Time Magazine: They Need To Get It Right...
Micheal Yon brings to light in a post written last week the story of Sgt. Brad Kasal. Back in November of 2004, after being shot seven times, Sgt. Kasal put himself in front of a grenade blast in order to protect his fellow Marines in the battle for Falluja. Sgt. Kasal may receive The Medal of Honor for his actions that day and I for one hope he does.
Sgt. Kasal’s story is remarkable enough, but unfortunately that is not the basis of this post. Yon reveals that TIME Magazine will be publishing a photo of severely injured Sgt. Kasal being helped out of the building in which he carried out his heroic deeds, underneath the cover story titled “Haditha”. The cover story involves new detail on the controversial and alleged actions by Marines fighting there and the deaths of Iraqi civilians. A story about alleged atrocities in Haditha, using a photo of a potential Congressional Medal of Honor winner fighting in Falluja. Yon writes:
We, as writers, photographers and journalists, must endeavor to hold ourselves to those same standards Brad Kasal lives and fights by. We should not play fast and loose with facts, especially when reporting about the people who bleed in our defense. This is not to suggest that we should gild any depictions. Men like Brad Kasal don’t need or respect that kind of false sentiment.
Many service members believe Brad Kasal should be awarded the Medal of Honor. Any editor who would place the dazzle and drama of a layout above respect for the reputations of people of this caliber could use a few minutes of quiet circumspection. Brad Kasal is an incredible warrior and defender of our way of life who has demonstrated time and again that his life matters less to him than his duty to his country and to his fellow Marines.
In Yon’s post, both him and Sgt. Kasal make a point to ask readers NOT to turn this issue into some crusade against TIME magazine and it’s editors and I respect that, but it does nothing to still my anger. This playing loose with the rules of professional journalism pisses me off, as it should anybody, and it seems more and more common place as I have written in the last couple of weeks. TIME Magazine damn well better post a clarification and it should take measures to keep it from happening again.