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:
February 21, 2018
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein’s on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail