Sunday Weekend Edition has an awful two-part piece from Broke Bow, Nebraska. In part one Liane Hansen gives three full minutes of this eight minute piece to a pro-war mother with two soldiers on duty in Iraq. The mother says that her sons are serving to "protect our freedom" and that she supports the war in Iraq because "there are times that you have to protect what's yours." It's not so amazing that a US citizen can be so sadly misinformed as to make such statements, but it's a disgrace for a reporter to let such newspeak to stand with no follow-up questions. I was talking to someone who listened to a BBC reporter who ran into similar sentiments in Montana, but then politely asked the person to give a rationale for such thinking--which, of course, they couldn't. Why couldn't Hansen just kindly ask, "Do you ever think that actually that this administration has used the war in Iraq to curb our freedoms?" or "And just what is it that is 'ours' in Iraq?"
In the second part of the Broke Bow series Hansen describes the WWII veterans in a Broke Bow hotel cafeteria by saying, "support for the troops in Iraq among these veterans is absolute." Is that so? I wanted to ask Hansen. Are they calling for the impeachment and prosecution for those who lied to put so many soldiers in harms way? Did they demand debate and a congressional declaration of war before the invasion? Are they demanding investigation and prosecution for waste, corruption, fraud, and negligence in the "reconstruction" effort in Iraq? It's interesting to compare NPR's pro-war coverage with the remarkable open letter recently published by Pat Tillman's brother Kevin Tillman. I wonder when NPR will have him on the show?