I came of age in the post-Vietnam era. Let me amend that: I came of age in San Francisco in the post-Vietnam era. Although Fleet Week, which started in the City about 20+ years ago has done a lot to turn things around, San Francisco has not been a military friendly city, and most definitely was not so in the decade after Vietnam. Every institution was hostile to the military. I grew up knowing, probably from the San Francisco Comical, with increasingly large dollops of help from ABC, NBC and CBS, that military vets were deranged.
This was my first run-in with cognitive dissonance. You see, I knew a ton of military vets. The difference was that they weren’t Vietnam Vets but were, instead, WWII and Israeli War Vets. And they weren’t deranged. At all. Many of them were sad men, who had seen too much, but they were all highly functional men who married, raised children, held jobs, and helped out a lot around the house. My parents explained to me that Vietnam Vets were deranged because they were all drug addicts, except that didn’t make sense either. The drug addicts I knew (and I was in San Francisco and at Berkeley) weren’t the vets; instead, they were the ones that had stayed behind.
Hmmm. The first step in crossing the Rubicon was figuring out that the media has the military in its cross hairs.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
The latest casualty of the media’s war on the military is living Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer. Although the McClatchy news organization readily concedes that he acted with unparalleled bravery, it’s making a big push to say he didn’t really act with that much bravery. This story stinks for a few reasons. First, it leaves a strong impression that Meyer lied, although a careful textual reading shows that it’s really claiming that the Marine Corps itself exaggerated. The Marines shouldn’t have exaggerated, but this story still should have been left alone. Why? Because as Jack Cashill explains, this kind of attack on an extraordinarily brave young man manages to highlight what an absymal job the media is doing when it comes to its main job — namely, keeping the public informed about its leaders and keeping politicians honest.
Think about it: this is a media that tries to destroy the reputation of one indubitably brave, decent man, while it kept us in the dark in 2007 and 2008 about Obama’s entire history and, even now, is doing its best to bury such interesting stories as Fast and Furious (which the blogosphere cares about, but the MSM has ignored almost entirely) or Solyndra (ditto).
I shouldn’t really be so surprised or angry, I guess. This disdain for and hostility towards the military is reflexive and pervasive in our media. But I can’t help it. It still hacks me off.
(P.S. I do suggest, though, that military types don’t do things like this. It’s one thing to do your job and get savaged by idiots. It’s another thing to hand them red meat on a silver platter.)