Via Real Clear Politics, Max Boot writes about this pet peeve of mine:
No one working for the mainstream media today would refer, as Ernie Pyle did during World War II, to "our soldiers," "our offensive," "our predicament." Today it's "American soldiers," "the military offensive" and (most damning of all) "the president's predicament" — as if this were Bush's war, not ours. Just as newsies no longer identify in print with our troops, so they are careful to use impartial language about our enemies. Reuters has gone so far as to all but ban the use of "terrorist," which is considered too judgmental.
An unwillingness to play favorites makes sense when reporting on most topics. Mainstream reporters shouldn't choose between Republicans and Democrats or Microsoft and its critics (though in practice they usually do). But is studied neutrality really the right posture when covering a battle against monsters who fly hijacked aircraft into office buildings?
Los Angeles Times media columnist Tim Rutten, in defending the Pulitzers, claimed that critics "don't want an unbiased news media, they want a press that reflects their bias."
Right. I want journalists to cover the present struggle as a fight between good and evil. And when the good guys — that would be U.S. officials — say that certain revelations would help the bad guys, I want them to be given the benefit of the doubt. So, I suspect, do most Americans.
The problem with the mainstream media — and a big part of why their audience is declining — is that this is seen as a "bias" to be resisted at all costs.
Is it truly possible for the vast majority of our elite journalists to believe that they have no stake in this struggle?
This is why I watch FOX news. Before 9/11, I used to switch between the stations. But over time I've migrated almost exclusively to FNC. No, they aren't cheerleaders for the government. FOX chases explosions in Baghdad and dead blonde women as much as the next station. But despite these failings that they share with their more leftish competition, when they speak of American actions in this war, they are not afraid to say "we" and include themselves as Americans. At a time of war, that counts for a lot in my book.
Of course, from the Left MSM's perspective, just the fact that FOX reporters think of themselves as "Americans" is enough to be tagged rabid right wingers. Ernie Pyle would be horrified, I think, at what has happened to war reporting.