FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Glenn Greenwald: Today’s Ernie Pyle?

by MYLES B. HOENIG

During WW2 everyone who went to the movies saw newsreels of Il Duce, der Fuhrer, Panzer Divisions, and of course the courageous men (and some women) in our armed forces fighting for freedom and democracy. It was a controlled media production, often put out by the Office of War Information or any studio with correspondents overseas. All had been pro-war efforts and even when things were going badly, the news was sanitized the best it could be.

Vietnam changed things as the embedded journalists started to see real opposition to the war coming from the front itself.  People complained in the European and Pacific theaters and showed every emotion one could display in wartime, but overall the tone was one of defiance and patriotism. In Vietnam, opposition was real and reporting on it was acceptable. Didn’t the White House know the war was lost when Walter Cronkite said so?

What was unique in WW2 was the power of the pen. Newsreels were eye candy but it was the pen of the journalists that most remember back then. One person in particular was Ernie Pyle, the real soldiers’ reporter.  Unlike today’s embedded ‘reporters’ whose very lives depend on his/her subjects, and whose stories will thus always be flattering to the mission, Pyle was different. He told the stories of war directly from the point of view of the soldier. When things were bad, he let home know about it. He had an affinity towards the infantry and did not write so flatteringly about the US naval forces for whom he felt had an easier ride of it.

As a child of the post-WW2 era I watched many war movies.  I knew about the Stars and Stripes (independent military newspaper), war propaganda, and of Ernie Pyle. I knew that people anxiously waited for his next dispatch. Long before 24/7 cable news, Internet, and phone cameras, the eyewitness had to be someone credible to attain such a lofty position in his/her field. (Incidentally, as I drove around Ft. Meade, MD heading towards the Manning trial, I drove along Ernie Pyle Road, as I did more than 45 years ago with my dad who worked there as a civilian photographer.)

That brings us to today and the one journalist for whom the world awaits daily dispatches from the war zone: Glenn Greenwald.  The war zone might not be the blood and guts of an Iwo Jima or the outskirts of a Paris, (leave that to the intrepid Jeremy Scahill) but the war of a brutal empire fighting its own citizens to prevent exposure of its crimes against humanity.  I await with incredible eagerness anything he has to say about the Snowden affair.  His words are the very soul of truth in journalism, the very reason why we have a 4th Estate.  George Orwell said, “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” Greenwald at the ISO convention in Chicago last week called out the ‘caviar correspondents’ for their obeisance to the presidents’ consistent foreign policy and the war machines that pay their salaries.

For now, Greenwald stands nearly alone. But often it is the ‘one’ voice that speaks louder than all the pipsqueaks who blah blah blah on Sunday morning, pontificating about things they know nothing about, pretending that they talk to the gas station attendants who pump their gas about what’s going on in this world, all to get the (real) people’s point of view.

Myles B. Hoenig is a veteran ESOL teacher in Prince George’s County, MD.

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious madness in Ulster
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
January 19, 2017
Melvin Goodman
America’s Russian Problem
Dave Lindorff
Right a Terrible Wrong: Why Obama Should Reverse Himself and Pardon Leonard Peltier
Laura Carlsen
Bringing Mexico to Its Knees Will Not “Make America Great Again”
John W. Whitehead
Nothing is Real: When Reality TV Programming Masquerades as Politics
Yoav Litvin
Time to Diss Obey: the Failure of Identity Politics and Protest
Mike Whitney
The Trump Speech That No One Heard 
Conn Hallinan
Is Europe Heading for a “Lexit”?
Stephen Cooper
Truth or Twitter? Why Donald Trump Is No John Steinbeck
Binoy Kampmark
Scoundrels of Patriotism: The Freeing of Chelsea Manning
Ramzy Baroud
The Balancing Act is Over: What Elor Azaria Taught Us about Israel
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail