In another swipe at the U.S. Military, the website of the Isthmus, a weekly alternative paper from Madison, Wisconsin, published a short piece called, “Army Aims at Schoolkids,” in which the paper quotes an anti-military activist as saying that the ad banners for the U.S. Army posted in Madison’s High Schools is “extremely inappropriate.” Of course, we should expect one of these anti-military nuts to call out against the U.S. Army for advertising in our schools, but what we shouldn’t expect is the subtle bias from the paper that helps those who hate our troops attack the Army.
The hallmarks of an editorial board that is against the military is evident throughout this report. From the title of the piece, “Army Aims at Schoolkids,” to the tag line under the picture of the Army ads, “Extremely Inappropriate,” the paper seems bent on loading the story with negative connotations against the Military. Let’s look at that headline, by the way. “Army Aims at Schoolkids.” That is unduly negative right there. After all, these ads for the U.S. Army are displayed in Madison’s High Schools, not the lower grades. Isn’t it misleading to call High School aged teens “schoolkids”? The term “schoolkids” seems to bring 10-year-olds to mind far quicker than it does 18-year-olds.
Then the two lead paragraphs, the second of which gives a protester against the Military the first chance to get his point across, further stacks the deck against the American Military in this piece. That second paragraph reads:
"I think it's extremely inappropriate," says David Hoppe, a member of the Madison Area Peace Coalition and a former career counselor at East High. "Schoolchildren play on these fields, and every time they look up, they'll see 'Army.'"
But at least the piece does go on to explain that there is no violation of the school board’s practices to have taken payment from the Army for the ads, just as they have taken fees from other groups for displaying ads in the schools. School board president Arlene Silveira told the paper that there was nothing wrong with the ads. “It isn't forcing anyone to do anything,” she’s quoted as saying in one of the only two paragraphs that give support to the ads. And, isn’t that just a fact, after all? These ads are not compulsive, at least not any more so than any ad is, naturally. Still, this report has far more negative things in it describing this ginned up “controversy” than it does exculpatory items in favor of the military and its right to place these ads in the schools. And, one other thing is of interest here. The paper is obviously trying to make this story seem a raging controversy. But, a look at the facts as presented and giving them some thought seems to show just two people up in arms against the Army while no one else seems to be offended. The Isthmus highlights the faux outrage of only two anti-military activists. That’s it. Two. Now, consider this, if this story was a great community involving issue, one where many people were upset, you’d think that more than just two guys would be highlighted by the paper here. If this was a real controversy, the paper wouldn’t fail to report the many numbers of people in protest against this school’s policy. But we get quotes from only two guys who are upset over the lawful and moral ads for our Military placed where teens can see it. Do two activists mouthing off make a controversy now a days? So, what can we derive from the fact that there doesn’t seem to be very many people upset? Certainly we can see that only two guys are mad and everyone else has no problem. But, perhaps we can spy one other possibility? That the Daily Isthmus wants to make this seem more than it really is to draw more people into the conflict against the military to help these two lonely nuts in their quest to defeat our troops. After all, two whiners is not a story. But if the paper can alert others to the issue, maybe more will join the effort against the Military?