As I keep saying, there are only two Iraq war related stories the media covers: casualties and recruiting difficulties.
How could I have left out the wounded?
Although re-enlistment is high among soldiers who’re serving already in Iraq, the media has a genius for finding Wounded Soldiers Who Hate George Bush.
No statistics exist on how many of the wounded a reporter must interview before a turning up a real Bush hater suitable for an above the fold, color spread. But the story of Terry Rodgers, who ‘came back from Iraq a changed man, and not just because of the bomb,’ is definitely a four star hate Bush story.
Young Rogers, 21, saw several friends die in action and returned home with a broken femur, broken jaw, broken cheekbone. Doctors reconstructed the right calf that had been blown off. He lost vision in his right eye and hearing in his right ear. He spent a month and a half at Walter Reed before going home to his family in Gaithersburg.
The headline is “Talking Wounded,” and here is a sample:
“He got visits from celebrities, too. Generals came by to shake his hand and ask how he was doing. The Dave Matthews Band visited, as did players from the Washington Nationals and Colorado Rockies.
“I didn’t catch their names’ he says. ‘I was kind of high on morphine at the time. And you can’t read their autographs.”
“One day a nurse came in to ask Rodgers if he wanted to meet President Bush, who was visiting the hospital. Rodgers declined.
“‘I don’t want anything to do with him,’ he explains. ‘My belief is that his ego is getting people killed and mutilated for no reason — just his ego and his reputation. If we really wanted to, we could pull out of Iraq. Maybe not completely but enough that we wouldn’t be losing people — at least not at this rate. So I think he himself is responsible for quite a few American deaths.'”
I am not going to criticize Mr. Rogers–he was wounded serving his country, and is, after all, the talking wounded, speaking from pain and suffering.
But I am going to criticize reporter Peter Carlson. Where are the stories on people who return from war who remain loyal to the cause?
It’s not because they don’t exist–it’s because reporters don’t want to write about them.
Reporters prefer men like Mr. Rogers, who mouths their own anti-war beliefs (beliefs for which, unlike Rogers, they have not suffered). Ever get the feeling the press wants us to lose in Iraq?