Sunday, June 19, 2005

NPR echo chamber (updated)

The radio version of Bait-and-Switch :
(1) NPR contacts Marine recruiter SSgt Ron Marquez for an interview, takes the time to talk with him, and indicates that the interview will be broadcast on NPR/Weekend America, between noon and 2pm pacific time on Saturday.
(2) Then, at the appointed time, they broadcast Anti-Recruiter programming instead.

To be honest - I was prepared for a very unkind cut of the interview, expecting the questions to be slanted, and the responses chopped to suit the purposes of the interviewers. But they trumped my expectations completely!

Gee, there's no anti-military bias in the media, is there?
(/sarcasm off)

Thanks to commenters Friggin' Aye and Iaanmte at Blackfive, we know where to go to get the Rest of the story...

Stephen Spruiell at NRO contacted Paynter and the Marine recruiter for a balanced story, and has an informative follow up here.

Note especially that Paynter (author of the original hysteria piece in the PI) did not actually talk with, or request an interview with, any of the recruiters in the office she suggested used bad recruiting practices. She only reported spewed the viewpoint of an apparently over-protective mother.

From Spruiell's piece :

Marines say Paynter never called
Marquez told me the story of a young, impressionable boy who seemed eager to tell people what they wanted to hear. In such a situation, one could draw the conclusion that the Marines recruited Axel too aggressively. Yet, if Axel kept telling Marquez at the end of every meeting that he wanted to join the Marines, then Marquez’s job was to follow up with the kid. And over the course of the recruitment, Axel went bowling with Marquez and his wife, and he and Marquez often talked about private family issues and personal experiences. This was not the hostile, bullying relationship that Paynter’s column led readers to believe it was.


Monday, I asked Sgt. Chau, Staff Sgt. Marquez, Staff Sgt. David J. Adams (who runs the Burlington office), and Lt. Col. Robert Coty (who oversees all these Marines) if Susan Paynter had ever tried to contact any of them. All of them told me no. Staff Sgt. Adams said, “I actually had a conversation with all my Marines on this specific subject, and I asked all my Marines, ‘Has anyone been contacted by this writer?’ and no one’s been contacted in either Bellingham or Burlington.”


Earlier today Mrs. Marquez sent me a link to this article in a local newspaper ...

Stating their case
A Sedro-Woolley mother says the Marines went beyond the call of duty in trying to enlist her son. The Marines say he wanted to join. In a story that drew national attention, both sides say they've been misunderstood.

So it's just a little misunderstanding ... right. I think this excerpt explains the biggest misunderstanding :
The military is required to gain parental approval for recruits under the age of 18, he said. Axel turned 18 last year.

There you have it! Axel is 18, deemed an adult under the law, and (theoretically) capable of making up his own mind. No permission from the parents is required, folks - he's an adult ... at least biologically, if not in other respects.