Thursday, May 08, 2008

MSM Obsession with Veteran Suicide

Our Main Stream Media (MSM) are obsessed with trying to make stories out of active and veteran military matters, as long as they’re not positive.

CBS News and Perky Katie Couric hyperventilated over a story about an “epidemic of veteran suicides,” in which CBS News unwittingly proved that veterans committed suicide at the same rate as comparably aged American males, and at a far lower rate than the rates for many nations, regardless of age and sex.

Instead of reporting an epidemic of veteran suicides, CBS News would have been much more informative if they reported that Russians committed suicide at a rate of 34 per 100,000 per year, almost double our predominantly male veterans, or that French males regardless of age have a higher suicide rate (27.5).

Or how about reporting that veterans commit suicide at a lower rate than same-aged American males? In an Associated Press article in The San Francisco Chronicle: “VA mental health chief sorry about 'Shh!' on suicidal vets,” by Kimberly Hefling, Associated Press, May 7, 2008, information was buried in the article that demonstrated Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have a lower suicide rate than American civilian males. Of nearly 500,000 veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and then left the military from 2002 to 2005, 144 took their own lives, for a suicide rate of 9.6 per 100,000 per year.

The suicide rate for American males was 17.9 in 2002, or almost double the rate for Afghanistan and Iraq veterans.

Why don’t our Main Stream Media provide a context and perspective on issues like veteran suicides?

Is it because they can’t, or that they don’t want to?

Hint: I can do it, and all I have is an internet connection giving me access to Google.

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