What is it about some news outlets that they can't report a story without trying to flavor it with their own biases? That they can't give "just the facts m'am" but have to throw in their snide asides and negative phraseology? And, it's bad enough when they do it in their normal attempts at "reporting" the news, but when they do it in between an upbeat report by one of our soldiers who's opinion is that the surge is working and our presence in Iraq is a good thing, it's all the more grating. But, then, they just can't leave their hatred for American foreign policy aside long enough to report this soldier's enthusiasm, now can they?
In this case, Boise, Idaho TV 2 News, in a story by Scott Logan, just can't leave the snide comments out of their story of Army First Sergeant Noah Edney's enthusiastic point of view on our efforts in Iraq. Even the title seems to take a swipe at policy: Boise Infantryman In Baghdad Shares Views On "Surge" -- notice the quotation marks around the word surge? Even as surge is a commonly acceptable term and not one to be questioning with quotations they cast doubt onto it by using the grammatical device.
But, if you might think the parenthesis around the word surge might not be suspect, they quickly set the record straight on how they feel about the policy with their very first line of the story.
BOISE AND BAGHDAD -- In less than a week, all the troops for the so-called surge in Iraq will finally be in position and U.S. commanders will push hard to get results on the ground.
"So-called surge"? What is "so-called" about it? What is to be sarcastic or doubtful about here? That is what the policy is being called. There is no pseudo term there, it IS the surge. Commentators, politicians, news sources, they are all calling it the surge without any question, without any "so-called" to it, TV 2 News.
Naturally they have to go on with a prosaic "some say" in their next line.
Some say the troop build up is already draining American military resources with moderate results.
Now they have set up the brave soldier who they will go on to interview as somehow having a questionable opinion or even a minority view. They have set the negative tone before the young man even gets to speak. So, finally after TV 2's negativity, the young man gets his shot.
"The surge from my standpoint is wildly successful," Edney told CBS 2 Eyewitness in an interview via satellite from Baghdad. "I can't speak to the grand strategy, I'm only talking about the view of a soldier on the ground. I'm just a grunt, so to speak."
And what does News 2 follow that with? More negativity, of course.
But grunts like Edney, who has seen his share of combat, are the backbone of the American military effort in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 400,000 of them have seen multiple tours of duty.
Edney is on his second tour of Iraq and we asked if he wasn't just plain tired of it all.
One can just feel the skepticism and sourness with which News 2 approaches this fine young soldier. They go on to snidely say that this soldier praises the efforts in Iraq by talking of the good done there, "He speaks of restoring electricity and water, of kids going back to school", they say as if they don't believe a word the Sergeant is saying.
Naturally they must remind us that, "Since the troop build up began in January, the U.S. casualty rate has increased substantially" this being just another example of the constant counter weight they offer to this young man's every positive utterance.
They also feel compelled to say how Iraqis are "suffering casualties at twice the rate of U.S. forces" just to bring home their view point that this is all a failure and pump up the negativity factor.
No we can't just have a positive story about a young man who nobly and with excitement gives service to his country without casting all he says in negative terms, can we?
No, we just can't have that!
But for them to use this soldier's enthusiasm as a spring board for their anti-American pathology is inexcusable.
...unfortunately, it isn't unusual for our media, not unusual at all. Even in Boise, Idaho, America's heartland, they stoop to this level.