“The men in the ditch pushed forward, trying to reach a low earthen berm for better cover. The Taliban had a line of sight straight down the canal. Rounds snapped a couple of feet away. To the AP reporter, a civilian with no military background, it seemed counterintuitive: running forward, toward the danger. Not back.”
The previous paragraph was written by AP reporter Christopher Torchia while accompanying our troops in the Afghanistan war against the Taliban. Torchia is a Sheep without a doubt, but a brave Sheep. Torchia and an AP photographer risk their lives plying their trade bringing us their observations and photographs.
To Torchia it is “…counterintuitive: running forward toward the danger. Not back.” He described, perhaps unwittingly, the quintessential difference between Sheep and Sheep Dogs, AKA warriors, military and non-military alike. (For those unaware of the concept of Sheep, Wolves and Sheep Dogs, see other pieces posted previously in this blog or consult the work of LTC Dave Grossman.)
I first read Torchia’s article in the print version of my local newspaper. Unfortunately, my newspaper did not post the article on its Internet site. As I do in these circumstances, I went to the Internet to find other postings of the article to provide an Internet link to the readers of this blog.
Often, I discover that the editors of print and online media change the titles and eliminate portions of AP articles. In this case, the first two of three located Internet postings of the article eliminated the sentence, “To the AP reporter, a civilian with no military background, it seemed counterintuitive: running forward, toward the danger. Not back.” They excised one of the only two unique portions of the article. The remaining distinctive sentence is, “The AP reporter, hauling the wounded man’s ammunition belt, was with two or three men who sprinted around a corner, straight into another ambush.”
It must be permissible for a journalist Sheep to assist the military by hauling an ammunition belt. But, it is apparently not ok for the journalist to observe that Sheep fundamentally react differently than Sheep Dogs in the face of danger. Such an observation forces recognition that there are two distinctly different classes of humans. And by extension, there is a requisite admission that survival of the masses requires a violence oriented class of individuals willing to engage in endangering activity for the betterment of mankind. That puts a kink in the leftist anti-military mantra.
Certainly, editors are constricted by space requirements, and must remain cognizant of professional standards and relevance. But, I wonder if personal and/or corporate political and social agenda sometimes plays a significant part in the editorial decision making. If agenda is the case, journalistic work becomes partial commentary and a form of editorial dishonesty accomplished by omission of portions of the journalist’s work product. In essence, the story is changed from what the journalist recounted.
Our freedoms are predicated upon an informed public. As in all things written, let the reader beware.
Link in this Blog:
Caught in the open: a firefight with the Taliban