Thursday, May 05, 2011

Not A Big Fan Of Newspersons

At Colorado Christian University, the ex- halt-term governor told fans

It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of press. It is the veteran, not the community organizer, who has given us the right to organize.

It's disturbing that Sarah Palin would finger veterans as the force behind "the right to organize." Referring last month to the Wisconsin legislation which virtually eliminated collective bargaining rights for unions, Palin remarked "You held your ground, your governor did the right thing, and you won." Now, she is holding veterans responsible for establishing those rights she wants abolished. Why does Sarah Palin hate the troops?

Palin's callous dismissal of the bravery of journalists exercising freedom of the press is similarly mean-spirited. If she weren't so ill-informed- as she first made clear to us in her infamous inteview with Katie Couric- she might be aware of the two Western photojournalists who on April 20 were killed

in the besieged city of Misrata while covering battles between rebels and Libyan government forces. Two others working alongside them were wounded.

British-born Tim Hetherington, co-director of the documentary "Restrepo" about U.S. soldiers on an outpost in Afghanistan, was killed inside the only rebel-held city in western Libya, said his U.S.-based publicist, Johanna Ramos Boyer. The city has come under weeks of relentless shelling by government troops.

Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, was also killed. His work appeared in major magazines and newspapers around the world, and his awards include the Robert Capa Gold Medal, one of the highest prizes in war photography.

Many circumstances of the incident were unclear. A statement from Hetherington's family said he was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade....

Hetherington, 40, was killed a day after he tweeted: "In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO."

"Tim was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict," Hetherington's family said in a statement. "He will be forever missed."

Hetherington was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2010 documentary film "Restrepo." The film was co-directed by Sebastian Junger, author of "The Perfect Storm"....

Hetherington's photos appeared in Vanity Fair magazine, where he worked as a contributing photographer. He won the World Press Photo of the Year award for his coverage of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.

"Restrepo" tells the story of the 2nd Platoon of Battle Company in the 173rd Airborne Combat Team on its deployment in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. The title refers to the platoon outpost, named after a popular soldier, Juan Restrepo, who was killed early in the fighting.

"We're at war," Hetherington said in an interview with the AP before the Oscars. "We wanted to bring the war into people's living room and put it into the movie theaters, and get people to connect with it. It's not necessarily about moral outrage. It's about trying to understand that we're at war and try to understand the emotional terrain of what being at war means."

Hondros, 41, had covered conflict zones since the late 1990s, capturing clutching, jeering and fearful moments from wars including Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. One front-page New York Times photo from 2007 showed a Humvee patrol in Iraq from a different angle: The ruddy hands of an Iraqi interpreter and a pair of muddied boots belonging to a gunner.

In Sarah Palin's world, bravery is defined by the willingness to place oneself in front of a friendly audience and waxing jingoistic. Placing oneself- unarmed- in the midst of grenades, tank shells, and rockets, chronicling the sacrifices of American soldiers and bringing information to the people on whose behalf they're fighting, is easily disregarded, the product of the "lame-stream media." Jay Carney understood much better when he noted

Journalists across the globe risk their lives each day to keep us informed, demand accountability from world leaders and give a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard.

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