LTG RICARDO S. SANCHEZ CRITICIZES THE MEDIA
Posted by Tony Listi on October 16, 2007
How powerful is the media, the guardians of the truth of daily events? It never gets bad press. That’s a pretty good position to be in.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? “Who will guard the guardians?”- Juvenal (through Plato’s Republic)
“For some it seems that as long as you get a front-page story, there is little or no regard for the collateral damage that will be caused. Personal reputations sometimes have no value. They report with total impunity, and are rarely held accountable for unethical conduct. Given the near instantaneous ability to report actions on the ground, the responsibility to accurately and truthfully report takes on an unprecedented importance. The speculative and often uninformed initial reporting that characterizes our media, appears to be rapidly becoming the standard of the industry.
“Once reported, your assessments become conventional wisdom and nearly impossible to change. Your unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda-driven biases sometimes contributes to this corrosive environment. All these challenges combined create a media environment that does a tremendous disservice to America, in some instances. Over the course of this war, tactically insignificant events have become strategic defeats for our country because of the tremendous power and impact of the media — and by extension, you individually, the journalists.
“My assessment is that your profession, to some extent, has strayed from these worthy ethical standards and have allowed external agendas to manipulate what the American public sees on TV, what they read in our newspapers, and what they see and read on the Web. For some of you, just like some of our politicians, the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your own preconceived notions, biases, or agendas.”
For full text of Sanchez’s speech: http://www.militaryreporters.org/sanchez_101207.html