Monday, August 21, 2006

Misplaced Priorities

Thanks to John de Rosier for a timely reminder of how the press, and we its consumers, get it wrong. Or, as this poster on Dailykos put it:

Allow me to introduce to you to Staff Sgt. Michael "Chad" Lloyd. His name is not John Mark Karr. He died recently while on foot patrol in Baghdad. His flight to the United States won't be in business class, and reporters won't scramble to sit next to him. His body's journey across the Atlantic won't be traced with flashy graphics or estimated time of arrivals. Flag-drapped coffins, you see, aren't as sexy as murder suspects...

Meet Sgt. Steven P. Mennemeyer. His name is not John Mark Karr. He joined the armed forces after 9/11, and was killed in Iraq in August. He was 26 years old and is survived by his young son. He earned 13 military honors, including a bronze star that was given to his girlfriend at his funeral. There's 19,100 Google hits for this fallen soldier. There's 9,530,000 for John Mark Karr.

Meet Pfc. Javier Chavez Junior. His name is not John Mark Karr. At just 19 years old, he married days before shipping off to Iraq, where he was killed. Seven others from his division were also killed, including Staff Sgt. Raymond Plouhar, who "left behind a poem for his family in the event of his death: 'I have given up many things for you to be free/Do not feel pity for me, for this is my choice.' I guess only ransom notes, not death notes, are worthy of wall-to-wall coverage.


Blogger Gracie said...

Sad, isn't it?

It's not surprising given that more people know the finalists on American Idol than just 2 of the named Justices on the SCOTUS!

Powerful cartoon.


3:50 PM  

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