Wednesday, April 30, 2008

PBS Carrier

I've been watching a quasi documentary-reality-show on American PBS channel called "Carrier" which is essentially about the lives of a handful of navy sailors aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during their six month deployment to the Persian gulf. Not sure if non-North American residents access the channel but the DVD of this show is already available.

Aside from the bias and deep resentment that America's leftist mainstream media have always had for the military service, this show has proved to be an okay one so far. Although it got a bit boring last night... I mean, I am a pro-military person and I can see whether there is a negative bias there or not. This show has had little of that so far, fortunately. Although the above mentioned program just show a very few sailors from really bad backgrounds who came to the military for either the heck of it or basically for the money and a bright spot on their future resumes. Nothing wrong with those but I don't understand what PBS or in general MSM gets from portraying the US military in a negative way. Isn't this the same military that is protecting these guys' freedom to criticize the country and armed forces?

Again, there were couple of other points I have come across watching the show since Sunday night. The attitude of the sailors and airmen shown in the documentary was very interesting. From what I have gathered mostly by reading books, military blogs or listening to the war vets, it is obvious that those who are actually fighting on the ground, i.e US Marines and Army, can better appreciate the mission they do. Those who stay far from the scene and run the war aboard navy vessels and on air force bases where they don't come in contact with the enemy, do not grasp the reality of the fight and therefore, like ordinary people back home might question the mission. Indeed, it is their right and I am in no way questioning their right, rather I respect them and their service. I have always been. My point here is not to bash the US military for which I have a great deal of respect and gratitude. Robert Kaplan who has written extensively about the US military is an interesting authority, if you'd like to really know what is going on with the America's armed services.

Again, like I said, the "Carrier" could be an attempt by PBS to warn the PBS audience who happen to be mainly senior high school and college kids about the so-called dangers of military life. I don't know what benefit they could possibly gain by doing this. Other than the vast anti-military agenda of the Leftist media that warn us about the negativity of military service, there's nothing better in this world than serving one's country especially when it is the US armed forces and the values that America represents.

Back to my argument, I sensed that, for instance, the pilots who go on danger close missions supporting the boots on the ground DO really appreciate the whole strategy of being there and since they do understand it profoundly, they don't happen to question it like a petty officer in engine room might do. Again, don't get me wrong. I totally support that petty sailor in the engine room as much as I support the Marines and Army grunts that are risking their lives in the country. It's just interesting for me to see how perspectives change by rank, age and the distance from the actual battlefield.

11 comments:

rachel said...

I watched it Sunday night. I found it very interesting, and thrilling over the flying these planes under those circumstances. Amazed by all the work involved in making it all happen. I was impressed with many of the men/women and what they do. But I was surprised and a little annoyed at some of whining by a few of the sailors. Especially when I think about what the Marines go through.

Winston said...

absolutely....

Chester said...

Aside from any bias on PBS's part, and aside from spending too long on a few sailor's personal stories and complaints (which got boring), it's been interesting.

To me, what seems to be missing on board - and no doubt missing elsewhere in the military - is some sort of military spokesperson to correct the misinformation or fill in the blanks for the sailors and soldiers. There shouldn't be a single member of our military that doesn't understand what our mission is, or who repeats the lies & misinformation they're hearing from the media.
There should be a person on board/on base whose job it is to give weekly talks to clarify the mission, answer questions, correct media misinformation, so that out men & women serving don't go around questioning their mission or purpose, or repeating falsehoods promoted by the msm.

Sohrab said...

It's the security that the men and women of the US military provide that ensures "dissidents" in the US and Europe have the freedom to express their opinions.

They pay the price - most of us pay nothing in comparison.

Apache Man said...

Libs and their criticism of the "War on Terror" is amusing. The first thing I hear on the news is "X number of US soldiers got killed or hurt...." They still won't admit that more soldiers die in training and accidents stateside than in that war. Actually, the Iraqis have been taught that the baddest dude on the block is the American GI. That accepted, they can now learn about the fact that American compassion came with them too. That's why there has been so much progress in ways that Iraqis never saw before. That's why more and more Iraqs are cooperating with the US.

dave fouser said...

"Although it got a bit boring last night... I mean, I am a pro-military person and I can see whether there is a negative bias there or not. This show has had little of that so far, fortunately. Although the above mentioned program just show a very few sailors from really bad backgrounds who came to the military for either the heck of it or basically for the money and a bright spot on their future resumes. Nothing wrong with those but I don't understand what PBS or in general MSM gets from portraying the US military in a negative way."

you don't understand what pbs "gets from portraying the us military in a negative way" because you don't understand pbs' agenda. their agenda--one of their sources of legitimacy--is not to talk trash about soldiers or sailors. it's to show the ambiguity that exists in the world. 'carrier' was not about how good "we" are and how bad "they" are. it was about people. people who sometimes do good things, and sometimes bad things. people who are sometimes smart, and sometimes not. sometimes their mission seems wise, and sometimes foolish. it's unfortunate that you read the ambiguity that pbs attempts to illuminate as part of a left-wing media conspiracy, in which ANY ambiguity becomes negative.

Anonymous said...

You claim that you're a pro-military kind of guy. Did you ever do the service or you're just "pro" on the sideline? Speaking on experiences, I really see no bias in the show. If you want the Hollywood version, then watch Top Gun. If you want to see the real world version, then maybe you should join the service.

Winston said...

Anonymous, I have done my military service in Iran.

chester said...

Anyone who didn't notice the bias in the last few mins of the last episode (parting words) where 4 out of 5 sailors expressed doubt or ignorance of what we are doing in Iraq, is blind.

jbowler said...

There should be a person on board/on base whose job it is to give weekly talks to clarify the mission, answer questions, correct media misinformation, so that out men & women serving don't go around questioning their mission or purpose, or repeating falsehoods promoted by the msm.

Sort of like a Zampolit in the Soviet navy - makeing sure everyone is indoctrinated with the party line.

Anonymous said...

I'm in my 7th year of service in the Navy, and I've loved ALMOST every minute of it. What really ground my gears was the amount of complaining by junior personnel. A few of them seem to think that everyone on the boat that outranks them 'has it in' for them and treats them unfairly. Like that guy who complains that his Division Officer denied his aircrew application "just because he could" and made it seem like his divo got a kick out of 'ruining his career'. Later on, they interview the Divo and find out that the young sailor had an underage drinking incident, and THAT'S why his package was denied. Anyone in the Navy knows that any offense that results in Captain's Mast or Court-Marshall will effectivley 'kill' any special schools or requests for special assignments, like Aircrew or Recruiting Duty, usually for a period of 24-36 months.

I've never served on a carrier, and after watching this documentary I don't think I'll ever try to get orders there. They have a saying, a complaining (or griping) Sailor is a happy one, but there were far too many disgruntled junior personnel for my liking.