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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > "The real saving Pte. Lynch"

"The real saving Pte. Lynch"
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xtal
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May 5, 2003, 09:20 AM
 
Althought this article isn't written particularly well, it is an interesting read. I wonder whether we will ever know the truth...

http://tinyurl.com/azv6


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xtal  (op)
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May 5, 2003, 09:24 AM
 
After posting this, I ran a search and realized that this topic has been discussed previously. Sorry. I guess the Toronto Star is a little behind...


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Nicko
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May 5, 2003, 09:40 AM
 
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SimeyTheLimey
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May 5, 2003, 10:36 AM
 
dp
     
SimeyTheLimey
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May 5, 2003, 10:38 AM
 
If a paper is going to write about her, they could at least do the 30 seconds of additional research necessary to get her rank right. Pte. is wrong. Private is abbreviated Pvt. in the US Army. Pte. might be right in the Canadian armed forces, but she isn't Canadian.

In any case, I think she is a Private First Class. The correct abbreviation is PFC.

Edit: maybe it is just me noticing this, but it seems to me that journalists are much more sloppy about enlisted ranks than officer ranks. They usually seem pretty careful about getting the right rank with majors, colonels, and generals. But if a person is enlisted they just don't seem to care as much. I've seen specialists called private, and Sergeants First Class called "sergeant" - a rank two grades lower - etc. Those ranks are earned just as much as an officer's and it is insulting (and classist) of journalists not to take the same care to be accurate.
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; May 5, 2003 at 11:18 AM. )
     
nvaughan3
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May 5, 2003, 12:35 PM
 
I've seen specialists called private, and Sergeants First Class called "sergeant" - a rank two grades lower - etc. Those ranks are earned just as much as an officer's and it is insulting (and classist) of journalists not to take the same care to be accurate.
While not old enough to have experienced the prior hostile relationship between the press and the US Military, I believe much of those errors stem from the past. The media "boot camps" for embeds spent a great deal of time educating journalists on proper titles how to recognize them. I think as we move forward to a new area of media acess in military operations we will see errors like these will decline, at least among respectable journalists.
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SimeyTheLimey
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May 5, 2003, 01:06 PM
 
Originally posted by nvaughan3:
While not old enough to have experienced the prior hostile relationship between the press and the US Military, I believe much of those errors stem from the past. The media "boot camps" for embeds spent a great deal of time educating journalists on proper titles how to recognize them. I think as we move forward to a new area of media acess in military operations we will see errors like these will decline, at least among respectable journalists.
I don't agree. For example, I saw a report by an embed. It was before the troops moved out to beging their attack. He showed the audience around the tent city he was living in, and showed us his cot. Then he introduced the soldier in the cot next to his as "private" such and such. The private was a Specialist. How much communication had there been between them if he didn't even know the rank of the man sleeping in the cot 2 feet to the side of his own?

Robert Heinlein had a passage in Job: a comedy of justice that touches on this. He remarked that civilians who have never served automatically equate their own status with officers, never with enlisted soldiers. I think there is a lot of truth to that observation. In the case of journalist it is especially strong. Journalists are for the most part are college educated and middle class. So are commissioned officers. But enlisted soldiers generally aren't college educated, and are often from more humble backgrounds. I think that has a lot to do with it. I think there is a tendency for journalists to subconciously think of commissioned rank as being "real"and weighty, and enlisted rank as not. Therefore, they don't take as much time to learn the ranks.

Hopefully, the experience of being embedded will change a generation of journalist's perceptions a bit. But we will see.
( Last edited by SimeyTheLimey; May 5, 2003 at 02:56 PM. )
     
deedar
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May 5, 2003, 02:25 PM
 
Maybe this is why it has recently been reported that she has amnesia and cannot remember what happened during her captivity, eh? We wouldn't want the real truth (if this is it) out, would we??? This account is a lot more believable that than reported by the US military after the rescue.
     
thunderous_funker
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May 5, 2003, 02:33 PM
 
I've already seen an ad for "Saving Pvt. Lynch" TV special. Can't remember which channel. Might have been Discovery or TLC.

Does anyone else think of Wag The Dog when they read about this story? You know, "good old shoe" and whatnot. She's even from Palestine, WV.

I don't mean to say that the media hyped feel-good was thought of from the beginning or before hand. I think, rather, that once someone saw the big picture (cute girl, Palestine, captured, people doubting war plan, daring over-aggressive rescue....)

The sad thing is that the fallout from people finding out it was totally over-hyped spin and a PR stunt might hurt her personally when it shouldn't. She's a brave soldier who was wounded in combat. She didn't tell FoxNews, CNN, CentCom, etc to make a big deal out of it. She's just caught in the whirlwind. Hopefully she won't get sucked into the media distortion field and suffer the fate of most 15 minutes-of-fame casualties.
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die." -- Hunter S. Thompson
     
xtal  (op)
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May 5, 2003, 09:47 PM
 
Originally posted by thunderous_funker:
Does anyone else think of Wag The Dog when they read about this story?
Now that's a movie I need to see again.


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raskol
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May 5, 2003, 11:26 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
dp
Are you asking for double penetration? sicko.
     
raskol
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May 5, 2003, 11:30 PM
 
Originally posted by thunderous_funker:
The sad thing is that the fallout from people finding out it was totally over-hyped spin and a PR stunt might hurt her personally when it shouldn't. She's a brave soldier who was wounded in combat. She didn't tell FoxNews, CNN, CentCom, etc to make a big deal out of it. She's just caught in the whirlwind. Hopefully she won't get sucked into the media distortion field and suffer the fate of most 15 minutes-of-fame casualties.
I hope that I speak for the rest of us anti-war folk that we would never blame troops for what their misguided leaders have done to them.

I am whole-heartedly sympathetic.
     
3gg3
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May 7, 2003, 01:58 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Edit: maybe it is just me noticing this, but it seems to me that journalists are much more sloppy about enlisted ranks than officer ranks.
Well, in this case at least, they opted for equal-time sloppiness, in that they identify the US Army spokesman as a "Lt.-Col", which appears to be in accordance with no standard at all. I believe the Canadian abbreviation would be LCol, and the US Army does not use the hyphen. But having googled for a reference, I have to feel some empathy for journalists what a dog's breakfast!!
     
Spheric Harlot
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May 7, 2003, 02:29 PM
 
Originally posted by thunderous_funker:
Does anyone else think of Wag The Dog when they read about this story? You know, "good old shoe" and whatnot. She's even from Palestine, WV.
That movie was on TV again a few weeks ago.

Lemme tell you, there's a lot more in there than just the "Good Old Shoe" part that rings true so eerily...

-s*
     
SimeyTheLimey
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May 7, 2003, 02:43 PM
 
Originally posted by 3gg3:
Well, in this case at least, they opted for equal-time sloppiness, in that they identify the US Army spokesman as a "Lt.-Col", which appears to be in accordance with no standard at all. I believe the Canadian abbreviation would be LCol, and the US Army does not use the hyphen. But having googled for a reference, I have to feel some empathy for journalists what a dog's breakfast!!
Yes, it sounds like a mess. The correct US abbreviation would be LTC.
     
xtal  (op)
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May 7, 2003, 02:46 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Yes, it sounds like a mess. The correct US abbreviation would be LTC.
I'm guessing that they must be using some sort of 'popularized' abbreviation so people like me (very little knowledge of military ranks) could identify the rank. Whether it's right or not, I think that's what's going on.

It is somewhat akin to sticking 'lite' on a snack package instead of 'light', because most people likely identify more strongly with the incorrect spelling (ugh! don't get me started on THAT).


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SimeyTheLimey
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May 7, 2003, 07:07 PM
 
Originally posted by xtal:
I'm guessing that they must be using some sort of 'popularized' abbreviation so people like me (very little knowledge of military ranks) could identify the rank. Whether it's right or not, I think that's what's going on.
Yes, that is reasonable, I suppose. In that case, it makes sense to use the familiar-to-Canadians "Pte" abbreviation instead of the unfamiliar American "PVT." The problem is that "PVT" or "Pte" kind of insults the individual since she is actually a Private First Class, which is two ranks higher than a buck Private. It would be like calling that Lieutenant Colonel a Captain. Not quite as extreme, of course, because it only takes a PVT a few months to arrive at the dizzying heights of PFC-hood. But the same thing in principle.
     
raskol
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May 7, 2003, 08:55 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Yes, that is reasonable, I suppose.
Simey could you come over and address my issues?

http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.p...0&pagenumber=2

This is the last time I am going to try. If you don't respond I will still continue to monitor your self-important posts for state-issued opinion stated as truth.
     
xtal  (op)
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May 7, 2003, 10:31 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Yes, that is reasonable, I suppose. In that case, it makes sense to use the familiar-to-Canadians "Pte" abbreviation instead of the unfamiliar American "PVT."
Good point, but you forget that most Canadians have very little knowledge about the military. The Canadian Armed Forces is extremely small, and it seems to be shrinking in size every year (I'm not sure if that's true, of course).

For example, of the many people I know, I have exactly one acquaintance who has served in the Canadian military. It is not uncommon to be unacquainted with those in the military. So, either "Pte." or "PVT" will be equally unrecognizable to most around here.

However, I must note that I live in the downtown of Canada's largest city (Toronto). Most downtowners wouldn't know the first thing about the military. Thus, my opinion is somewhat skewed.


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Nicko
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May 7, 2003, 11:23 PM
 
Originally posted by xtal:


However, I must note that I live in the downtown of Canada's largest city (Toronto). Most downtowners wouldn't know the first thing about the military. Thus, my opinion is somewhat skewed.

We live in the best country in the world and everyone loves us. Why would we need a military?
     
   
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