Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Lesson From The Military

The artillery battalions and batteries are constantly on the move to keep up with infantry and armored units on the line of battle. Consequently, they must displace rather often, which means they have to tear down their emplacements, hitch up the howitzers to transport vehicles and race to their newly designated positions, and then dig in and survey their new locations. This is quite a hassle, as you might imagine, and is not particularly welcome, especially when the HQ changes its mind just after a displacement has been effected, and the guns redug into their revetments.

The usual practice, then, that battalion and battery commanders adopt to minimize the pain of displacing often, is not to displace on the first order they receive from HQ. So their rule is clearly: "Don't displace on the first order!" If the move is truly wanted, a confirming order will be forthcoming within several minutes, or a cancellation will come. This saves many a battery from excessive and arduous physical work.

Something like this should be practiced by readers of the MSM. The first breaking stories are most often highly inaccurate and prone to be seriously in error. If we adopt the artillery method, we "don't displace on the first order." A few minutes or hours later, reporting with far greater accuracy will be forthcoming, which often results in massive but subtle corrections of the first reportorial screams of nonsense by field personnel that are dying to be the first to say something important, even if very inaccurately at that moment. This behavior is regularly observed during catastrophes, where the bigger the devastation that can be stated, the more likely the stories are to be placed on the air and the front pages of the MSM.

For example, in the Katrina hurricane situation, we had extreme drownings (some said up to 10,000), riots, killings, rapes and other fantastic stories put on the air which turned out to be sheer vapor. These stories falsely amplified the reportage around the world, and convinced those who did "displace" on the first reporting that we had total chaos there in New Orleans. Which was later shown to be completely untrue, but the images had been set in the minds of many people. Of course, the MSM downplayed their role! Now it is a "given" that Katrina was an absolute mess caused by the government, which is total nonsense!

Take the advice of the artillerymen and don't displace on the first reporting!


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