Reporter Unreported

A reporter speaks and the media does not listen.

 

Lara Logan, spoke out this past week in Chicago. She did not speak about her rape by Egyptian men during the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. She did not speak about how the so-called “Arab Spring” had become a “Fascist Winter.” She did not even examine the question of how Islam does not protect women.

Lara Logan spoke at Better Government Association annual luncheon. Over 1,000 political, media, legal, and business leaders heard Logan’s impassioned plea.

Laura Washington, a fellow journalist, captured the essence of Logan’s ‘ominous and frightening message’. It is best to allow Washington’s words to carry the import of Logan’s words.

The Taliban and al-Qaida have not been vanquished. They’re coming back. “I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated . . .” Logan declared in her native South African accent.

The lie is that America’s military might has tamed the Taliban.

“There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” Logan said. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban,” she added sarcastically.

“It’s such nonsense!”

Logan stepped way out of the “objective,” journalistic role.

The audience was riveted as she told of plowing through reams of documents, and interviewing John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan; Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and a Taliban commander trained by al-Qaida. The Taliban and al-Qaida are teaming up and recruiting new terrorists to do us deadly harm, she reports.

She made a passionate case that our government is downplaying the strength of our enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a rationale of getting us out of the longest war. We have been lulled into believing that the perils are in the past: “You’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script.”

Our enemies are writing the story, she suggests, and there’s no happy ending for us.

As a journalist, I was queasy. Reporters should tell the story, not be the story.

As an American, I was frightened.

Russ Douthat in The New York Times opins that The White House fears “calling the [Benghazi] embassy attack an act of terror has less to do with the ‘who’ than with the ‘where’.”  Al Qaeda’s growing influence in Libya and other Arab countries is “the who” of whom Douthat speaks.

Had a journalist suggested that George W. Bush had ‘lied’ to America about our enemies’ strength, calls for impeachment would have ensued.  Coupled with the president’s cuts to U.S. national defense, the word ‘treason’ might have been used for gutting the American military.  Major news outlets would have splashed the accusation across every headline in America.

Add to this, the impact of a female journalist, a victim of rape during coverage of the very events she now exposes. The fortitude of such compelling, personal testimony would have required every television news show to feature her perspective.

But no. We have all the right details, but the wrong White House.

When a reporter speaks from personal experience, documented research, and first hand testimonies from ‘the players’ in the field, the story stalls.

Gavin Shulman, writer for disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s news show, is at least honest. In a recent Huffington Post blog, Shulman made clear the specific role media elites like himself play:

They don’t call you the mainstream media for nothing. You’re the most powerful current. With the ability to determine events. So get to gushing. Oh, I know you in the liberal media try to hold yourselves to some higher standard. You are not a monolithic propaganda machine like they have on the other side. You are beholden to honesty, fairness, reality. Bull***t. Not when there’s an election to decide in less than a month. This is not the time for journalistic integrity. This is the time to step up and do the right thing. For the sake of the country.

Shulman explains why Logan’s story is not heard.

The liberal journalistic elite have a president to re-elect.

Mark is infuriated by so-called journalists turned “spin doctors” who only report their interpretation.  The ancient text of Proverbs makes a clear statement.  Any news organization should be constantly cognizant of and willing to apply the following principles of “word power”:  integrity, honesty, painstaking accuracy, understanding the potential good and harm, guarded, substantiated, and opinion based on fact.  Though there may be limited impact on direct action, words can be the compelling means by which to encourage righteousness in the populace[Proverbs 2:3, 4; 6:16-19; 10:14; 15:1, 23, 28; 16:27,28; 18:13, 17; 24:12, 24-26; 25:15; 26:23-28; 29:19]

 

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