Some of our more astute boots-on-the-ground in Iraq are questioning the hyper-coverage of ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff’s run-in with an IED in Iraq. I’m glad someone’s finally said it.
In Iraq, and throughout the military, there is sympathy and concern for anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt, but there is also this question:
“Why do you think this is such a huge story?” wrote an officer stationed in Baqubah, Iraq, Monday via e-mail. “It’s a bit stunning to us over here how absolutely dominant the story is on every network and front page. I mean, you’d think we lost the entire 1st Marine Division or something.
“There’s a lot of grumbling from guys at all ranks about it. That’s a really impolite and impolitic thing to say … but it’s what you would hear over here.”
At least 2,242 troops have died in Iraq since the war’s start, 1,753 of them killed in action. Another 16,000 have been injured, half of them seriously enough to require evacuation from the battlefield. According to the Pentagon, 60 percent of the deaths are the result of IEDs. IEDs have injured more than 9,200 troops, nine times more than gunshots.
“The point that is currently being made (is that) that press folks are more important than mere military folks,” a senior military officer told UPI Tuesday.
The loss of any member of our military is of far more importance than the loss of a journalist. Don’t get me wrong, I hope that Woodruff and his cameraman both fully recover, but let’s be frank, journalists are a dime-a-dozen.
The only reason this story gets so much attention is because there’s nothing the media loves more than itself. Anytime the media has the opportunity to point out how brave they are and how difficult their job is, you can bet your sweet ass you’ll be hearing about it in big bold headlines and at the beginning of every nightly newscast.