Thursday, February 02, 2006

Is There Too Much Media Coverage of ABC's Bob Woodruff Being Seriously Wounded in Iraq?

The story of ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and his cameraman Doug Vogt being seriously injured in Iraq has gotten overwhelming media coverage, and UPI reports that some soldiers are now questioning why it's getting so much attention, compared to that for soldiers who are killed and wounded every day in Iraq, a majority of them also by improvised explosive devices (IEDs). UPI cites a senior military officer as saying, "The point that is currently being made [is that] press folks are more important than mere military folks."

UPI points out, however, that an anchorperson for one of the U.S. TV networks has never before been so grievously wounded while covering a story, and the newsworthiness of what happened can't be denied. As an anchorperson -- albeit one who's been a co-anchor of ABC's evening newscast for only a short while -- Americans welcomed Woodruff into their living rooms, and, UPI says, quote, "his injury, therefore, feels personal to many viewers."

UPI also states that fact that military personnel are in fact often upset and frustrated when the media reports on daily attacks and casualties instead of reporting on the successes in Iraq. This complaint has also been made by many conservative commentators. When ABC's Nightline in April 2004 sought to honor all the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan up to that point by reading their names and showing their photos, conservatives charged it was an anti-war, anti-administration political statement, and conservative-owned Sinclair Broadcasting pulled the show from its eight ABC affiliates.

8 Comments:

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous bill "the future antichrist" clinton said...

.
.
I had enough of Saint Bob's marytrdom the first day it was reported.

On the other hand, it's understandable that news people would be centered on Woodruff's situation more than the average man on the street might be. People talk about the things which are on their minds. Old people talk about their grandchildren and their personal medical histories. Young wives talk about their babies and their husbands. Young sailors talk about getting drunk and getting laid. I can understand why the news folk are focused on the story, but I'd like to see them develop more self discipline and focus less upon what concerns them and more on what concerns the average well-informed citizen.

 
At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that the realities of war come as a surprise to some media personnel when operating in a war zone. Not only are the soldiers killed or wounded, but also non military support personnel, civillians, indigenous personnel, and yes members of the media also face these dangers. Basically anyone in a war zone should expect an elevated risk to themselves as well as those around them. The media concentration on their own injured personnel should be expected, albeit overdone in this case. Woodruff may be more well known than the other people held hostage, wounded or even killed in this war, but that should not overshadow or diminish the honor, sacrifice and devotion of the soldiers doing their duty, other reporters reporting their stories or non combatants fulfilling their daily efforts.

long time listener, first time blogger - R

 
At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,



This argument that the reporter is just doing his job and his injury is important because we trust him enough to invite him into our homes every night is just so much horse bleep. It is this simple: The mainstream media think that our military are nothing more than canon fodder. They are stupid for being in Iraq in the first place and they vote Republican – further evidence of their gross stupidity and lack of sophistication. But when it’s one of our elite that get hurt, now that’s important. That brings the whole war-thing to the fore.



Hypocrites and elitists, all. That’s why I have joined the growing number who use the internet, radio and, in a pinch, Fox News for my sources.



Kent B.

 
At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think his injury his a perfect example of why these people need to stay the hell out of a war zone and let our troops do what they are trained to do!

Victoria

 
At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The press is so entirely fixated upon itself that with the wounding of a prominent network news anchor, they think that they have the equivalent of the picture of the burned and naked little Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack in Vietnam. That picture and some others were splashed all over the liberal press to fill us with fear and shock us away from continuing a difficult, dangerous and often distasteful, but absolutely necessary task. It is just another attempt to pull the support of the American people away from the war on terror. We should be familiar with the anti-U.S. techniques of the press which are becoming tired after forty years.



Kevin

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When these people go over there for the same amount of money our service people
do..........then , they might be heroes.
I don't need days and days of coverage of this. A report and a follow up is plenty.
They are celebrities and they don't need to be there anyway.
We get better and more truthful coverage from people like your man in Bagdad.

David J.

 
At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat-
I think the story about the reporter and his cameraman is being over-done. Were these men getting paid to be there? Like it's their job... Our soldiers should get this much coverage and all the good they are doing.
Jerry W. H.

 
At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a story because some of us know the names of the men involved. I do hope they recover completely, but they were being paid big bucks to be in the area...unlike the military who puts its life on the line daily.

It doesn't quite seem "right" when the journalists become the story.

Just an update every now and then on their conditions would more than suffice.

 

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