Sunday, June 7, 2009

"A Sixty Second Pause to Remember Before Returning to Our Regular Programing" Main Stream American Media

Every since 1942 and again in 1944, the month of June will be remembered for two crucial battles in World War II. The dates run concurrent, June, 4, 5 and 6, marking the anniversary of the Battle of Midway and Operation Overlord or D-Day. I have linked stories from the United States Naval Institute Blog to revisit these important events. Keep in mind at the time they occurred the media when given the go ahead reported the events unvarnished without a hint of self-loathing that seems to color much of how today's media reports their version of the news.

In every battle there is a moment when the combatants, and the world, seem to catch their breath. It is a fleeting moment, lost in the blink of an eye. But in that same blink, everything changes. Such moments are borne of desperation, of courage, of plain dumb luck. But they are pivotal - for what was before is forever changed afterwards.

Until 1019 on the morning of 4/5 June 1942, things had gone badly for the US and its allies. With few exceptions, the Allies were fighting a losing battle in the Pacific. Indeed, as events unfolded that morning, it appeared as if the rout was on. The attacks by land-based air forces from Midway had utterly failed culminating in the loss of many aircraft. The strikes by the torpedo aircraft were decimated - an entire squadron of TBDs shot down with only a sole survivor to claim witness. An entire air group missed the Japanese carriers and the battle altogether and of the remaining forces, they were scattered and disorganized. The future was looking grim. At 1019, Hiryu’s senior lookout shouted he had spotted dive bombers attacking Kaga from overhead. Despite being thrown into a hard turn, Kaga was struck by a 500 lb bomb and then successive strikes utterly crushed her…

Read more: 67th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway: 4/5 June - Forces Engaged

And for a brief look back:

“I can run wild for six months … after that, I have no expectation of success.”- Fleet Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto

In racing there is a saying - ‘luck is where preparation meets opportunity’ Perhaps there is no truer an example than the Battle of Midway. Popular literature seems to emphasize the American forces stumbling into a heaven-sent scenario of laden carrier decks and little to no opposition to the dive bombers, while giving short shrift to the preparation that enabled them to make use of that opportunity. How so?

Read more: Midway 67 Years Later - Lessons Learned

And from Operation Overlord.

65 years ago today, the liberation of France commenced under the command of General Eisenhower. We have all seen the footage of the battleships pounding the shores and men disembarking from thousands of landing craft. The CG Historian’s Office has compiled an outstanding site for those who want to learn more about the CG’s role in the liberation of Europe.

Read more The U.S. Coast Guard & D-Day and D-Day Photos.

Now lets jump ahead sixty five years and see what the media finds important to our culture.
Fabius Maximus in his masterful insightful manner has these two posts about our current main stream media (MSM) or the "Drive by Media" as some have dubbed what currently passes for information gathering and dissemination organizations.

Fab begins:

Summary: This post examines our broken mainstream media, a vital component of America’s observation-orientation-decision-action loop (the OODA loop). Mark Steyn provides a a current illustration; Lewis Lapham shows that this results from a long period of decay. At the end are links to other articles on this subject.

The apparatus by which America sees the world, the news feeds of the mainstream media, are broken. Both its business model and its ability to function (in terms of meeting our needs). These problems re-enforce one another.

(1) “Monday, the President ate a burger“, Mark Steyn, op-ed in Maclean’s, 21 May 2009 — “Maybe if they’d covered the love child instead of a fast food foray, papers wouldn’t be dying.” I recommend reading it in full.

Read the whole post:
The media – a broken component of America’s machinery to observe and understand the world

And in a follow on Fab offeres these biting comments and insight.

It’s often the little vignettes that show the nature of America’s broken observation-orientation-decision-action loop (the OODA loop). In this case, step one: seeing events. The US media presents a sanitized version of reality, to avoid challenging our preconceptions or spoiling their narrative. Getting America back on track requires fixing this problem.

Today we have a telling little incident from Treasury Secretary Geithner’s trip to pacify our Asian creditors. The European media tells the story. Too bad most Americans did not hear of it.

The Times

“Chinese assets are very safe,” Mr Geithner said, answering a question after his opening address at Peking University this morning. His answer was greeted with laughter by the students, who question the wisdom of China spending huge amounts of money on US bonds instead of improving domestic living standards.

Read the whole post for your morning brain food.
We’re ignorant about the world because we rely on our media for information

Drawing a link between the events of over sixty years ago and how our media behaves today serves to illustrate how shallow both the media and the public sense of responsibility have sunk. I have students who constantly compare today's events with interpretations of history provided by the MSM in it's zeal to berate those whom they personally dislike and fawn over those whom they favor. This is not so much a stretch when one considers that if the media personally likes you for your looks, personality and speaking style, that you can almost get away with anything short of killing your wife in public. Given the focus of most of today's media, the reporting of the events of June 4 and 5 1942 and June 6, 1944 would have focused on how many men we lost and the cost to the treasury instead of the fact that we defeated an enemies advance towards our west coast or forced an entry into a continent held hostage.

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