Just As I Thought

The Lynch Mob

Since the right wing already brands me as “hating America”, can I just take a moment to say… what the hell is the deal with Jessica Lynch?
OK. Let me preface this rant by saying that I regard almost anyone who fights for their country to be a hero. But what in the world is going on with the media and their Jessica Lynch love affair?
Most of the hype surrounding the Lynch story has been discredited – stories of her being held hostage in a hospital are dubious, and when you think about it, she’s been at Walter Reed Medical Center for more than 3 months. Wouldn’t you have thought she could have been transported closer to home in that time? Sounds like she was hostage in THAT hospital to me. Hostage to military and administration spin doctors.
MSNBC, amazingly enough, stepped back from the PFC Lynch Road Show to say:

But even as family and friends welcomed home the 20-year-old supply clerk, media critics said the TV cameras showed not so much the return of an injured soldier as a reality TV drama coproduced by U.S. government propaganda and credulous reporters.

“It no longer matters in America whether something is true or false. The population has been conditioned to accept anything: sentimental stories, lies, atomic bomb threats,” said John MacArthur, the publisher of Harper’s magazine.

Lynch was in a 507th Maintenance Company convoy on March 23 when her company was ambushed near the city of Nasiriyah. Eleven soldiers died and nine were wounded in a 90-minute firefight.

Lynch became a national hero after media reports quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying she fought fiercely before being captured, firing on Iraqi forces despite sustaining multiple gunshot and stab wounds.

In the end, Army investigators concluded that Lynch was injured when her Humvee crashed into another vehicle in the convoy after it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Far from a scene of battlefield heroism, the Army said the convoy blundered into the ambush after getting lost and many of the unit’s weapons malfunctioned during the battle.

The U.S. military also released video taken during an apparently daring rescue by American special forces who raided the Iraqi hospital where she was being treated.

Iraqi doctors at the hospital said later the U.S. rescuers had faced no resistance and the operation had been over-dramatized. Five other 507th Maintenance Company soldiers who were captured and held apart from Lynch were freed April 13.

The article is accompanied by a photo of a city street sign proclaiming “Home of Jessica Lynch, Ex-POW.” I feel a slight sense of outrage on behalf of true POWs. (By the way – the sign is at the entrance to Elizabeth, WV — Lynch lives in Palestine. In addition, the sign sycophantically says “Compliments of City of Charleston.”)

Well, it’s a public relations necessity for a war such as this – plays well with the folks back home I suppose.

1 comment

  • You are right on so many points on this, but first let me preface by saying that no matter what the ‘spin’ by the media, government or both, J.Lynch is a true hero- as well as the hundreds of others in simialr situations who’s names we don’t hear everyday. I’m sure you agree, but I just wanted to use my the new soapbox I got at the Pottery Barn.

    Second, I put a lot of the blame on the media hype. I’m not sure where all of this started (probably has something to do with the internet and our reported constant need for real time information) but it’s getting out of control real fast. Watching the ‘news’ is a constant struggle with my bowel reflexes. It’s reasons such as this that I am supposed to take Katie Couric and Barbera Walters seriously.

    Remember a few years ago when P.C. (not the computers) was getting a little out of control and there was a sudden backlash- hence the rise of right winged radio, angry white men and ‘The Simpsons’? Well, I just wonder if we’ll see something similar in regaurds to media hype before long.

    Maybe we’ll see a left-winged Rush Limbaugh… one can only hope, I can only take so much of Larry King.

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