Other Campuses: Irresponsible journalism

(U-WIRE) LONG BEACH, Calif. – War is hell, but as conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage might put it, “the enemy within” makes that hell no better.

It seems that, all too often, parts of the media are unfairly undermining current military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, acting as a metaphorical enemy within our own American stronghold.

Last week The Associated Press reported that a study for the Pentagon said the U.S. Army is overextended due to two simultaneous fronts and will probably not be able to retain and recruit enough new soldiers for the ongoing military efforts.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld disputed the AP report, stating, “The force is not broken … The world saw the United States military go halfway around the world in a matter of weeks, throw the al-Qaida and Taliban out of Afghanistan … They saw what the United States military did in Iraq … the message from that is not that this armed force is broken, but that this armed force is enormously capable.”

The Bush administration is right on this one – for once. Never-mind the reasons for going to war, which in retrospect seem elusive and wrong.

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The goal, now that our men and women are over in the desert, is to win. Both the American public and American media should concentrate on that instead of giving half-hearted support with such statements like, “We support the troops but not the war.”

Such statements are a boot to the face for the honorable men and women who have become part of this Middle Eastern cause.

Too often are media figures like filmmaker Michael Moore victimizing a fighting force that is completely voluntary. Instead, such people use scare tactics and panicky buzzwords to unfairly evoke fear in the populace, which in reality is no different than government propaganda, just with an alternate message.

How do the soldiers feel when they hear negative reports from journalists who, unlike them, probably do not have the courage to serve selflessly? How do the soldiers react when good news from the front (yes, it does happen) is not reported by stations like CBS, CNN or NBC?

The super arrogant administration rightfully can defend its stance just this once. There is progress in the war, one step at a time. Things do go wrong in war and even America’s most famous victories, like World War II’s Normandy invasion, had their low points. Reporting constantly about bad news, even in the fast technology age today, does more harm than good.

The people have a right to know what’s going on over there, especially military families with loved ones abroad. American military forces deserve our respect. Too many factions of media are not giving them such respect. They are more concerned with discovering and publishing confidential information vital for military secrecy or fighting global terrorism.

Most reasonable Americans truly want this country to succeed in a conflict that, now started, needs to be finished. Success in Iraq will be beneficial to both America and the rest of the world.

The real question is do American journalists really have our fighting men and women in mind when they run stories undermining the war, or are they just thinking about ratings and circulation? Are they serving inner egos through knowing they found out how to breach CIA security?

Are they unfairly reporting a war they have personal issues about while compromising true objectivity?

All of these and more are fair questions to ask when watching television reports or reading local and national papers.

Staff Editorial