Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Brooke Baldwin Should Prove What She Really Believes About Veterans

"CNN’s Brooke Baldwin shows rest of media how to apologize" or so Erik Wemple wrote on the Washington Post. Maybe that is what she thinks however, there is far too much yammering and far too little thinking going on.

This is what Baldwin said in the first place.
“And a lot of these young people … and I love our nation’s veterans, but some of them are coming back from war, they don’t know the communities and they’re ready to do battle.”

This is the apology being defended by Wemple.
On CNN’s “New Day” program Baldwin said:
I made a mistake yesterday. We were in the middle of live TV, I was talking to a member of Congress, and I was recounting a story, a conversation I had had recently just referring to police. And I absolutely misspoke, I inartfully chose my words 100 percent and I just wish speaking to all of you this morning: I wholeheartedly retract what I said. And I’ve thought tremendously about this, and to our nation’s veterans, to you — this is just who I want to speak with this morning — I have the utmost respect for our men and women in uniform. And I wanted you to know that this morning, so to all of you, I owe a tremendous apology. I am truly sorry.

"Recounting" a conversation she had? Ok, if someone told her in a conversation that the moon was made out of cheese, would she simply repeat that without ever wondering what kind of cheese it was? Would she do some research to find out if the person expressing the thoughts was telling the truth or not? Would she ask experts on the CNN payroll for their thoughts?

Baldwin may have shown how to say "sorry" but didn't do much good for proving being informed in the first place would have prevented her from even repeating those words.

Baldwin isn't just a person stopped on the street for an interview. She's a reporter! She has a job to do. This didn't just hurt the feelings of veterans but it added to the already uninformed believing veterans are dangerous and looking for some kind of a fight.

Guess it didn't matter to her that veterans are more likely to harm themselves than anyone else or the other very underreported fact that PTSD veterans have PTSD because they put their lives on the line over and over again for others and are, in my opinion, some of the best people you'd ever want to meet.

When they come home the number on job they go into is law enforcement followed by firefighting. Both jobs require putting their lives on the line to defend, protect and save lives. And yes, some of them have PTSD but just like the citizens after traumatic events in their own lives, most folks would never know they were suffering. Suffering doesn't mean they are not capable of love, compassion, mercy, forbearance, or lacking anything other than proper help to heal.

Then again maybe Baldwin is just remembering some of the other "reports" CNN has done over the years.
Experts: Vets' PTSD, violence a growing problem, By Ashley Hayes, CNN, Updated 5:02 PM ET, Tue January 17, 2012
A coincidence -- two recent high-profile cases? Or a sign of an increase in hostile behavior as U.S. troops complete their withdrawal from Iraq, similar to that seen when U.S. troops returned home from the Vietnam War?

"You're going to see this more and more over the next 10 years," said Shad Meshad, founder of the National Veterans Foundation, who has been working with veterans since 1970. "... There's a percentage that come back, depending on how much trauma and how much killing they're involved in, they're going to act out."

And in the same article there was this,
"What we don't want to do is stigmatize veterans by saying they're walking time bombs," said Elspeth Ritchie, chief clinical officer for the Washington, D.C., Department of Mental Health and a former U.S. Army colonel. "They're not."
But then again, Richie had a bad habit of doing exactly that. Had she thought differently about our veterans she would have told the truth that an infinitesimal number of veterans cause trouble to anyone.

Keep in mind, according to the VA report from 2014 "Living Veterans (Periods of War and Peace) 23,234,000" yet there are few reports compared to those numbers. What we do see more of is veterans committing suicide and trying to on an upward trend at the same time there are more and more "efforts" to "raise awareness" and help veterans. (Don't get me started on that!)

There is way too much bullshit going on all over the country and the last thing veterans need is to hear something like what Baldwin said and they didn't deserve it to be in her mind in the first place. After all, if she didn't think it, she wouldn't have said it.

So, now what? Being one to open my mouth and let the words come out before I can actually think of how it sounds before it is too late, she is not beyond redemption. After all typing something isn't the same as saying something. I can hit the delete button and you'd never know I was about to be a blithering idiot, (Lucky you I usually catch myself) but saying it can't be taken back.

She needs to show that she has really wanted to learn what the truth is. Let her go on CNN and interview experts and veterans with a list of questions and then she'll show she how much she does care. We can judge by the type of questions she asks and if she had any follow-up questions ready. If she really cares then she'd do enough research to be able to do that.

Making mistakes is human, but showing where her heart really is, must now be proven.

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