Mackness Family Mauled By Media

8 05 2008

The Mackness family are sending not one, not two, not three, but four men to serve in Iraq. Father Danny and his three sons will all be serving in Basra together.

This is believed to be the largest deployment from a single family in a specific combat zone since WWII. Mr President salutes their commitment.

Yet whilst he is very thankful for their contribution to our nation, and to the allied cause of fighting the roots of worldwide terrorism, it is anger he feels above all else. Not with their family, of course, he has nothing but admiration and thanks for them and people like them, but with the BBC other media outlets. Compare the Mirror with the Mail.

Here at Textual Relations we hate quoting the Daily Mail. Yet our issue here is with the BBC which we’ve noted in the past has also started going down the road of tabloid sensationalism. When they interviewed the family, El Presidente was disgusted to see their attempts to use the natural apprehension any family would have in such a situation into an anti-war argument. This from the BBC, once a respected news institution.

They asked father Danny if the risk to his family was worth it and naturally he paused, weighing his conflicting emotions as both a father and a soldier. He then said that if they had to be there, they had to be there. Don’t let that seem like he was only saying that out of a sense of duty either, as he followed it up by saying that he believed they had to be there, serving in Iraq. The interview pounced on the hesitation like a panther.

Rather than focus on the statement that he, even as a father with three of his sons in the firing line, believed they had a duty to be in Iraq, they chose to focus on the pause, and tried to spin it. When they interviewed the mother they made her natural worries and prayers seem as though she opposed the war yet if you read their quotes in the Daily Mail piece, it clearly shows that they’re a proud army family. And so they should be.

Of course they worry for their children, and Mr President’s best wishes go with their family as he hopes for their safe return, but for the media to prey on this natural concern and turn it into something it’s not is deplorable. To use their emotions like this for political gain is quite frankly disgusting. We urge you to remember Andrew Olmsted.

If supporting our troops is to be more than a platitude the media must stop doing this.


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