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Jessica Lynch - Is she getting blown out of proportion

mendelman

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I am not trying to troll, but I am sincerely troubled by the media exposure

The whole media coverage of the Jessica Lynch story (tv movie, book, every newspaper cover) seems to be focusing way too much on her and making her out to be the manifestation of all that is good about America, and that her rescue was a pivotal event in US history.

Or

Is it that the media is focusing on her, and not the others that were rescued at the same time, becasue she is cuter and looks better on a book cover, tv screen, or newspaper cover?

Is she really an important figure in America, or is the media using her to get ratings and make money?

What do you think about her and the media blitz surrounding her?
 

Cardinal

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Agreed. She was just a POW, like thousands of other Americans have been. Her story is hardly remarkable. However, it can be sensationalized to sell a lot of hastily-written second-rate books and to get a TV show.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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Certain events and personalities will always be used by governments for propaganda (and I don't mean propaganda in the negative sense) in time of war. It was common to fete medal winners, acts of courage, etc. during WWI and WWII.

However, I'm not sure how getting captured then rescued by others rates IMHO. The soldiers that went in and performed the rescue are the true heroes. As is the Iraqi who apparently risked his life to provide the U.S. forces with details of Lynch's location and the layout of the hospital.

Is she still in the army? If so, her recent comments to the media about her ordeal and rescue and now her biography (!) seem truly and utterly bizarre to me.
 

el Guapo

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My take.

She is a good troop, which has acted honorably and followed the legal (wrong, but legal) orders of her superiors in the aftermath of her capture. She was caught up in a media feeding frenzy that was caused by an Army that was desperate for a "feel good story."
That desperation was in fact caused by a media eating machine that demands such stories and is not content to just cover the news. They wish to participate in the creation of the news. The media also created part of this tall tale.

PFC Lynch knows she did not do anything out of the ordinary, yet when you have Army Colonels telling a young girl to do and say and pretend that certain facts are true, almost any person in her shoes would act as she has. The media and the Army owe her an apology that will never come. The Army owes the American people a true account of the incident and the heads of the officers that came up with the BS story.

Let her keep the cash (TV movie), return the unearned medals, and fade back in to the fabric of the past.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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Hmmm...okay. After reading El Guapo's comments I have to take back my statement regarding Lynch's recent comments. Perhaps she is just reacting to the forces that El Guapo mentioned.
 

PlannerGirl

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I feel sorry for her, not for ther capture and hell it must have been, though it is horrid. I feel sorry for her becouse of the 3 ring circus her life will be for a while, how her wedding will be made a zoo etc. She is young let her go live her life.

I detest the media and the parts of the military that love to stir the damn pot. I saw it while i was in Panama' and I see it now.

grrrrr
 

tsc

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I think the whole Jessica Lynch story is so stereotypical of the media..... Jessica Lynch fits the mold of Dorothy Gale (wizard of oz) that Generica has been trained to embrace as the all-American-Girl. If Jessica Lynch wasn't your white all-american girl.. I really don't think we would be hearing this much about her. What about the black woman that was in her troop,, the cook who ended up marching around wounded with the rest of the guys... The whole story is just a sad commentary on our media. I think JL is just one of many honorable soldiers that are serving our Country.
 

SkeLeton

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Now what's all the fuzz about this soldier? She got ambushed, she got wounded, ended up in a hospital as a POW, got rescued, now she's a national hero? This is just another story blown up by the media. Sensationalism at it's best... what's next? Jessica Lynch figurines that can say interesting phases like "I'll never surrender to the Iraqis!" and other similar...
 

Jeff

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I was reading Glamour last night (just delivered, don't laugh too, you know you read it) and she is one of the "Women of the Year" She is shown pictured with the other female who was captured, and was in captivity longer than Lynch.

I couldn't help but wonder why she isn't the subject of the news frenzy. Maybe b/c she just isn't as photogenic? Kinda puts the whole Jessica Lynch thing into persepctive.
 

donk

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The look of fear in the other girl's eyes from the POW tapes still haunts me when I am reminded of it.

Jessica Lynch, you could put her in front of me and I'd never know who she is, without being told.
 

Repo Man

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I agree that she is a good troop. However, I wouldn't classify her as a hero. That term is thrown around way to loosly. I feel bad for what happened to her, especially in light of the recent revelations that she was raped during her capture.

The military shares some of the responsibility, since they orchestrated and videotaped the rescue then made a big deal about it. The media is to blame for most of this, however, she could have refused to cooperate with the media. She could have said no to the book deal and the tv movie, turned down dozens of interviews, but she didn't. My guess is that the movie will be complete garbage.

It is kind of disgraceful that she is getting all this attention because she is a cute blonde teenager. What about Shoshanna Johnson who was actually injured when she was shot in the legs? Where is her movie and book deal? Why is she getting less disability pay than media darling Lynch?
 

Jeff

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Repo Man said:
I feel bad for what happened to her, especially in light of the recent revelations that she was raped during her capture.


When did that come out?
 

biscuit

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Mike D. said:
When did that come out?

Just the other day, right before the release of the book and the tv movie. What an amazing coincidence.


Call me a cynic, but it seems to me that she has been caught up in a storm cooked up by the military and perpetuated by the media. I assume that she's only doing what her superior officers have told her to do.
 

el Guapo

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tsc said:
I think the whole Jessica Lynch story is so stereotypical of the media..... Jessica Lynch fits the mold of Dorothy Gale (wizard of oz) that Generica has been trained to embrace as the all-American-Girl. If Jessica Lynch wasn't your white all-american girl.. I really don't think we would be hearing this much about her. What about the black woman that was in her troop,, the cook who ended up marching around wounded with the rest of the guys... The whole story is just a sad commentary on our media. I think JL is just one of many honorable soldiers that are serving our Country.

I have to agree. Black people (insert most other minorities here also) don't get the same type of national press coverage and maybe that is good in some small ways. I know it is wrong in many other ways.

BTW for those of you that have never served, you should know that a disproportionate (compared to the total population) amount of black women serve in the Military. And like any population you have all kinds of people slackers, average troops, and over-achievers.

[Stereotyping] In my brief military service, the troops that were the most gung ho and had their stuff together were highly motivated black women from the South. They were there to get the job done and I always sensed a higher level of commitment to personal achievement in them vs. average troops. They were a joy to work with and I'm glad I got tossed in to that mixing pot. I learned a lot. [/Stereotyping]

Now the question is: Is it wrong to stereotype if you heap praise?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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I was there when the shhiitt hit the fan, where was my parade?
I can't believe they came out and said she was raped by some icrackie scum. Man I would't want my personal life thrown around like that by the media.
 

mendelman

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el Guapo said:
Now the question is: Is it wrong to stereotype if you heap praise?

I would say no, and I am not sure what you said could be considered 'stereotyping'. You are making an extrapolation about a group from evidence you have from your own personal experience.

If you were making a inexperienced generalization about a group because of what you heard secondhand about that group, then you would be 'stereotyping'.

On-topic:
Thanks for the opinions from those of us with military experience. I have really been wanting to know that side of the issue. My experience of the JL stuff has been through the media, which is always highly suspect.
 

Jeff

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mendelman said:
On-topic:
Thanks for the opinions from those of us with military experience. I have really been wanting to know that side of the issue.

My real opinion, she should have been sitting behind a desk somewhere stateside or at least in Kuwait (sorry those who love Bill Clinton).
 

Trail Nazi

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I feel bad for what has happened to her. However, I am a little over the whole JL thing. I don't believe that her story warrants a tv movie or book.

When I was in AZ last week, we went to this really cool mission and there was a picture of the Hopi Indian woman who died and I began to tear up. I just feel that JL is a product of propaganda but her friend who died had a more compelling story than JL. She was a single mom who did all she could for her kids and now they just have their grandparents. The black woman that was mentioned has more of a compelling story as well.
 

Cardinal

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From what I understand, she has no memory of the rape. The account is based on evidence found by the Army. I know this is sensitive and I don't want to offend anyone, but doesn't a story like that also help to sell a book and movie? This soldier may have been a victem of poor treatment by her Iraqi captors (as well as some good treatment), but she has also been a victem of the greedy trash-mongers who have tried to sensationalize the story.
 
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tsc said:
I think the whole Jessica Lynch story is so stereotypical of the media..... Jessica Lynch fits the mold of Dorothy Gale (wizard of oz) that Generica has been trained to embrace as the all-American-Girl. If Jessica Lynch wasn't your white all-american girl.. I really don't think we would be hearing this much about her.

I feel the same exact way about all this renewed Elizabeth Smart monkey business. I think they're both being completely exploited by both the media and their family/military. I'm sorry for what they went through, but a salacious rehashing isn't doing anyone any good.
 

Suburb Repairman

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Hero?

Keep in mind that I have no military experience and my generation does not know war in the sense that older generations do...

Why do we insist on calling everyone heroes? If I was to define hero, I would say it was someone that went beyond the normal call of duty to save someone or further a cause. Jessica Lynch got captured, which sucks, but I don't think she should be called a hero. She should be honored in the same way that other POWs were from other wars. When a fellow soldier is shot and a soldier runs back into the line of fire risking his/her life, that's a hero. When a police/firefighter puts him/herself in danger to save someone, even though it's part of the job, he/she is a hero.

Yes, Jessica Lynch's ordeal sucked. However, I'm not sure if it was any different than what POWs went through in previous wars. The media made her a hero, not her actions.

Don't get me wrong, I believe we should honor and respect former POWs. I just don't think hero is the right word for it. If I offended anyone, I honestly don't mean to. I respect anyone that dedicates a portion of their life to defend our country. I know from friends what a sacrifice that can be.
 

Jeff

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All right, so who watched it? I know all the chicks of Cyburbia did, right?

I didn't atch, was too wrapped up in the Elizabeth Smart story, j/k.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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Mike D. said:
All right, so who watched it? I know all the chicks of Cyburbia did, right?

I didn't atch, was too wrapped up in the Elizabeth Smart story, j/k.

I saw part of that movie and I'll I have to say is "Worst Made for Television Movie Ever!!!" (thank you comic book guy). What is it rating sweeps week or something?
 
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Mike D. said:
All right, so who watched it? I know all the chicks of Cyburbia did, right?

I didn't atch, was too wrapped up in the Elizabeth Smart story, j/k.

Not me. Didn't want to spend my Sunday night blowing chunks.
 

moose

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Mike D. said:
All right, so who watched it? I know all the chicks of Cyburbia did, right?



Hardly. But my immediate response to seeing the commercials for the movie was that they had better give Mohammed al-Rehaief, her Iraqi rescuer, the credit he is due. I don't know if they did.

BTW, "the other girl POW" has a name too, she's Shoshana Johnson of same 507th Maintenance Company as Lynch. An article on the way each are being treated upon their return to the states.
 

Habanero

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Mike D. said:
All right, so who watched it? I know all the chicks of Cyburbia did, right?

I didn't atch, was too wrapped up in the Elizabeth Smart story, j/k.

No, I don't agree with her trying to make money off her story. IMHO she's not a hero, she's an attnetion &%*$# and wants to make some quick cash for her upcoming wedding.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
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I saw 18 seconds of it while flipping through channels at my girlfriend's house. It was a shoot'em up scene with lots of guns a'firing and trucks/jeeps/humvees driving around in the desert. The thing that I saw that instantly revealed the cheese-factor of this Aww Shucks, Isn't America Great? propaganda piece was a flame-engulfed burning tire atop the hood of a moving jeep making tight turns and loop-de-loops, yet the tire never slid off.
 

el Guapo

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Wanigas? said:
I saw 18 seconds of it while flipping through channels at my girlfriend's house. It was a shoot'em up scene with lots of guns a'firing and trucks/jeeps/humvees driving around in the desert. The thing that I saw that instantly revealed the cheese-factor of this Aww Shucks, Isn't America Great? propaganda piece was a flame-engulfed burning tire atop the hood of a moving jeep making tight turns and loop-de-loops, yet the tire never slid off.

That is the pattented Audie Murphy move. Every American Soldier is taught that in basic training. You have to wire the tire down with bailing wire. Nylon wire ties or twine just wont hold.
 

Otis

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Re: Hero?

Suburb Repairman said:
Why do we insist on calling everyone heroes? If I was to define hero, I would say it was someone that went beyond the normal call of duty to save someone or further a cause. Jessica Lynch got captured, which sucks, but I don't think she should be called a hero. She should be honored in the same way that other POWs were from other wars. When a fellow soldier is shot and a soldier runs back into the line of fire risking his/her life, that's a hero. When a police/firefighter puts him/herself in danger to save someone, even though it's part of the job, he/she is a hero.

Yes, Jessica Lynch's ordeal sucked. However, I'm not sure if it was any different than what POWs went through in previous wars. The media made her a hero, not her actions.

Don't get me wrong, I believe we should honor and respect former POWs. I just don't think hero is the right word for it. If I offended anyone, I honestly don't mean to. I respect anyone that dedicates a portion of their life to defend our country. I know from friends what a sacrifice that can be.

I agree. Lynch was a victim, in more ways than one, and not to denegrate her ordeal, but she is not what I would call a hero. To me, a hero is someone like Lenny Skutnik, who acted while the police, firefighters, and rescue squads stood around doing nothing. (sorry "everyday heros").
 

Jeff

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Re: Re: Hero?

Rich Townsend said:
To me, a hero is someone like Lenny Skutnik, who acted while the police, firefighters, and rescue squads stood around doing nothing. (sorry "everyday heros").

Who is this "Lenny Skutnik" you speak of?
 

Otis

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Re: Re: Re: Hero?

Mike D. said:
Who is this "Lenny Skutnik" you speak of?

"Now a staple of the State of the Union, the first Everyday American singled
out for recognition of a job well done was Lenny Skutnik. President Reagan
acknowledged him in the 1982 address for his heroic actions after a plane
skidded off a runway and crashed into the frozen Potomac River. A handful
of survivors flailed in the ice-choked water, blinded by jet fuel, desperate
with cold and fear. A helicopter tried to lift one woman to safety but she
did not have the strength to hold onto the lifeline. It was clear to all
that she was going to die.


"Although the shoreline was crowded with rescue personnel and this woman's
fate was obvious, nobody acted. He would later claim he didn't think first,
but a thought must have passed through Lenny Skutnik's head before he threw
off his coat and plunged into the frigid water to save this woman.
Something like: "She's going to die. Nobody's going to save her. I'll save
her." After paddling her to shore, the $14,000-a-year government clerk
refused an ambulance lift to the hospital until he was assured he wouldn't
be charged for it.


"Who was Lenny Skutnik? Somebody who could have stood by while somebody else
did the work - but didn't. Nobody would have condemned him for holding back
(let the rescue workers do their job) but instead he acted. Putting his own
safety and comfort aside, Lenny Skutnik, without question, saved another
person's life."

Actually the plane took off, but was iced too heavily to fly. It descended over the river, hit the 14th Street bridge, and crashed into the river.
 

Jeff

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Don't knock emergency personnel for "sitting around" Water rescue (as well as aircraft rescue) is a highly technical rescue. It is something that only 2% of emergency personnel are trained to do, and know how to do it.

Sometimes you have to refrain from "risking alot to save a little"

Lenny Skutnik is a hero.

We had a Lenny Skutnik in Philly a few years back. We had a jumper into the Delaware River (strong and weird currents). The guys on the engine and the cops sat around and watched. What are we gonna do? Shoot him, squirt him with water? A lifeguard in the area came over, swam out and got the guy, and the papers made the FD and PD look bad so they had to put out press releases stating that you everyday cop or fireman don't do technical rescue.
 

pete-rock

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I think Jessica Lynch's story, definitely important in the context of the war and possibly heroic, is in the same category as Elizabeth Smart and Laci Peterson. I don't fault the Army for trying to get a "feel-good" story about a soldier in Iraq, unless JL herself feels exploited by the whole thing.

I do fault the media. The media just puts out stories according to their emotional value, and seeks out stories that people can develop an emotional attachment to. And the media knows people develop emotional attachments to those they most identify with.

Jessica Lynch, Elizabeth Smart and Laci Peterson are classic examples of the "it could happen to you, too" story.
 
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