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October 10, 2005

Targeting Journalists

-- by Dave Johnson

In Journalists and the Military a right-wing blog puts voice to what the Right means with their "liberal media" accusations.

At some point, you have to pick sides. Not choosing a side is choosing not to be on our side.
In other words, anything other than the right-wing viewpoint will not be tolerated. And it links to posts calling the press "anti-America" and advocating press blackouts when the press won't report what Republican governments want them to report.

This is especially chilling because the context of the post is "terrorists." Think about where these people are taking the country.

(Through The Daou Report)

Update Here is my point about the BlackFive post. It mixes up the interests of "conservative movement" Republicans with the interests of the military. This supposedly "military" site is all about "the Right," from the "Buy the Right" banner to the "ACLU - Enemy of the State Conservative t-shirts" and "annoy a liberal" ads to the "Blogs for Bush" banner to the Ann Coulter book, to the WorldNetDaily links. It is solidly embedded in the "conservative movement." (Is it funded? Many are.)

It's just like how the Republican Party has skillfully done the same thing with Christianity. Intermingled in people's minds the interests of the Party with the interests of Christians, making Christians think they have a religious duty to support The Party, but it's all really just to get votes for tax cuts and no-bid contracts for friends and donors.

See also Right-Wing War Against The Press Reaches Into Military

Posted by Dave Johnson at October 10, 2005 11:55 AM

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Tracked on October 11, 2005 9:23 AM


Comments

I don't speak for the Right. I am speaking as a military blogger.

Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Blackfive at October 10, 2005 11:59 AM

Your site is all about "the Right" and the Republican Party, from the "Buy the Right ads" banner to the "ACLU - Enemy of the State Conservative t-shirts" and "annoy a liberal" ads to the "Blogs for Bush" banner to the Ann Coulter book, to the WorldNetDaily links.

The military is supposed to protect and defend the US constitution, be under the authority of civilian government - even when the government is Democrats - and be completely neutral politically. Your site mocks that concept.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2005 12:07 PM

And like the military, members of Congress and our other elected representatives likewise swear an oath to defend the Constitution, anf fail to live up to that commitment.

The point Blackfive, and many other Military Bloggers make, has nothing to do with the press reporting "what Republican governments want them to report."

It has everything to do with willful ignorance and misreporting of facts on the ground, "ground truth" as we say. We are here, and see what is to be seen every day. Many less reputable (and certainly less honorable) members of the press peddle falsehoods, actively promulgate propaganda from sworn enemies of the United States, hire Terrorist accomplices masquerading as "freelancers," and otherwise seek to turn every news report into a childish exercise of "how can we use this to make Bush look bad?"

Either you're too biased to see that for what is is, or you think we (and a majority of your fellow Americans) are too stupid to see it.

If the press will publish bad news, at least just stick to facts. Avoid subjectivity and judgement. Present context. Maintain perspective. Recognize agendas. Don't be a patsy, any fool can tell when something's staged. If some positive news can be included, that would be nice too.

If it weren't for MILBLOGGERS, there'd be no positive voices out there at all. And yet as few as we are, you suggest we should be silenced, and portray us as those who would deny anyone the right to dissent or vocalize their opinion.

Astonishing in its complete separation from reality.

Posted by: dadmanly at October 10, 2005 12:22 PM

Perhaps the posts B5 linked to on my site may be of interest to you. There is a difference between "blindly following party talking points" and "preferring that the people supposedly on our side during wartime not actively aid and comfort the enemy", and this difference is what I think you are not seeing.

We're in a conflict that has our enemy actively employing media for its own gain, knowing that national will to war is a center of gravity. This is of concern to those of us who might just be getting shot at (not me right now; I'm in a staff job).

You may notice no ads on my site, and I'll note I served equally enthusiastically during the previous administrations. The bias is a military member's bias not a party one. As Peter Beinart mentioned in the Nation earlier this year, national security is an issue that the left will absolutely have to understand better in order to win elections and be effective. This "understanding the military" is part of that understanding to which Beinart refers.

Posted by: Chap at October 10, 2005 12:40 PM

Even if the point Dave is trying to make in the comment above (that military personnel must be "completely neutral politically") were true (and it isn't, we are allowed to vote and express our opinions, just like any other Americans), it would be completely mooted by the fact that Blackfive is a FORMER military officer.

By the same logic, neither John Kerry nor Wesley Clark would be allowed to speak out, much less run for public office.

Why does Dave want us to be silent? The world wonders...

Posted by: SMASH at October 10, 2005 3:57 PM

What I SAID was that it was a right-wing site.

Blackfive protested that it is NOT a right-wing site, rather a military site. Which was complete hogwash - all you have to do is look at the site and its links and its ads. It's a "conservative movement" site.

If you visit the site and get fooled by the military trappings, all the worse for you -- you'll wind up losing your pensions, your jobs, your civil rights, and even possibly your life should you actually be in the military at a time when they're engaged in another Republican Party adventure like Iraq.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2005 4:53 PM

If you look at the top right...one notices that Blackfive was the 2004 winner for Best Military Blog...now correct me if I am wrong but the way I see it...

You post what the military OK's and you are good! The higher ups in the military are as silent as this administration in telling the facts.

Posted by: Night Bird at October 10, 2005 5:41 PM

Posted by: grannyinsanity [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2005 2:41 AM

Isn't it funny that a military site would run andd that denigrates a union for Civil Liberties?
If the country survives another ten years, and it's current facade of being a republic it will be just like Mayday when the French royalty fell.
While Napolean was in office all the paper's and the military touted what as great leader he was; when he fell within a week all the so-called patriots were saying what a tyrant he was.

Posted by: K at October 11, 2005 8:22 AM

Night Bird,

Blackfive was voted Best Military Blog by readers of Military Blogs. It wasn't an award granted by the military. (Sheesh.)

K,

Given that ACLU and other activist human rights groups denigrate the US military and give a free pass to our enemies, no not funny at all.

Given that many of the left-centric advocacy groups are full of people who sympathized with or actively supported communist and socialists organizations with whom we were at were for over 40 years, no, not at all funny.

What's really funny is how twisted y'all get in your bloomers, with hysterical pronouncements of the looming Totalitarian State we live in.

Et Al,

Military bloggers are conservative. If there was room for any pro-defense conservatives in the Democratic Party, some of us might very well be democrats, we've been there before.

You can believe us the easy way, listen to what we're saying, develop a little balance in your views, or keep losing elections. Your choice, we really don't care.

Those of us in the military serve our country as a calling, we respect and honor our institutions, and we believe in the American way of life. We think the military has been poorly served by head-in-the-sand politicos and diplomats who can hug human scum like Kim Jung Il all in the name of "Talk talk talk beats war war war." Unless of course you're the hapless and hopeless schmucks who get trampled by the dictators and monsters, who are all too happy to take advantage of your Salon Naivete.

Point to one example where any of you have lost any freedoms, that weren't taken from you by activist judges who know oh so better than you what's good for you.

Anyone in jail? Any newspapers shut down? Anyone fired from their jobs? Any ghettoes being established? Anyone telling you where to live? Anyone preventing you from voting? And do you want Homeland Security to go away? Air marshalls? Border patrol?

I tell you what, we'll do all those things, if all those on the left who think we are not in a war, sign a contract to live and work only in high rise buildings in major American cities.

The rest of us, who are doing all the fighting and dying, we'll stop and quietly move out to Red State prairie and leave you all to your lattes and discussion groups.

We'll only have to wait a couple of dozen generations for the nuclear fallout to dissipate...And we won't miss the traffic, either.

Posted by: dadmanly at October 11, 2005 11:11 AM

Mr. Johnson,

I see you have managed to irritate most of the military bloggers in the country with this post. I believe you have mistaken your demand for protection of your civil rights with the ability of your speech to provide aid and comfort to our enemies. While BlackFive might appear to be a right wing site to you, its content is primarily focused on military personnel who are suffering, dying, and living with wounds received on your behalf. It clearly celebrates the heroism and sacrifice of our soldiers and their families. It does not comment on Supreme Court judgeships, or political party talking points, or even biographies of famous Republicans, except where they may also, by pure chance, happen to be military heroes.

Any organization or person that can cast aspersions on the service of ALL military personnel because of the actions of 20 or so (I'm sure you recognize that encompasses all (100%) of the convicted and investigated personnel involved in Abu Ghraib and all Afghan/Gitmo potential abusers which the ACLU is so fond of using to paint "our military personnel") is so seriously misguided as to require questioning the utility of defending that person. And questioning the motives of an organization that is so clearly anti-military as the ACLU is would seem to be appropriate to so many of us normal folk who volunteered to serve and now find our morals and integrity called into question by the ACLU, time and time again.

You see how stupid choosing who to defend would be? How can we as servicemen decide who is worthy of defending and who is not? So we defend everyone, including those who hate us, abuse our children, kill their fellow man, and certainly including those who believe we are killers deserving of a fate worse than death at the hands of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his ilk. We see many comments of that type from very liberal and very leftist leaders and personnel. We remember who said those things. And we are better Men and Women because we serve DESPITE those sentiments.

But we don't have to like it. And we don't have to take your abuse without comment. We defend free speech. You defend YOUR speech. There is a difference. And we know how free speech is defined in the Constitution of the United States. Because we defend it every day, 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year, with our lives.

What in this world is worth your life?

Subsunk

Posted by: Subsunk at October 11, 2005 12:16 PM

"If there was room for any pro-defense conservatives in the Democratic Party, some of us might very well be democrats, we've been there before."

This is another example of what I am talking about. Much of the leadership of the Democratic Party is ex-military. None of the leadership of the Republican Party is. To deflect from this the "conservative movement" launches smear campaigns questioning the service and patriotism of Democratic leaders who served, like Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, Daschle, etc. Even questioning Kerry's medals, etc.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2005 2:19 PM

Michael S. Dukakis - "He served for two years in the United States Army, sixteen months of which he spent with the Support Group to the UN Delegation to the Military Armistice commission in Munsan, Korea." http://www.hri.org/hri/dukakis.html

Tom Daschle, 1st Lt., U.S. Air Force, Strategic Air Command, 1969-72. http://www.comlinks.com/polintel/pi041015.htm

Former Vice President Al Gore U.S. Army journalist, Vietnam.1969-71 http://www.comlinks.com/polintel/pi041015.htm

Senator John F. Kerry Lt., U.S. Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, 3 Purple Hearts. http://www.comlinks.com/polintel/pi041015.htm

I provided these brief descriptions of the service records of those who you mentioned as the leadership of the Democratic Party, so I could publically say "Thank You" to all of the veterans listed at that website for their service. I do not question their service or patroitism, merely the wisdom of their proposed policies.

How long did YOU serve, Dave Johnson? Your bio on this website lists many other wonderful activities, but I don't see "military service" listed.
I proudly served 20 yrs in the US Air Force. That probably makes me a "sucker" in your book for having put up with long hours and low pay, simply to do my part to ensure that you (and all other Americans) could pursue your version of the American Dream.


Posted by: cas at October 11, 2005 5:54 PM

I think that the press and others could "be on our side" and still maintain journalistic integrity. In fact, if they would report everything that's going on instead of emphasizing the bad, they would at least gain the appearance of neutrality. I've not seen anyone silenced or imprisioned for "not spouting the Republican party line", have you?

There's a fine line between patriotic dissent/disagreement and tacit support of the enemy. The Democrat leadership you mentioned has crossed that line. Whether they actually intend to support the enemy or are doing it accidentally is between them and God.

I think B5 and others are trying to help the country by giving us a more accurate and total view of what's going on than we get from the MSM/Fox, which is heavily filtered by AP, Reuters, Etc.

And finally, the national guard doesn't count as military?

Posted by: MrPhil [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2005 7:17 PM

"This is another example of what I am talking about. Much of the leadership of the Democratic Party is ex-military. None of the leadership of the Republican Party is."
---So McCain was held prisoner by the Viet Cong for what reason exactly, seeing as he was not in the Military. Collin Powell in the peace corp?
---If you had a point you lost it when you put out a fabrication. As far as I know Kerry earned his medals, so did McCain, so did Powell...priceless.

Posted by: Pavlov3 at October 11, 2005 11:07 PM

McCain is exactly my POINT. He was SMEARED by the "conservative moveent" Republicans to maske way for their chickenhawk leaders - Bush, Cheney & Rove.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 12, 2005 7:00 AM

Dave,

Sorry if the considered opinions of military professionals concerning military matters is, shall we say, inconvenient to your world view.

Serving soldiers are not mindless automatons - though this may be news to one so ill-informed as you are. On the contrary, soldiers have long harbored and expressed political views in their private lives - particularly on matters of national security.

We are simply prevented by regulation from wrapping ourselves in our rank while so doing, in order to avoid the impression that we are acting as spokesmen for the military.

I have a website, too. Notice neither Blackfive nor I make any reference on the site to our military titles? My byline says Jason. It does not mention my rank or duty position. I post as a private citizen, as does everyone else here.

You may recall that Thomas Jefferson had some pretty radical ideas - even as he was serving as an artillery officer with the Continental Army.

General McClellan retired from the service to run for President against Lincoln as a Democrat in 1864. Patton was outspoken on a variety of issues. U.S. Grant and W.T. Sherman were both openly derisive of reporters during the civil war (And Robert E. Lee was also very frustrated by coverage of his campaigns as well.)

As much as you would like to silence us in the public arena of ideas, I would simply refer you to the words of George Washington:

"When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen."

Posted by: Jason Van Steenwyk at October 17, 2005 11:51 AM

RIGHT ON Jason. Could not have said it any better myself!

Posted by: frizbee_cat at October 18, 2005 10:24 AM

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