Thursday, August 26, 2010

Turning professional submariners into amateurs

"Women like that have a way of turning professionals into amateurs." - Detective Eddie Flemming to Fire Marshal Jordy Warsaw, 15 Minutes, John Herzfeld, New Line Cinema (2001)
We knew this already:

UW Grad Among First Women To Serve Aboard U.S. Navy Sub - Oregon Public Broadcasting
The article also reveals this gem:

Now, females are only barred from two branches of the Marine Corps: the Navy SEALS and the Riverine forces, both of which engage in direct combat. [emphasis added]
Do Admirals Roughead and Greenert know about the USMC's ownership of the SEALs and Riverine forces? Why are Generals Conway and Amos laughing?
How do simple facts get so twisted? The article's author, Bellamy Pailthorp, is not only very pleasant in appearance, she is very bright --- Fulbright scholarship recipient with a Masters in journalism from Columbia University, where she also completed the Knight-Bagehot fellowship in business reporting.
Professional journalists do not yet comply with M.E.'s obvious best practices of reporting:
1) either possess expertise in matters upon which you, the journalist, report facts to readers, or disclose your inexpertise.
2) report contrary assessments by dissenting experts when topics are controversial.
3) never write an opinion piece without related education and experience that sets you apart from uneducated, inexperienced readers.
We are about to see how accurate the writer of Robert De Niro's line about turning professionals into amateurs was.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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