Where’s Your Outrage? Where’s Your Decency?
You’re looking at one of the last photos ever taken of James Foley.
He was a war correspondent who reported on the Syrian Civil War.
On August 19, 2014, some 44 days after being captured and taken into captivity by ISIS, he was forced to his knees at an undisclosed location in the desert. An evil man wrapped in a black turban wielded a mighty sword, lifted his instrument of death towards a gorgeous blue sky, and then thrust the blade violently downward, instantly severing off the head of an American.
James Foley was 40 years old. [READ MORE HERE]
You’re looking at a picture of Chauncey Bailey.
He was a reporter for The Oakland Post, who regularly covered events within the African-American community. Bailey was highly-respected by peers and readers alike for his tireless work ethic. He was particularly adept at uncovering local corruption and was then working on a story that was particularly sensitive to people known for violence.
On August 2, 2007, Bailey was walking from his apartment to work, just as he did every morning. While strolling up 14th Street, a lone gunman wearing black clothing and a ski mask approached Bailey and blasted three bullets into his body, which killed the journalist instantly.
Chauncey Bailey was 57. [READ MORE HERE]
You’re looking at a photo of Cynthia Elbaum.
She was a correspondent with Time magazine assigned to the war in Chechnya.
Elbaum worked as a photojournalist. She captured the horrors of that terrible failed war for independence in the breakaway state of Chechnya. Elbaum was particularly remarkable for her courage, not just a willingness to risk her life in one of the world’s most dangerous regions, but also because she was one of the few female journalists daily in the line of fire.
She paid the ultimate price to bring us news, sending back images that most of us barely gave a glance at, perhaps only for a few fleeting seconds while parsing through an old issue of Time while waiting in a doctor’s office. We don’t think much of the dangers and sacrifices it took to bring us the things we read and see. We’re oblivious to those risks taken by the brave.
Cynthia Elbaum was 28. [READ MORE HERE]
You’re looking at a picture of Michael Kelly.
He wrote from The Washington Post and The New York Times.
On April 3, 2003, Kelly was traveling in a Humvee along with American troops dispatched to a war zone in Iraq. The vehicle hit a land mine, and exploded into flames, killing everyone trapped inside — including Kelly. Thus, he became the first journalist who was killed in Iraq.
Michael Kelly was 46. He left behind a wife and two children. [READ MORE HERE]
You’re looking at the wall of the Newseum’s Journalists Memorial, in Washington, DC. This is just a partial collection of members of the media who have been killed doing their jobs.
Indeed, this could be a much longer article. In fact, it could stretch on and on with hundreds of thousands of words. In all, a total of 2,291 writers, journalists, photographers, cameramen, and other members of the media have been killed in the line of duty.
Two-thousand, two-hundred,, ninety-one. Let that figure sink in.
The 2,291 gave their lives largely out of insatiable curiosities to which we — the readers and viewers — were the ungrateful beneficiaries. Rarely thanked, but so often criticized, they trekked into zones where others dared not to travel. They asked questions others dared not to ask. They took photo and video of events that were not supposed to be seen.
The least one might expect for this work and those who do their best follow in their hollowed footsteps is — a little respect.
You’re looking at the screen shot of the tweet that was sent out yesterday by the President of the United States.
He called the mainstream news media, “the enemy of the American People!”
I have received a fair amount of criticism lately for my harsh words and many of the brutal things I’ve said about President Trump. I recognize that my actions and use of language is not suited for all tastes. However, as a regular consumer of daily news and someone who has known and worked with a great many dedicated members of the media, I can’t help but be profoundly disturbed by the events I’m witnessing. I can’t help but get emotional about such a grotesque lack of respect and dignity, by the President, no less.
Where’s your outrage? Where’s your sense of decency?