So this latest event… you likely know which one I speak of… brings into sharp focus why the media sucks. I can hear the calls of “Free Speech” and the “Right to know” and those lauding the Information Age where we all get our news as it happens. And in many situations I agree with all of that… but not this one. NOT ANY LIKE THIS ONE.
I loathe that the “media” (read this as ALL media, liberal, independent, conservative, TV, radio, internet- all of it) places more value on a hot lead than what their partial news may do to the families and loved ones involved- be it 2 or 2,000. They are more worried about getting the story out first, whether it is complete or not, than thinking about the fact that (pardon the caps lock fit I am about to have) PEOPLE’S LOVED ONES DIED AND THIS IS THE FIRST THEY ARE HEARING ABOUT IT. No, they didn’t name names. But that is because they can’t… Why? Because likely the military hasn’t been able to notify the families of these deaths yet.
So I ask you to imagine how many wives, husbands, moms and dads are sitting around work or home today wringing their hands because they haven’t heard from their soldier. Imagine how they feel seeing it on every internet news site, the local news, the nightly national news, probably on the radio, even overhearing it at the proverbial workplace watercooler. And all they can do is wait. Wait for the phone call or e-mail that will fill them with relief, only to be flooded with guilt at feeling relieved someone else’s loved one died. Or wait for the life changing knock at the door. Wait for the soldiers in Class A’s who have been trained to tell you your life will never be the same because (s)he won’t be coming home. Wait. Worry. Fear. That isn’t news. That is agony. And it is inexcusable.
But for what? What did anyone benefit from getting all these incomplete stories? A sensational news tale from war-torn Iraq? Military scandal? High drama more befitting a movie script? Something to casually chat about over lunch? Maybe for someone, but not me, not for thousands of military families. That story broke my heart. That story caused so much worry and angst and mind-numbing fear for so many people. And I cannot forgive you media for putting the almighty dollar and a sensational lead before common courtesy, respect and the sanity of families who sacrifice and deal with so much already. Shame on you.