On the Front Lines

Friday, August 07, 2009

Transcript

Matt Mabe is one of the few people who know what it's like to be on both sides of the strained marriage between the military and the media. He left the army in 2007 to become a reporter and he was recently recalled to duty as a soldier. Mabe describes how both sides mistrust and misunderstand one another. He joins us from Afghanistan to tell his story.

    Music Playlist
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    Artist: Binky Griptite & the Mellowmatics

Comments [4]

Emily Ranseen from Brooklyn, NY

Gary Brandwein's comment that the military is more "sophisticated now just highlights the military civilian gap this piece highlights because it simply isn't true--the military is much too savvy to think that they don't understand how much they should be working with the media. The head of the Combined Arms Center in Kansas gave a speech awhile ago about how the military had to be more open to the media, even while expressing the idea of how absolutely terrified the military are of the media--it's hard to imagine, I know, that some guy carrying a gun should be scared shitless of someone carrying just a pen and notepad--but how true.
I've been experiencing something of the reverse, after I started writing members of our armed forces in Iraq. Having come to understand them more, and expressing my understanding to some not so sympathetic to our armed forces, I am now terrified, not of the media but of pacifists. Most are perfectly harmless and well-meaning, I know, but I am never sure when I'll get an angry remark about my support for killing, my disrespect for human rights--which only indicates to me how little they understand of what the military is.

Aug. 11 2009 06:46 PM
Brett Greisen from Astoria NY

I hope that Capt. Mabe can become a long-term bridge between the military & civilians. Of course, it would be nice to have universal public service - AmeriCorps/Peace Corps/Teach For America, etc. & Armed Forces so that Americans can get to know each other.

Common ground grows from shared experience as shown by Outward Bound & other short-term programs. A year or 2 of public service may help communication between us.

Aug. 09 2009 04:00 PM
gary brandwein from nyc

IT RECALLS VIET NAM. BUT NOW THE MILITARY IS MORE SOPHISITICATED IN CONTROLLING MEDIA OUTCOMES. OR WE THE PUBLIC HAVE BE COME MORE COMPLACENT. THAN YOU FOR THIS STORY OF A VERY HONORABLE MAN TRYING TO DO HIS BEST IN THE MOST DIFFICULT OF CIRCUMSTANCES.

Aug. 09 2009 11:15 AM
Marie Isenburg from Dorchester, MA

Captain Mabe is a man of great courage. I hope, Captain, that you will live to be a wise and happy old man. Thank you.

Aug. 09 2009 09:06 AM

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