Do you know who this is? Her name was Marie Colvin. The eyepatch is no Halloween get-up; she lost the eye while covering a war. She was a journalist and she died this week trying to tell the world what’s happening right now in Syria.
She was a journalist, like Murrow, Cronkite, Sevareid, some others. She didn’t just go to government press briefings. She went out and got the story. Then she told it.
She was a journalist who put her life in peril to do her job the way it ought to be done, the way all serious journalists used to do it, the way some (very few) do it still. She thought the people of the world ought to know what’s happening. She believed, perhaps naively, that once knowing, we would care enough to do something.
These days, many of those appropriating the title “journalist” for themselves are either bald-assed propagandists…
or do-nothing armchair pundits.
But that wasn’t Marie Colvin. She was a journalist. She died bringing us the story.
And her death, if not her story, might have gotten more attention but, hey, there are so many other things demanding our attention at this critical moment in history. For starters, it’s Oscar week and there are red-carpet looks to be presented and discussed.
Pitchers and catchers reported to Major League Baseball’s Spring Training.
And a newly adopted cat saved its new owner’s life.
No time now for serious stories about death and revolution.
But sometime down the road, if we’re at war with, say, Iran and the men and women in our armed forces are dying, don’t you dare bitch that the government lied to you, or that some conspiracy withheld information, or that you weren’t told. You were told, alright. You just couldn’t be bothered to pay attention – even when the person telling you died to bring you the story.