Is parading empty, flag draped coffins a first amendment right too? What about the families of the fallen, do they count?

I had planned to go to the recent “pro-troops and pro-mission” rally in D.C. as a birthday present to myself. The rally was sponsored by MoveAmericaForward.Org, and several other groups in America who support our troops and their mission in the War on Terror. The events in D.C. culminated a cross country tour the group made in answer to Cindy Sheehan, ANSWER, and the other radical groups who protested the war in their cross country trek and subsequent rally in D.C. But due to personal problems at home, I wasn’t able to attend.

I am glad now I didn’t go. Tantor at Conservative Propaganda was in D.C. and he took some pictures of activities and banners from the protest rally organized by ANSWER. As I was reading his blog entry and looking at the pictures he took, I came across one that was both repulsive and painful.

The picture showed a bunch of anti-war protestors marching at the end of the protest rally’s parade carrying flag draped coffins. When I saw this picture I was shocked. I did not in any way see this as support for our troops or our fallen troops. What I saw was a parade organized by a bunch of fascists sponsors carrying flag draped coffins and the desecration of the memory of our fallen loved ones.

In April of 2004, the Seattle Times ran a story and showed a picture of flag draped coffins inside a cargo plane in Kuwait being readied for transport home. The picture was taken by a cargo worker in Kuwait named Tami Silicio. Ms. Silicio was fired as a result of taking the picture and releasing it to the Seattle Time In one of many emails Silicio sent as she decided whether or not to allow the Times to print her picture, Silicio said:

“”The picture is about them, not me, about how they served their country, paid the price for our freedom, and the respect they receive on their way home from our military personnel at our air terminal,” she wrote in an April 16 e-mail to The Times.”

Tami may or may not have had some other motive, I don’t know or even care. I only care that in her public statements she kept stressing the care and reverence shown our fallen loved ones. I lost a loved one in this war. My sister, his mother, lost her only child. She emailed the Seattle Times and thanked them for the picture and story. She found the Silicio picture and article very comforting because of the obvious respect being shown the fallen. She felt relieved to know her own son received such loving care.

When you view the two pictures, remember the one was taken by Tami Silicio in Kuwait and the other was taken by Tantor at the anti-war protestors rally in D.C.. My nephew, PO 2nd Class Michael J. Gray, was killed in Kuwait on March 5, 2004. I honor his name and sacrifice with every post on a mil blog, every entry on my blog, every entry on my other blogs, and those blogs and forums of others who support our troops. They deserve nothing less than our full support and to be remembered in honor. Regardless how they died, they gave up their life for our country. Free speech is one thing. The Desecration of the memory of our fallen soldiers is criminal. It in no way represents “free speech!”

I am shocked and saddened that the MSM refuses to practice the very principles that they hold so dear, the rights of the “First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.” Instead of printing the news in an unbiased manner, they either put forward biased news or no news at all. Effectively the MSM practices “censorship” of the news they present to the American public! Does the MSM feel the every day Americans are unable to make careful, thoughtful judgments about what they read or does the MSM think most Americans don’t care and will read and accept as fact everything the MSM does or does not tell us.?

I check out everything. I read both sides or all sides of issues. I believe in the adage, keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. Well to me news is the same way. Know what those you trust and believe in say. But pay even more attention to what those you don’t trust and believe in say or do!

In closing, I wanted to put a few words about the criteria for ethical journalism. Then I thought to myself, what about the Noble Prize? There must be some standards listed somewhere that are used for awarding the Noble prize to journalists. As I did my search, I constantly came across a quote by the first recipient of the Noble prize for journalism awarded in 1917.

“The first duty of a newspaper is to be accurate. If it is accurate, it follows that it is fair.”
Herbert B. Swope

That was a good principle to follow then. It is still a good principle now.

He also said, “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure–which is: Try to please everybody.”

Well our present MSM is rarely fair and it seems to me they do a lot of pleasing for someone or thing but it isn’t the public. I don’t care if they please me. All I care about is whether or not they follow the first quote. I will then make up my own mind.Here is the beginning of my post.
[edited to fix html errors and add credits. Thank you, Tantor, for your permission to use your picture.]


~ by devildog6771 on October 2, 2005.

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