcoming elections. The timing of this film is an obvious propaganda ploy, meant to augment the reporting of increased American casualties, and discourage Americans from supporting the efforts in Iraq. CNN has become the willing tool of the Jihadi propaganda strategists. Yet, the actions by CNN go even beyond this. And this is where it becomes personal.
CNN claims it was unable to identify the American soldiers shot in cold blood for our viewing pleasure. This is beyond oversight. It is a blatant falsehood. The U.S. military keeps very detailed records detailing the circumstances surrounding every American casualty. Eyewitness accounts, wound examination, situation reports and after action reports are all on file, and can be used by the appropriate authorities to identify each of the soldiers shot on the video. What I find reprehensible is that there are families here who may have seen their loved ones shot down on television. Families receive a fairly detailed account through official sources of the circumstances surrounding each casualty. The soldier’s commanding officer will usually send a personal letter to the family, often providing additional detail. Finally, the comrades of the fallen soldier will often write to the family, with even more detailed information. The bottom line is that a little investigative journalism on the part of CNN would enable CNN to identify the soldiers who were cut down. That they did not make this effort allows them to avoid the confrontation with the families of these men, and the subsequent criticism CNN would receive if they showed the deaths of Americans who have an identity. Anonymity serves their purpose, but exposes the families to the pain and horror of watching their son, brother or father die in prime time.
Why is this personal? My youngest son is in the military, as is a nephew. I also have a number of friends and former Scouts in harms way, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. I take this action by CNN in a very personal way, as it could be a family member or friend who appears on the next episode of Prime Time Snuff. I do not want to have a public viewing of the last moments of someone I know so that CNN can achieve an “exclusive report” in their ratings race, while advancing the image of how effective a terrorist sniper can be.
CNN claims to have a mission and vision statement, and adheres to a standards and ethics code. May I also suggest that they also have a motto, borrowed from a movie. The motto, aimed at we viewers, is “The Truth? You can’t handle the Truth!” CNN is living up to that motto.