April 24, 2004


William A Rost

Even worse, in my opinion, is the reiteration of the classic "victim" mythology in this context - here's a woman (at 23 she certainly qualifies) having unprotected sex, passing the result off to "friends" while she returns to the service, relocating to the area where experience already indicated she had no support and giving up a career that could have provided support. No reference to "daddy"; no intimation of bad choices; and a segue over the fact that life is bad - but she can afford a cell phone. Once again the issue is - "we" failed. Oh, and she's black, so we all know the underlying evil, don't we? Frankly, the only thing that surprised me about the article was the complete lack of commentary on how, if only she had recieved adequate sex ed in the public schools,...

Theodopoulos Pherecydes

What a travesty. I would like for the NYTimes to point out one similarity between the two soldiers other than that they were both in the Army.

These excuses for journalists didn't even have the courage to contrast the two: success and heroism v. failure and victimization.


You can see the dead trees front page image here:


Today only. However, I plan to do a post about it that uses the image, to memorialize it.

Jamie McCarthy

"it is a slap in the face to him and to what he stood for to do this, to make the suggestion that his death is only getting attention because he was a famous guy"

I'm sorry, I don't understand your argument. Clearly, he IS only getting attention because he was, as you say, "a famous guy." Many thousands of fighting men and woman have put their lives on the line and have shown courage and loyalty, which makes them heroes to me. Hundreds have died. How many who were not professional athletes have been put on the front page of the New York Times?

You point out that Tillman didn't want to be treated differently, which I believe. So Tillman wouldn't have wanted to be on the front page of the Times. Since you respect Tillman, I'd have thought you'd have a problem with his story being told on the front page at all. But you have a different concern.

What happened is that the Times chose to honor him in a way that it seems he would have found fitting: illustrating that, indeed, there are many soldiers who risk their lives for our country, many tales to be told, of which his is only one. And your problem, as far as I can tell, is that you would prefer Tillman be honored in a way exactly opposite to his wishes.


Are you crazy? Did you even read the story about Tillman? It painted him as a hero.

And I'm thankful that the NYT described the problems another soldier had after coming back to Iraq.

It seems like you think it's a wonderful thing that veterans wind up homeless.

Shame on you!


Just to be clear, I'm referring to Ranting's mindless rant. Not Jamie, who was dead on in his comments.


And did you read my post? My problem is not with taking note of Tillman, OR of the problems of the other soldier, which I note it is appropriate to put on the front page -- it is the way the two have been juxtaposed on the front page that I have a problem with.

As to putting his story on the front page, obviously there is a paradox here. He is being celebrated over and above other soldiers because he was famous, and I am uncomfortable with the level of attention his death is getting beyond theirs. But my problem varies from story to story, as I articulated in a different post. If it is just a matter of giving attn to his death b/c he was a highly paid athlete (as I believe happened with CBS's coverage last nt) that bothers me. If, on the other hand, he is celebrated as a hero b/c he walked away from fame and fortune then that is a very different thing (as was the case with the Post's story this morning.) And I think it is in that sense that Tillman's story matters to so many people: that he had fame and fortune and chose to walk away from it. Now, you are correct that by defintion the only way to celebrate that is to draw attention to it over and above the stories of other soldiers, but there you are. It is one story among many, all are powerful in their own way, this is the way that this story is powerful. The choice is to tell that story or ignore it. I believe IF TOLD WELL it is a meaningful and important story even if he himself would have been uncomfortable with the attn. Are other soldier's not getting their due? Damn straight.

Neither of you are really responding to the problem I had with what the Times did. I was not objecting to their putting Tillman on the front page, I was not objecting to the tenor of their coverage of his death, nor was I objecting to their coverage of the homeless soldier, not was I even suggesting that that story should not have been on the front page.

AGAIN the problem lies in the way the TEASE for the two stories is placed side by side on the front page.


I saw the NYT print page this morning, and I have to say that what you're talking about never even occurred to me. I think you have to already assume the Times is trying to send subliminal messages in order to reach this conclusion. A conclusion which simply isn't borne out if you actually read the way they wrote the Tillman story. If the intended implication is that the country doesn't care about soldiers if they aren't famous, don't you think that would come across in the actual story?

Also, if you're interested, here are instructions on how to link directly to a front page scan of any edition of the NYT back to early 2002. The NYT keeps its archive of these scans online; you just have to edit the URL to get the one you want. Here's your page, for example:



Oops, link to instructions didn't take. Here you go:


Dana C

CBS Rediscovers Homelessness
I didn't realize the NTY was owned by Viacom. How in the world does a major national news network use the same two stories as the NYT?

In an attempt to promote one of its pet causes, CBS News shamefully paired the death of Pat Tillman, the former NFL player who sacrificed millions to anonymously serve as an Army Ranger, with that of a returning veteran who was homeless because she couldn't get along with her mom. "A tale of two soldiers," anchor Mika Brzezinski claimed, "one honored in death, the other homeless in life.

Dana C

The paragraph is taken from the following link:



Wow . . . I always tell folks that the Times sets the pace, but that is truly stunning! wish I'd seen it . . .

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