Sunday, January 20, 2008

An Addendum and An Apology

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.

Tsk.

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:
To RF:

I sincerely apologize.








8 comments:

  1. That may be...but you are still a mother of a boy who is there.
    Your feelings are your feelings.
    In a million years I will never be in your place.
    In a million years I won't ever quite understand.
    But that doesn't mean I can't have respect.
    It doesn't mean I can't truly feel it.
    And it doesn't mean that the media can walk in and 'try' to get it right.
    It seems to me that it requires so much more.

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  2. StFarmer7:45 AM

    Looks like you'll have to add another phrase to your vernacular - "no comment".

    By the way, when you publish that book, you'll need to print at least two copies because I want one too.

    I know it has been a rough week - {hug}.

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  3. My immediate thought was you need never apologize for your heart felt thoughts. You are not a person to speak out with malice.

    By the end of your post, I realized, this statement is just another affirmation to your big heart, compassion for other peoples feelings (even reporters), and your undying efforts to keep soldiers and their safety, lives, and story first and most important in the big picture.

    You are truly one-of-a-kind Lori.

    ((((hugs)))

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  4. Miz Liz11:34 AM

    Lori. I do reporting, albeit medical reporting. There is such a thing as good journalism and bad journalism. This particular reporter crossed the line when he used Brian's stats in lieu of the young man's who actually died. I don't actually think you owe him an apology for speaking your mind in a public forum, regardless of whether or not he received hate mail. Still, it's clear who is the bigger person here.

    It's unfortunate that teasers are necessary to make money but them's the rules of the game. And we all know that bad news "sells papers." At the end of the day, I guess ultimately, that you and only you can decide if you want to play their game. But kudos to you for standing your ground and stating your opinion.

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  5. In offering up apologies and willingness to maintain goodwill, I don't think either of us retracted our respective opinions about the series of events that upset me.

    Explanations were made, points of view laid out on the table, and a virtual handshake, if you will, has taken place. Everyone will try to do better next time.

    I hope there is no next time.

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  6. You were very humble to apologise though, taking the time to read back in your blog, I really don't feel you were required to do so.

    I cannot imagine how you must feel every time there is a death at war. You are a very brave mother with a very brave son.

    We all have the right to free speech and yet we should all use caution. The reporters didn't.

    I enjoy your blog and its honesty.

    Take care! :-)

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  7. I don't see where you needed to apologize for anything, either. What they did was not good. I don't care how they try to rationalize/explain it. And in any case, you're you, and it's your blog, and if you can't express things like that as they happen, then—well it wouldn't make any sense.

    My $0.02

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  8. What happened to journalists like Huntley, Brinkley, Cronkite, Smith, Murrow?

    People whose goal was to get the facts and the truth, not to be "first".

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