I mentioned recently that I do not post everything I write here. In a like manner, I nearly did not post the last entry about the initial media coverage of a fallen soldier, and the response we received from it. I sat on it.
One more email rolled in, however (ah, the e-mail that broke the camel's back!) and I posted.
I document my encounters here, or privately, and hope someday to bring all that's happened in the last few years into a book. Even if it's a printing of 1, for Brian's kids to read some day. So, I gotta jot it down.
So much has happened in the last couple of years, and even though I have done a lot to bring myself and our organization into the limelight, a phone call from the media always surprises me. I don't consider myself a source of information; heck, I've done interviews admitting how little I know! When will your kid be home? I don't know!
I also don't underestimate how much the guys and gals in the media have done for us. One of the things that made me hesitate about posting the last entry was that I've met so many nice people doing what these people were doing last week: their jobs.
I argued with myself, though: Should that keep me from posting my opinions? Be true to yourself, and all that jazz, and hit that Publish Post button.
I received an email yesterday morning, from one reporter that had received angry letters, as a result of my blog.
Upset he was, and apologetic. There was no tease on his station, he said. I was mistaken, and he wanted to clear it up. He sent me transcripts. I volleyed, and respectfully disagreed: there was a tease; it left me baffled and annoyed, and friends and family panicked.
I wrote the blog to tell the story, and express my own response to condolences not meant for us. Yes, I grumbled about the tease, but truth is, I dislike those tease-bits on any tv show. I dislike a drumroll. I understand that piquing public curiosity and pulling viewers in is pretty darned important for the livelihood of any television show, but they somehow insult me, the way that removing clocks in department stores insults me.
I received another email: It started out: "Sorry to be a pain I just feel passionate about the integrity of my news gathering and [his TV station] ."
He went on to tell me that yes, there was a tease, but it was followed up by a brief story with more information.
Okay. Maybe it was only 5 minutes, or just a commercial break. I didn't see it. I didn't see clarification until 10:00 PM, and know only that others panicked and ran to the phones prematurely, also.
Most of all, I'm more than a little embarrassed that we've "bickered" ridiculously when there is a much larger, overall picture: the loss of a soldier. This particular reporter that called me on Thursday did say that he was trying to keep the feelings of the family first and foremost, and was phoning me for information so as to stay out of their hair. I'm sorry that I omitted that fact; I didn't honestly know how much he had to do with the show that aired, if anything.
I believe that the guy that's taken some heat here really does care, and that he meant to protect the interests of the family of our local fallen soldier. Fiercely.
And I have utmost respect for anyone that stands up and backs up the integrity of his own character, and this one did just that. He was respectful, and adamant, and kind.
God. Enough already, shut me up! With no further ado: