Monday, August 28, 2006

A Little Sympathy, Perhaps?

Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig are home safe after their ordeal:

Two journalists for the FOX News Channel, Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, were released Sunday in Gaza after being kidnapped and held for almost two weeks in circumstances that remain as murky as the heretofore unknown group responsible for the abduction, the Holy Jihad Brigades.

I was going to offer comments on how Western reporters, while reporting on the conflict between jihadi thugs and the West, slant their reporting. Not out of malice. The reporters quite naturally fear kidnapping and beheading by Islamo-fascists. Even sympathetic reporters risk this fate. By contrast, what reporter fears Western governments? At worst they spend some short time in a comfy prison and then right a book about their "ordeal" that Cindy Sheehan praises on the dust jacket. The Corner did it already.

The networks really need to question their policy of live shots. Let the reporters report back to the studio and have the studio talent secure away from the beheaders report.

So Western reporters quite naturally tend not to report fully on enemy crimes. They hint at them. They talk past them. But they don't want a target on their backs. They quite naturally want to go home healthy and whole.

Just like our troops want to go home safely.

I'm not saying our reporters should ignore criminal actions by soldiers and Marines. I expect our troops to risk death to fight the enemies and I expect them to obey the laws of war and rules of engagement, too.

But if some of our troops fail, even as we seek to punish them, perhaps our reporters will have a little more sympathy about the pressures our troops face when all they want to do is finish their tour of duty and go home safely.

The reporters can say they are all soldiers and Marines, now, right?