Simply put, the mainstream press does not give a hang about troops in the field. The mainstream press is worried about what it has always been worried about: maintaining its own status. Mainstream media breathlessly await reports of atrocities by Americans because media outlets gain authority by attacking governmental authority. It wasn't enough for Time magazine to turn over its information on the alleged massacre to the military; it had to "alert the public." This story isn't about alleged misconduct -- it's about the press feting its own bravery for exposing what should have remained private.
This is what the press has done for decades. Since the advent of television, media outlets have been engaged in a systematic attempt to tear down the credibility of the United States government in order to bolster their own authority. "You can't trust the government," the media says, "but you can trust us."
The Vietnam War became more about journalists (Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite) than about a war for the survival of liberal democracy in Southeast Asia. The welfare of the troops took a back seat to the press' sense of its own importance. It is a happy accident of history that this ongoing ego trip began after the rise of Hitler, or Nazism might well remain the dominant ideology on the European continent. Just imagine what the modern press would have done with Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. As it is, Communism lasted far longer and took far more lives than it should have, largely due to the arrogant self-aggrandizement of the American press; Walter Duranty had little on mainstream media's feting of Gorbachev, degradation of Reagan and purposeful opposition to the rollback of global Communism.
Until the press realizes its authority is far less important than the lives of American soldiers -- the same soldiers who fight to protect the rights of the American press -- American soldiers will continue to face heightened hatred brought on by superfluous and counterproductive media attention. The press wishes to both undermine the mission of American soldiers and simultaneously decorate soldiers' graves with flowered copies of the daily newspaper. This is perversion. The press' sick delight in its own glorification continues to increase the number of "passionless mounds" in Arlington National.
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