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September 30th, 2009
05:40 PM ET

Media coverage of fallen troops' returning caskets has all but disappeared?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's been almost six months since the Obama administration lifted the ban on media coverage of the returning caskets of war dead... and the press mostly seems to have lost interest.

"The Examiner" reports how back in April, media outlets rushed to cover the first arrival of a fallen U.S. serviceman... 35 members of the press were at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

For the next returning casket - 17 media outlets showed up... that soon dropped to a dozen. The numbers kept shrinking until this month when only one news outlet was on hand to document the return of a casket bearing the body of a fallen Marine. That was the Associated Press.

In fact, the A-P has made it a point to be there at every arrival of a military casket where the family has granted permission - which is more than half of the time. The AP says it's their responsibility to cover these returns:

"It's our belief that this is important, that surely somewhere there is a paper, an audience, a readership, a family and a community for whom this homecoming is indeed news."

But where are the rest of the media outlets who protested President Bush's continued ban on showing flag-draped coffins returning to the U.S.?

This is especially troubling in light of what's going on in Afghanistan. Nearly eight years into that war, 2009 will record the highest death toll.

Conventional wisdom suggests if the American people aren't seeing the returning war dead - it's difficult to comprehend the real cost of war.

Here's my question to you: What does it mean when media coverage of fallen troops' returning caskets has all but disappeared?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Carol writes:
What does it mean? It means the people of America have not really been touched by either war, Iraq or Afghanistan. We still have everything we want, unless you have lost your house due to the bad economy. But the war? Young people who have given their lives? Who really cares? Not many – that's the sad, sad truth.

Harry from Baltimore writes:
Jack, It is a symptom of today's news media environment. Like it or not, if a news story does not reach some arbitrary level of sensationalism, it is not considered "news-worthy" enough to deserve the coverage. The AP is reminding us that a news story is "news-worthy" when it is based on certain coveted principles, such as the ultimate sacrifice our military is prepared to make in the defense of this country.

Dan writes:
It means public interest has all but disappeared. It doesn't surprise me at all that the AP is the only source still covering this story since they seem to be the only news outlet dedicated to journalism. Everyone else prays before the altar of public opinion. They go where the wind is blowing that day. Right now the wind is blowing towards health care and gossip about "Jon and Kate." Everything else has become back-page material.

George writes:
Jack, Here in Canada, the media do a good job covering the fallen soldiers in Afghanistan. In the U.S.? Michael Jackson for two weeks… you guys are so sick.

Laurie writes:
They only cared during Vietnam because there was a draft. Our citizens are apathetic about everything.

Jack from Florida writes:
Jack, It means that people have become desensitized to the deaths of our troops. The media has, once again, failed to perform its purpose. Sensationalism is the only coverage the media wants to perform. The death of each serviceman should be the lead in every news story. They are not just coffins. They are our children.


Filed under: U.S. Army
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Sandy

    It means that they think there are more important things to report, such as Michael Jackson's funeral. How sad that the media has come to this. These men have given their lives for their country and they are far more important than any of the trash that regular and cable TV report. Some of our truly great journalists must be rolling over in their graves.

    September 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  2. Lou from North Carolina

    I wondered why – just the other day – because it was my chance to pray for those guys coming back with everything lost and to ask God to be close to their folks who lost so much. You don't need a name to pray. A casket will do the same thing.

    September 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  3. Jackie in Dallas

    What do I think? I think Americans are tired of the wars, want to get out of them, and want to stop thinking about them. The pictures don’t generate revenue, viewers, or readers of the media.

    What do I know? That if we let the country stop thinking about them, we will have hundreds, if not thousands, more caskets to see. The Associated Press is the only responsible media trying to see that this does NOT happen.

    September 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  4. Dae in PA

    Out of sight out of mind. America saw enough flag draped caskets comming back home from the Vietnam war. Our politicians know our memories are short. Caskets comming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, might spark some bad memories.This might hurt the war effort. The fallen should get some respect from the meida. Dae

    September 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  5. Pugas-AZ

    Apparently it's more important to cover Polanski and his merry men and other frivolus "news" that holds one's attention for 10 seconds. max. What a country.

    September 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  6. Mike

    When nobody cares the news media does not show up. I guess it just illustrates the fact that nobody cares about the Afghan war.

    September 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  7. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    Maybe the lack of coverage of the results of war on American families creates too much of a realism check and questions as to what has been gained due to the sacrifices of these brave young Americans. Media coverage of flag draped caskets does not lead to support for a surge in troops in Afghanistan. And to accomplish the objective, regardless of how ethereal that objective may be, more young people must die. The investment in terms of human sacrifice that has been spent in Afghanistan will never yield any type of positive return for American families. Every fallen service person should be presented to the American people every day, every hour.

    September 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  8. Dennis North Carolina

    their ratings must be down and the caskets are not helping.

    September 30, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  9. Susan Frost

    It means these wars will go on until reality slaps America in the face. As much as I detest the very idea of a draft, we'd have been out of the Middle East seven years ago if the average family thought their kids might have to go. Other peoples' kids are being killed, maimed and mutilated for the oil companies, so we don't pay attention.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    September 30, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  10. Paul, Canada

    It tells me that its not newsworthy, its kind of a sombre, detached, unemotional ceremonial process and sadly, one casket looks the same as the next. Its only deeply meaningful for friends and family and will not draw a wide audience, which is what media outlets want.

    September 30, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  11. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    It means that the news media is not doing its job or that some form of censorship is going on. It seems unfair that a life that ends while defending one's country in a prolonged conflict becomes less important than one's life who ends at the beginning of that conflict. Do true war heroes become less newsworthy?

    September 30, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  12. George from Tennessee

    There doesn't need to be a lot of fanfare and media attention given to these somber occasions. My condolences go out to the families of all of my comrades in arms, who gave their lives in service to this country. They paid the ultimate price in defense of freedom and democracy everywhere. They are honored and deserve be so. The men and women who serve will never be forgotten. Cameras and the like have no place in this situation. If the media wishes to honor these young men and women and do it in a dignified manner, that's fine. The final decision regarding media coverage should be left to the families of the fallen.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  13. Mike from Denver

    News is a business, and caskets are not selling.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  14. Judie Williams EL Lago

    I interpret it as they have moved on to more important news...
    Palin's book, Edwards child (perhaps), and all the other b.s. we so often read.

    Our family member came home when the ban was still in place...
    Thank goodness his buddy in Iraq accompanied the casket and remained with him until internment.

    It is a matter of priorities, and indifference to the TRUE cost of a war/conflict. How can anyone see the photo of the inside of a C130-row after row of our fallen.

    These who have given the ultimate sacrifice have been given a second seat thanks to the media.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  15. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack "IF it doesn't bleed, it doesn't lead!!' says it all. When a country has gotten used to murder and gunfire, the victims, no matter where they come from, are considered a non entity!!!!

    September 30, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  16. Infantryman, Minneapolis, MN

    It's not a surprise. People are so desensitized to images in the media. It wouldn't matter and people are "tired" of the same old war news. Also most people here at home have never cared about what we do in the armed services. In my personal experience I've heard people go far enough to say things along the lines of "that's what they get for signing up". I've even talked to people who would go on to say that military benefits such as the GI bill and health care are unfair for us servicemen and women to receive. People don't care when they see a soldiers casket, but they would care if the war was here and they saw their mothers' casket. People only care when they miss their favorite reality show or when their favorite fast food restaurant is out of the #5.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  17. Michael Foley

    Jack,

    The order to ban coverage was recinded by President Obama early in his term, now it is up to the FAMILIES to decide on the coverage, not the government or the military. However, the media IS covering the return of the fallen (a quick Google search will turn up lots of pics). But if you want to know why CNN isn't covering it more.....ask your bosses.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  18. Remo, in beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Texas

    Jack, it means we've lost our bearing on what freedom costs and how it's gained. It means we no longer value human life and the sacrifice others have made for us. If we've lost those values, we've lost ourselves as a nation.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  19. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    It means that the media has a ten second attention span, and to them this is old news. I know from personal experience that to the families of fallen heroes, it's not old news! Give them the acknowledgement they deserve for the sacrifice they made and show a little respect to their families!! It's the least we can do!!

    September 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  20. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    It means that the media no longer cares about the war or thinks that it is worth the trouble to publicize. It means that most Americans are caught up in the economy and healthcare and their own selfish interests. If we're a country at war, our government should lead us in that direction–let's sacrifice a little and care about our servicemen and women.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  21. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Just wait theres some Cindy Crawfords out there waiting to follow Obama around just as soon as he starts sending troops to afganistan every things the same with no change except for things being worst.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  22. Bryan from Colorado

    It means we are a weak society when it comes to the reality of war. If we keep sweeping these deaths under the rug we are truly a weak society when it comes to war casualties. Can we really think that don't ask don't show will work.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  23. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    It means much of the media and citizenship are like children. Where if they cannot have something, they want it more. And when they finally get it, they cast it aside as it no longer interests them.

    It is a low level of mankind's consciousness and loss of compassion when we become anesthetized to the grief and sacrifice our fellow human beings suffer.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  24. jophn .... marlton, nj

    It means to many in the "media" have forgotten, can't remember, or don't know that the infomation they share with those watching use to be called "news". Anything else was entertainment...

    September 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  25. Viv from NY

    All it means is the war is no longer a hot topic. It is not something they can blame Obama for, so no one is interested.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  26. Lynn, Mo..

    It means the self-centered people of this country are more interested in seeing former politicians dance on tv. Sad but true.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  27. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    It proves that the majority of people and the press don't care....What if this were exactly like Viet Nam with hundreds and hundreds of flag drapped caskets coming home? Would anyone still care? Probably not unless you had or knew someone who was overthere.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  28. Jo Ann/Gulf Shores, AL

    It means that they are allowing everyone to forget. They are allowing themselves to look at the polls and see that Americans are tired of 8 years of war with no end in sight. Here's a suggestion. Highlight one family a week. Either a soldiers family and how they are coping or a soldier who has been injured. Surley there are things Americans can still do to help. Americans may be tired of the war but people are still dying and families still have problems.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  29. Derek

    Perhaps none of our beloved sons, fathers, mothers and daughters are still dying. Or, more likely, we have been desensitized to war. And the media outlets think they are more likely to get higher ratings for covering things like directors getting arrested on a 30 year old rape charges, and the Gosselin family.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  30. Kristine from Manchester, CT

    This is easy, it means we are back to pretending that the war is not that bad and out of sight is out of mind.
    You should read "BAGDAD BURNING", girl blog by RIVERBEND, then people in the US, can learn their side of what it is like to have your door kicked in and how you sleep in your clothes with your passport in your pocket, ready to run like hell. That will never happen, the news is too censored. Even CNN Jack~

    September 30, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  31. Frank from Connellsville, PA

    Jack, hate to say it but it isn't being covered because viewers aren't watching and the ad guys can't sell low numbers. People didn't support the media's good fight to get this access for anything other than voyeurism. When they realized there was nothing titillating to watch – they didn’t. Heck, people won’t even pull over out of respect for a funeral procession in their hometown.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  32. Steve, Toronto

    Since the war began and Canadian soldiers were sent to support the effort, I have witnessed fallen Canadian soldiers returning from Afghanistan televised live on 24 hour news channels. Not only is every return covered by the news media, but ordinary citizens, by the dozens, line the overpasses of the Highway of Heroes as each body is escorted to the coroners office downtown. It is their way of saying 'thank you' for sacrificing their life to better the lives of others. I believe the support and patriotism displayed by the ordinary citizens helps to keep the media engaged in reporting the returns. As an Air Force brat, I've never witnessed such display of patriotism in the U.S.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  33. Loren, Chicago

    It means that it's no longer news. It also suggests that the media realizes that this is now President Obama's war and maybe they don't want to make him apepar in a bad light. Maybe the reality is that no one needs to see the caskets when the headlines in the ocal paper report the deaths. Maybe it reflects that people are still accepting of having troops in Afghanistan in hopes that the Taliban will be crushed. Maybe it reflects that they've become inured to the war and the economy has all of their attention. Maybe what is more important is not their deaths but the lives of these soldiers and their willing sacrifice to protect our freedom. The idea of the media covering the returning caskets seems ghoulish to me anyway. They are not there to offer comfort to the families of these fllen soldiers. They are not there to honor their sacrifice. They are there merely to express a point of view that seems at odds with the reasons that these soldiers serve. So it's probably a good thing that they no longer cover the returning caskets. Let those who honor their service attend them at this time.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  34. Annie, Atlanta

    There's no profit in it? I grew up with the Life Magazine covers of the Vietnam war. It was front and center on the evening news (and even crept into my dreams at night). Today our kids are dying and it’s not touching us as a country? When did we stop giving a damn about each other? And can we ever get back?

    September 30, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  35. Gigi

    It means that we hid our shame in denial. The way to keep patriotism in our hearts is to honor the fallen solider. But first we must believe in our hearts that the war is worthy of our deed.

    Oregon

    September 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  36. Linda in Arizona

    It means watching a flag-draped coffin isn't very interesting no matter how deeply you might feel about the loss of human life in unnecessary wars. I don't think it means anything more than that, and I wouldn't try to read too much into it.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  37. Bill in PA

    Jack,
    Of course the coverage has disappeared. It is not flashy, new, nor spectacular. It does not lend to the fake controversy style of news reporting where conflicting speakers spar and argue with each other like boxers, with the talking heads seeking the score from the ever present pundit "experts."

    September 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  38. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Jack,
    It means we only seem to care when our icons of entertainment die.
    Those who return in coffins are the most important members of our American family. They left the privacy of their families to become the ultimate public servants. Back in 2004 another public servant’s {Ronald Reagan) flag draped coffin was viewed and paraded coast to coast for five days. Was he more important that the caskets that continue to come home?
    It is up to the media to give us a glimpse of those coffins that are deserving of public tribute relentlessly. The dead will keep coming home as long as we keep exporting them for war. Shame on those that find that news boring.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  39. Caity

    Jack,

    It means that the media has come under the belief that the American people just do not care anymore. To me, that is appaulling. The American people certainly do care when life is lost, especially those who dedicatedly serve the country with diginity and honour. The media has a responsibility to cover such events as caskets returning just as much as they have a responsibility to cover the war. It helps remind people that what the media reports on, like the war on terror, is very real and the coverage of returned caskets, permitting the family allows it, is a way for all Americans to mourn those who have fallen.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  40. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    It means that coverage of returning war dead doesn't sell soap, beer, cell phones, and all the other junk we see advertised in the media. After all, that is what you guys really do, right?

    Rick, Medina, OH

    September 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  41. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, NY

    It is a sad commentary when the exploits of 2 Hiltons and 3 Kardashians get more news coverage than our return of heroes who gave their lives for our country.
    Americans need to be re-educated about what democracy really means. Each time a US soldiers' casket is returned for burial, the White House should insist on television coverage. Our freedoms have never come cheaply, it is time we all realize that.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  42. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    It means more people are lowering their standard of ethics and respect. If we do not show the real cost of war we then do not show in our lives the real respect for our own freedoms.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  43. Matteo

    It is very simple and "real" journalism is hard to find. The mass media at-large is simply biased against conservatives, in particular Bush, and attempts to promote a left-leaning agenda.
    Why didn't they cover the Van Jones fiasco early on? When they finally had no choice many outlets stated his ousting was due to him calling republicans a bad name, which had nothing to do with it. The issue was his racist and other extreme views.
    Why did they refuse to acknowledge the problems exposed at ACORN? Once again the media was pushing an agenda. However, they've gone too far lately and crossed the line because the masses have finally realized that mass media works very hard to subtly shape public opinion rather than illuminate the facts.
    That said, if Bush were still in office, spiralling death tolls in Afghanistan would no doubt be front-page news!

    September 30, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  44. Marion/Birmingham

    What is the news,about fallen Soldiers,Jack? The public just gets tired of all the hype and BS the media tries to create instead of reporting the news. Especially when they should be reporting about the waste and fraud put into the stimulis bill,that we just could not live with out.

    September 30, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  45. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I means, Jack, that we have become numb and indifferent to the deaths of our sons and daughters who have been fighting two wars based on lies.

    America wake up! And write daily to President Obama asking that he end the Bush Regime's wars!

    Iraq has cost $3 TRILLION – with that much money we could have insured the millions without insurance.

    Afghanistan has cost $864 BILLION......... add it up! Its insane.

    STOP THE ENDLESS WARS............ EIGHT YEARS IS ENOUGH!

    September 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  46. Larry in California

    It means the American people have grown tired of interminable wars. You know better than any of us the great fear your medium has of the remote and the facility it offers for changing channels. You gave a great deal of coverage to xenophobes weeping for the demise of "the America they once knew" and the endless uninformed diatribes against non-existent death panels. I dare say you could have found a little time to cover the return of a dead serviceperson yourself. As much as I respect the views of my fellow followers of your blog, this si a question you should be answering ... honestly (God, I'm having a hard time adding that last adverb without LOL)

    September 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  47. Curtis, Udall, KS

    It means we have a president from the Democrat Party that chooses to persist with the wars and the media is unwilling to bring focus to this issue any more since George Bush is no longer in office.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  48. Derek

    Jack, I am saddened by this. It's a sad day in America when Michael Jackson receives more media coverage than a fallen soldier who fought for his country. I know it's been 3 months since MJ died, but they are still covering him. No one will remember the soldier after a week. I'm convinced that it's all about ratings.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  49. Kelley

    I think it means, the press doesn't care anymore. To them aside from the AP, it's not as important than other news out there. It is sad to see that happen b/c it is a huge issue to the soldiers' families. But my beef is why is it that when the conflict started after 9/11, the media was so interested in getting the pictures and stories in Iraq and Afghanistan. & now they aren't, that's like the American media slapping the military dead coming home in the face. It's disrespectful. But yet when the last Kennedy died, he served in the military and got tons of media...? Why? B/c he was part of brother of JFK? I think the media should be fair in who/what they write/show about like the dead soldiers coming home. If it wasn't for our brave men/women in uniforms, there would be no media at all!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  50. George-Windsor-Canada

    Jack
    Here in Canada the media does a god job covering the fallen soldiers in Afganistan,
    USA? Michael Jackson for two weeks,,,,you guys are so sick.
    Have a nice day.
    George

    September 30, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  51. Bruce - Delaware

    It is media being consistent in burying all relevant news, and pushing 100% fluff.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  52. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    News coverage goes away when other 'headlines' grab our attention.

    It's the same distraction we use when we turn the TV on to get our kids to stop their tantrums.

    It's not just the media. We were all supposed to forget about George W. Bush's futility in finding Osama Bin Laden.

    Until recently, we were reminded that, over 50 years later, we've still got troops guarding the DMZ of Korea.

    Distract them.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  53. mike tn

    when bush banned it the press got in a uproar because the freedom to know was not there so when the bann was lifted all of a sudden it was old hat nothing new then so they quit.not out off respect but it was
    nothing new.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  54. KC Frey

    I think it means that the media doesn't feel it's selling enough for them so why bother. You bother because America cares about it's troops and we want them all to come home safe. I can't speak for everyone but I want all our troops home today, we've lost enough lives and have accomplished what in the process?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  55. Reid

    Proves that liberals and the liberal media simply do not care...............

    September 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  56. Ken in NC

    The mission of the media is to sell advertising to generate income and to do that the media must report the news first that generates listeners and viewers. Then they report the remaining news to fill the time allocated. When the ban was lifted, it captivated viewers and listeners but the attention to it dwindled among listeners and viewers so it became a filler. Sometimes the truth is ugly and painful but in either case it remains, the truth. Once the truth is brought to light it fades from sight.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  57. JR in TX

    Welcome back to Vietnam Jack.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  58. jaxon

    It means you have a fawning media, of course. I couldn't stand Bush, but this slobbering over Obama is just sick.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  59. Earl D

    I have a question for ya...
    Where is CNN on this issue?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  60. Joey

    It means the media has slipped in reminding the American people that we still have our brave men and women dying.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  61. Liberal4Obama

    Hey Jack, it is a sad day in America when the media spends more time on telling Americans that Sarah Palin is a bestseller author than to show the sacrifice our troops make for this country.

    But then this is the same media that was complicit in sending them to Iraq, they might not wanna face the consequences of their own actions.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  62. L.A.Ward

    IF the press reported on the caskets it would negatively affect a popular, liberal, democrat. We'll wait until someone else is in office so we can use it to besmirch THEM.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  63. cathy coplon

    its hard enogh to send them and then see them come home in a casket

    September 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  64. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I believe the answer might be the creation of the all volunteer armed forces. During the Vietnam war, large numbers of draftees, some literally picked at random, were seemingly unfairly delivered back to their families in boxes, stoking outrage. Today, as career volunteers, the men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are being revered like fallen police and firefighters, paying the price for doing an extremely dangerous job very well. No less concern, just different.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  65. stewart resmer

    As a Marine Vietnam Veteran, it means the past is prologue to me, how ever I, and may like me, live by a different code than many here, Semper Fideles, Always Faithfull, is a way of living, not a bumper sticker, I stand with every casuality and thier families, I know no other way.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  66. Todd

    What does it mean Jack? It means there is a democrat in the Whitehouse.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  67. Giliberti,Laurie

    They only cared during Vietnam ..because it was a draft...our citizens are apathetic about everything...

    September 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  68. Jurn Stewart

    It means troop deaths are more of the same; it is old news. The media picks and chooses what it wishes to report. They would rather cover personalities and the Hollywood appearance our government is undergoing than, the real issue of our young men and women giving their lives so that we can enjoy our freedoms as we bury our heads in the sand. What we need is more coverage to invigorate dialogue and spur positive action for the ongoing situation.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  69. Tom

    SAD – if you don't honor the fight for freedom it will die

    September 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  70. Chase

    Jack,

    Maybe a better question is why has CNN stopped covering the arrival of our fallen heroes?

    Chase
    Atlanta, GA

    September 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  71. Leslie Ramsey

    The lack of media coverage demonstrates America’s lack of reverence for the sacrifice made by these brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. It is a shame that more people don’t realize the cost of our freedom. If a family allows coverage of their loved one coming home, it is certainly news that should be covered with a great amount of dignity and respect.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  72. carol

    what does it mean? it means the people of America have not really been touched by either war, iraq or afghanistan. we still have everything we want unless you have lost your house due to the bad economy...but the war? young people who have given their lives? who really cares? not many that's the sad sad truth.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  73. Al, Toronto

    Sadly, it means that "reporting" the news has become about ratings .
    :(

    September 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  74. Mike

    Jack I believe that It means Americans are becoming more desensitized as a people.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  75. Kyle

    I think that the American people just don't want to see the ugly side of war so they ignore it and focus on other, ridiculous issues, like whether Obama is an Amerian or not. What people should do is go to Arlington National Cemetary and see the graves of recently buried soldiers for Iraq and Afghanistan. Seeing those graves and all of the personal touches on them, ballons , pictures, cards, is truly moving and made me realize the cost we are paying every day.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  76. hettie

    The returning bodies of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are not being show by the media with the exception of AP because the rich men who own the media are profiting from the war. Sad to say, but the rich rule this country no matter who is President.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  77. Eric McNichol

    It means that the press is making more money reporting on the republican lunatics than it is on sober stories.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  78. Kathleen Peterson

    Hi Jack,

    What it means to me is that the media does not see the death of our troops as entertainment. If it has no entertainment value, the news is ignored. It also means that many have become numbed to the real costs of war.

    Kathleen

    September 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  79. Rick Macartney, Overland Park Kansas

    It's pretty clear what it means. It means that there is no longer a political advantage to be had by showing the draping of caskets. It means that "the outrage" that THE MEDIA outlets were voicing over the ban was nothing more than a phony attack on the Bush administration. I applaud the AP for their consistency and commitment to THE NEWS and not the political posturing that is all too often present in today's news reporting.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  80. Larry So Cali

    Jack, It means The "Military Industrial Complex" For the last thirty years does not want the people to know the true cost of War. You know who supports the "Military Industrial Complex" Don't you Jack....?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  81. JD Bedsole

    You asked why I think news coverage of returning caskets of dead U.S. militatry has ceased, and heres my answer. Its painfully obvious;
    THEY DON'T GIVE A DAMN ! .

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  82. stewart resmer

    As a Marine Vietnam Veteran, it means the past is prologue to me, how ever I, and may like me, live by a different code than many here, Semper Fideles, Always Faithful, is a way of living, not a bumper sticker, I stand with every casualty and thier families, I know no other way.
    Santa Monica, California

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  83. Jim/NC

    The press has not interest because Bush is gone. Addition, the media does not want Pres. Obama to look bad.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  84. cindy mackenzie

    It means that shouting at a Town Hall Meeting and yelling You Lie in front of the President, and grown men almost crying because they can't wear their guns strapped to their sides like cowboy in the wild west are more important than young men dying for their country,,,,show the caskets...they deserve our respect.......

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  85. Tim Thomas

    I watch the Jim Lehrer Report Nightly News and have thought they were the only responsible news outlet with their silent respect showing images of those that have sacrificed their lives as they are made available. I think this is far more significant, seeing the faces, names, ages, and units than a parade of identical coffins.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  86. hettie

    The returning bodies of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are not being shown by the media with the exception of AP because the rich men who own the media are profiting from the war. Sad to say, but the rich rule this country no matter who is President.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  87. Eric Thorensen

    As to why the media doesn't cover returning war dead, the answer is simple: it would be hard to find a commercial sponsor for such news other than the Taliban or maybe a dozen countries that don't like us.
    Eric
    Largo, FL

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  88. Shawn

    In Canada, the Governor General, our head of state, and the Minister of Defense meet every casket or group of caskets as they arrive home at CFB Trenton in Ontario, east of Toronto. And citizens line the bridges of the major thoroughfare, Highway 401, as the hearse heads into Toronto. As well, all major networks cover the event EVERY TIME IT HAPPENS, including the ramp ceremony in Afghanistan. This may not be appropriate in the USA, but certainly some kind of recognition is. The only thing I know about is when George Stephanopolos lists the weekly war dead on his Sunday morning show. Not sure that is enough.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  89. Roger Long

    I'm 56 years old. My generation protested the Vietnam war for many reasons, however, I believe many were motivated because we saw injured and dead people on TV.

    Now, we don't see, nor are we even told, of the human suffering caused by the current military activities.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  90. Marilyn Dunphy

    Put a draft into action and you will see the media's presence at every casket coming back to the US. This is only a partial war. Most people in the US are not affected – that's why the media is so lax. What a disgrace to our country and to those who have fallen. What has happened to our patriotism?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  91. Bobby

    Jack,
    it's the old hide the dead guy trick. Worked beautifully for Alende in the late seventies.
    Stockton, CA

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  92. Ben

    It means, sadly, that America doesn't care! And this is why the wars rage on, the fortunes in tax dollars are expended, and Halliburton, GE, Exxon Mobile and Blackwater continue to gain the incredible wealth and power which will inslave many generations to come.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  93. Bear

    It means that people don't want to see the cost of the war in human lives. Hell, the cost in KIDS lives. It's safer for the hawks to promote this war if it's reduced to the deficit and not the human toll. I know a few kids that have spent 2 tours over there, thank god they survived, but there is still a human toll there as well. I think the media should be force feeding this cost to all the Americans, show the kids return, both alive and dead. Follow some of the lives of the survivors, show how well the VA is working for these kids, show how well the economy is working for them, show how far the "thank you" they get from people like me and my wife takes them. No war is worth the toll, but a unwinable war just makes the toll somehow harder to take.
    The lack of coverage shows "we the people" don't want to see what we have payed for an unwise War.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  94. Brandon

    Simple. Media networks don't care about our nations fallen heros. Instead, they only care about the "hot" story, the ratings etc. On the flip side, it's nice to see the AP operate with such dignity and patriotism.

    Regards,
    Brandon

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  95. BJ Feeney

    Pacification did not work in Vietnam because of the terror imposed by the Cong on the villages and heavy jungle prevented detecting enemy movement before they got to the villages. Maybe it would work in Afghanistan? A suitable number of Afghani police/soldiers to protect the village and a dozen US troops to patrol the local area and call in airstrikes if needed. Open a small store for the people and troops both, set up a small clinic, and make them feel safe. Sweep the town for weapons and, if necessary, warn them against aid to the Taliban would be detrimental to their village. They apparently want us there so it shouldn't be necessary to strong-arm them.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  96. margaret hall

    It means they don't care. They only wanted to be able to show the caskets because the Bush administration said they couldn't, so the media of course fought to be able to show the caskets. The media with a few exclusions is only interested in controversy, not the soldiers or their families.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  97. Clarence

    Yes I say.they should be shown,along with a picture of the Soldier that is in the coffin.
    People should know the face of soldier who gave his life,so that they could sleep in safty at night.
    Clarence

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  98. Wynne Nickson

    It seems fairly obvious that the news wanted to cover the return of coffins during the Bush administration so they could continue their dogged criticism of Mr Bush but now that the responsibility lies with President O'Bamathey have no interest in continuing this strategy.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  99. Wayne

    For those in the public that have become indifferent to the loss of our fighting menn and women, everyone should be required to view the movie "Taking Chance".

    We should be more attentive to those who are sacrificing for us and say a prayer for each and every fallen soldier

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  100. Darr/ Cleveland

    It means that the death of our fallen heroes does not sell papers reducing each death to the cost of a paper. It is sad that we as a society have come to equate cost to justify the print of a soldier's death in any of our newspapers.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  101. Martin Frank

    It just shows how America has become desensitized with the plight of the military in the war zones. Are we actually at war or not. The frenzy of media coverage to show pictures of flag-draped caskets of fallen heroes has faded because it is not lucrative anymore. Media is there to make money.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  102. Al Bledsoe in Dallas

    Right. But, ask your producers and email filterers, dead bodies just ain't good entertainment are they? And isn't that what CNN's all about? Good entertainment? Where are your reporters? MacNeil/Lehrer always pause to acknowledge the fallen victims at the end of their news hour.

    That reminds me, it's almost time to switch to the BBC before MacNeil/Lehrer here on KERA–Dallas. - Anything besides Lou...

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  103. John

    The media wasn't interested in the men and women inside the caskets as much as we all thought. Who knew? Looks like media bias to me. It was about a constant drum beat to denigrate the Bush Administration. If you've noticed, the homeless have also disappeared from the media since Obama took office.

    John
    Sacramento CA

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  104. William Burnham

    It means that the GOP is no longer in power. The liberal media never really meant for the flag draped caskets to be a news story. It was always a way to embarrass the Bush. Now that there is no embarrassment available, it is no longer a news story. How pathetic is it that the media uses these poor soldiers and thier families as political pawns?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  105. sally

    The press is now dogging Pres. Obama giving this administration all the negative media coverage possible. It is embarassing to see our press and media coverage feeding the television and radio stations the most critrical analysis of anything that Pres. Obama attempts to do for the people of this country. Our troops returning from war zones should be gettting the front page and television coverage.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  106. Armando Perez

    Just like spoiled kids, the left wing media will protest anything they feel they are being left out of. Now that they have been given access to cover this they could care less about the real story.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  107. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    My family has been military for more than four generations, Jack. My daughter honors her father, an officer in the Army. We as a family know all too well what sacrifice actually means, when it comes to giving for "king and country".
    Do me a favor, CNN. Be the patriotic example and give thirty minutes a week to show the return of our fallen soldiers! These men and women do their jobs, which sometimes mean their deaths. Their sacrifice is NOT political. It is patriotic. The least we can do as Americans is demand media coverage to honor these lost mothers, sons, fathers, daughters...

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  108. Betty

    I think its terrible that the media has lost interest on whats important. Our young men are over there giving there lives for us. I am appalled to find out that only the Associated Press was there the last time. What is important to the media in this country? Do these Marines mean nothing?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  109. Kevin

    Give the media a break. Don't you know they are busy covering Jon and Kate and the latest movements of the President's dog to actually cover a war? The media in this country is all about ratings and really has become an even bigger joke than our Congress. A hard thing to do.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  110. Scott

    It highlights the fact that one of the most unfortunate casualties of war is public concern for such enterprise. Americans are being de-sensitized to war by the sheer endurance of it. We now have a generation that have only known America at war. Its downright Orwellian.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  111. Mike in VA

    Jack, you already know the answer to why there is lessened media coverage of our fallen troop's return home. It is because there is a Democrat Admisistration now. Same reason there has been no war protests on Washington reported (if there are any nowadays). The media has no use for these images to use against Bush or Republicans any more.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  112. Matt Ford

    It means that we veterans are third class citizens in our own country.

    In addition to no media coverage of our fallen heroes returning home, there are over 915,000 unprocessed claims before the Department of Veterans Affairs mand its getting worse.

    Need I say more.

    Matt Ford, M.P.A.
    Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

    September 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  113. Mitch Young

    Jack – I believe that it means the election is over and the fodder that the left had against the the right and their pro-war stance is no longer needed. I don't see much about Cindy Sheehan, or other protests regarding the war Afganistan.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  114. Jeremy Johnson, Myrtle Beach South Carolina

    I feel that it is the Governments roll to make the american people less aware of the problems and how many Americans are actually dying. For me to see our American Hereos come home is an honor and it puts feeling back into a war that is far from over. We can not forget all the soldiers who have died, and are still fighting for our freedom. War has death, but to try and hide it is shame for those coming home in caskets. All soldiers who have dyed fighting for our country deserves the Medal Of Honor.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  115. Patricia/Georgia

    This is one of the saddest things .......if it were Michael Jackson's body or Keith Ledger...reporters would be tripping over themselves to cover it. Each soldier has a family of loved ones waiting for him and a comminnity for which he gave his/her life. I take my hat off to Associated Press for their diligence and say shame on the rest of the news associations who have failed to do honor to one of our own. Where are those people who carried signs about being an American?
    Can't do more than give your life up.....le't give them the honor they deserve.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  116. Glo Smith

    Maybe this was not about the fallen US Serviceman, rather Bush. Is the media interested in showing the caskets of fallen servicemen under Obama? What changed?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  117. Jane Shumway

    Jack,
    Not showing the caskets of fallen military members means that the American people don't have to think about or care about the sacrifices that our military and their families make every day. Americans don't want to think about or care about good they have it and who is responsible for insuring their freedoms and prosperity. Americans are so self centered and shallow (on average) that they only want to focus on their own problems.

    Jane
    proud mother of a Marine

    September 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  118. Kevin

    Give the media a break. Don't you know they are busy covering Jon and Kate and the latest movements of the President's dog to actually cover a war? The media in this country is all about ratings and really has become an even bigger joke than our Congress. A hard thing to do.

    Tallahassee FL

    September 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  119. Tom Los Angeles, CA

    The US & media has lost moral bearing. Support of the Military(not war) has been over taken by Entertainment. Media woulld rather show drunk & girlfriend beating rappers, or give around the clock coverage of Michael Jackson funeral. Perfect example was when the latest Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (9th since Viet Nam) gets less coverage than Sen Joe Wilson, Gov of South Carolina, Kanye West, Serena Williams or even a water skiing squirrel we(this country), you (CNN & all other media outlets) have deffinately lost our moral/patriotic compass.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  120. Carol Keat

    Jack, The media ignoring the death and return of our fallen soldiers seems disrespectful to me. These men have sacarificed their lives in order to protect our freedom. Surely, we can show them the respect they deserve by sharing their sacrifice with other Americans. Look at the coverage, for instance, that Michael Jackson received.....I thought it would never end. Carol-Kingsport, Tennessee

    September 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  121. Calvin McGhee

    I think it goes to show that the liberal main stream media is more interested in making a Republican look bad (like "W" didn't do that enough on his own) than actually providing us with unbiased reporting. We are all sick and tired of the partisanship in Washington, I think it is time we also start demanding more of our media. What happened to the "good ole days" when journalism meant more than just reading press releases and pushing their views and opinions on us.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  122. Rich Galloway

    What does it mean? Unfortunately, our fallen troops returning home when convenient to the press are a political football. Very sad, but true–it is politics–the Bad Guy, George Bush, is out of Office, and they don't want to beat up on the Obama administration. Nothing more, nothing less with the press.

    Rich Galloway, Colonel, USAF (Ret)

    September 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  123. J P Brown

    It means the majority of the press was not nearly as interested in
    covering the news (AP exception noted) as they were in attempting to turn public opinion against former President Bush. Now, although they have every right to photograph the caskets, they are minimizing coverage even in the face of increasing troop losses. This is a manipulative attempt to minimize the impact of the images on the public for the benefit of President Obama. Thank you CNN for reporting on the increasing losses...AND the sad homecoming of our lost heroes.

    JP Brown
    Minnetonka, MN

    September 30, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  124. rickie young

    It means that poeple really dont care or know that "Freedom Is not Free"

    These veterans wrote the United States a "blank check" payable to include thier lives, in defense of our country.

    God Bless all of our fallen Servicemen and Women, and thank you for your sacrifice

    September 30, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  125. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Jack
    What6 does it mean when all Americans are not willing to sacrifice their youth or children to preserve the freedom that we all claim is so precious to us. The blood loss if left to those under privileged to pay for the the benefits of the privileged. Most Americans don't have a dog in the fight and therefore do not suffer a loss, a personal loss, in the last few wars which were launch to preserve the freedoms of this country enjoys. A National draft for military service has become a necessary process again so that all Americans can start to appreciate our democracy again and the cost associated with it.

    Steve
    Clifton, VA

    September 30, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  126. Elizabeth Mulligan

    Jack, it means that the Press who covered the Bush wars do not want cover the wars under Obama.with the same focus. It is more of the bias press I am soprry to say. Our military service men and women deserve better.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  127. C. W. Woods

    It's kind or simple in this day of the twenty-four hour news cycle world: returning remains are no longer newsworthy. Only the news fit to print shall the reader know.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  128. Charlie

    Because nobody cares. In Canada we named 401 the highways of heroes. People line up on overpasses to pay respect to the fallen, when they returning home.
    Charlie from Toronto Ontario.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  129. Bernadette Loesch

    Jack, this lack of coverage speaks volumns. We have gone from all of the media coverage during the World Wars, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, etc. People were a major factor is bringing those conflicts to a resolve. The soldiers were honored in every which way. It seems that the soldiers fighting and dyingand wounded now are the 'lost' generation. If the wars now being fought are not in our face we can 'forget' the billions being spent, the loss of life,and the families torn apart. This lack of coverage also gives the Right and Republicans carte blanche in constantly goding our President into doing 'the right thing' for the country. We need to stop sending our troops to other countries to kill and be killed. We need to concentrate our the ills here in America, please!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  130. Wally

    As a Funeral Director, I can tell you why there is not interest in returning Ziegler Cases. The psychology of Death and Dying is Fear. People today will not deal with Death and Dying. People want to avoid Death and "End of life Issues." We have little regard for each other and as long as someone else s death does not touch you then why be concerned? Computer minded people, always look for a reset to restart the game. Reality today with the computer minded is a different reality than the price paid by someone else.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  131. Kathleen Peterson

    Hello Jack,

    The media has grown bored with war coverage now that it has gone on for so long. Even our church has stopped saying the names of the fallen troops every Sunday. We are just accepting that this is the status quo - troop deaths all the time. I can only hope and pray that your highlighting of this situation may convince the media that not covering the news of our troops coming home in flag draped coffins is just contributing to all of our abilities to ignore the sacrifices of our men and women, and perpetuate war.

    Kathleen Peterson
    Norwich, VT

    September 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  132. George,Bflo.NY

    To me it's another sign of the Right's mantra "Liberal Media" is a myth

    September 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  133. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    What it means is we once again have clear evidence the media is in the tank for Pres Obama. When Bush prevented coverage of fallen troops returning caskets the press screamed – they had to put these images on the tube to keep the heat on him.
    Now that Afghanistan is Pres Obama's 'correct war' the press doesn't dare present any negative coverage – it might be considered criticism by the White House.
    I think that would be considered a double standard by an ordinary citizen, but I'm not a journalist – Thank God!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  134. Harry - Baltimore, MD

    Hi Jack,

    It is a symptom of today's news media environment. Like it or not, if a news story does not reach some arbitrary level of sensationalism, it is not considered "news-worthy" enough to deserve the coverage. The AP is reminding us that a news story is "news-worthy" when it is based on certain coveted principles, such as the ultimate sacrifice our military is prepared to make in the defense of this country. Why don't the "other" news organizations seem to ignore, or forget, what type of news story must be considered "news-worthy" no matter what else is going on around us?

    Harry – Baltimore, MD

    September 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  135. John Forrester

    It means that the media never really cared about showing the coffins. The media just wanted one more reason to attack President Bush and Republicans in general.

    Don't get me wrong Bush made plenty of mistakes, but blocking media coverage of fallen soldiers so that their deaths wouldn't be used to disparage the very cause they died fighting for wasn't one of them.

    The evidence that you've presented indicates the press at large clearly doesn't care now that they can take pictures. It's no coincidence that they lost interest very quickly when they realized that they would only be hurting the Democrats, who are now established as being in control of the war. If the Republicans still had a leading role in directing the war, you can bet that every incoming body would be fully documented by every single major network news station.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  136. Vladi

    This is a rather schizophrenic question. Are you trying to pretend that you aren't part of the media? This right here is time you could have spent actually covering this story.

    Let me ask you this, Jack/CNN:
    What's the deal with your lack of coverage of fallen troops’ returning caskets?

    Vladi
    California

    September 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  137. Mel Monahan

    As a lesser player than the US military in the middle east, Canada has sacrificed more than 130 young men in Afganistan. I am proud to say that the repatriation process in Canada always has high ranking Canadian political officials present; either the Minister of Defence, the Governor General etc. attending the arrival of the aircraft carriying these war heros. I t also includes a drive down the Highway of Heros to Toronto where they are saluted by Private Citizens, Fire & Police officials at every overpass. It is important to honour the sacrafice of those who give there life to protect us! ANYTHING LESS IS IMMORAL!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  138. Calvin - Las Vegas, NV

    Jack, it means that society has simply begun to grow numb to War. We have been at war for years. If not the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it's the war on drugs or the war on crime. In our social media driven atmosphere where TMZ and Entertainment Tonite have equal or higher viewership than CNN,NBC, CBS, and ABC nightly newscasts there is something wrong

    Perhaps we should tweet and wall paint on facebook everytime a fallen soldier comes home then perhaps we would slow down, take a breath, and truly realize how valuable our freedom is. Oh Jack by the way, isn't Sarah Palin's book going to be released mysteriously early to the New York Times for review? Tweet me and let me know.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  139. e. katcher

    What is meant by the reduction of coverage by choice in the media is that this now reflects on the current president.

    Coincidentally, the comment that the decision about Afghanistan should be done right, not done quickly is totally at odds with comments and moves about the health care reform, where the message is that what is right is presumed to be what is going to happen, and this MUST be done QUICKLY....even to the extent of the party line votes not allowing 72 hours for bills to be read. Sure, those who are most against will find the issues in the bills. But, if the issues ARE THERE, then they SHOULD be found.

    Sorry…but hypocrisy abounds.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  140. "D"

    Jack we'd rather watch war on capital hill, and so called death panals; then respect my battle buddies who faught for me to watch the war on Capitol Hill.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  141. Mike Armstrong TX.

    It all means the draft is on its way back .

    September 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  142. Biniam

    This just goes out to prove one more time that all the media cares about is ratings and money. If Palin had said something they would have been all over it.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  143. Katja, Bradenton, Florida

    Hi Jack,
    It is really very sad that you even have to ask this question. Let me give you an answer. NO ONE is screaming that we can't see the caskets. It isn't a sensationalistic story anymore, therefore no longer news worthy. It isn't about the healthcare reform or Jon & Kate.
    Like small children and most of American people, the media only cares about something if they can't have access to it. Once they have it, they don't want it anymore.
    It is sad and wrong that our honored service men and women do not get more recognition.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  144. Nancy, Tennessee

    I live within 13 miles of a military base. When I see a soldier in town, I still take the time to go up to them and thank them for serving. Not everyone has a reminder that our sons and daughters are still putting their lives on the line everyday. We need to remember our fallen soldiers and seeing the caskets is a sobering reminder that we are still at war. When they are not shown, it helps us forget.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  145. Pat Seattle, Alki

    Jack..Sensationalism!! When the sensationalism wears off, they're gone! It shows you they don't really have an interest in the topic, it doesn't matter how important it is to us!! What they want is to be the 'first" to broadcast a story – then they're off to the next sensational story!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  146. Donald E Frazier Sr.

    Jack I am a vietnam/korean Era Vet I was stationed in Korea during my tour of duty. My son is presently serving in Iraq. The American people need to experience up close what real war is . What sacrifices
    have the vast majority of career politicians made concerning their serving in the military or their children! We need to spend our money here at home, lord knows we have needs. As far as the press, out of sight out of mind on our returning heroes. I am a Black American and I respect you for your FAIR journalism. Don,t let these the idiots damper your spirit.
    Thank you
    Donald, Oklahoma

    September 30, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  147. Rebecca L

    I just think it shows how those that are not directly involved in the war do not seem to be interested in the costs associated with this war. It is so sad how support for sacrifices that the troops and their families make have all but dissapeared. For a while there because of the governments focus on the economy it almost seemed like there was not really a war going on in Afghanistan. Have you thanked a vet or a military spouse lately?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  148. Marie

    That's easy. Money. The bottomline is money, not real news reporting. No one wants the Hippies protests, like in the 60's, that would take the attention away from the right-wing extremists. Maybe someone should offer to pay the news networks to cover the return home to our dead hereos, that should work. Marie Bellmore, NY

    September 30, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  149. billy

    To me it seems that peeps may be tired of hearing about the death of soldiers, or maybe the familys have complaned about telling every one that their loved ones have been lost and don't want to draw attetion. But i still think we should mention the soldiers out respect towards them. if we don't its kinda like saying i don't care you died fightn for the US.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  150. Derik Willis (Overseas)

    Jack,

    It means that the media has moved on to fresher topics. There is no doubt in my mind that the majority of the American public repects and honors the sacrifices of its military members, yet have become numb to news coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ban was effective for its time in that it reduced overall negative news coverage of both wars.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  151. Marcy Bernstein

    Hey Jack,

    In 2 more days I will be 67 years old. Everytime I see a person in uniform I go over hug them and thank them for all they do to keep us safe.

    I am against war, any war. I believe in diplomacy first. I do not believe our politicians anymore they need to be voted out.

    I believe we should see every service person that comes home, so we can give out thanks to them and their families.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  152. Jean-Paul Riva

    Thank you Jack for bringing such a disappointing fact to our attention. It is clearly a cause for shame to fail to report the losses of American personnel in war, whether by the order of the President to avoid public outcry, or through neglect, consideration of ratings, or any other willful intent on the part of the press. The meaning is clear Mr. Cafferty. War is unpopular, and many of us would rather turn away then look. This is precisely why the press exists however, to report good news and bad news. To stand in the way of the american public witnessing the painful and disturbing consequences of warfare for the sake of ratings is plain an indication of superficiality in our culture. President Lincoln personally grieved the loss of life during the American civil war with many tears, and so should we suffer during war from the responsibility of putting our citizens in situations of mortal peril. It should be a mandatory responsibility of the press to report these losses where the permission of the family supports it. It is disgraceful not to.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  153. Jackie in Dallas

    What do I THINK? I think Americans are tired of all the wars, want us to get out of them, and want to stop thinking about them. The pictures don’t generate revenue, viewers, or readers of the media.

    What do I KNOW? That if we let the country stop thinking about them, we will have hundreds, if not thousands, more caskets to see. The Associated Press is the only responsible media trying to see that this does NOT happen.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  154. bobby

    thats just sick man just sick. its like nobody care for anyone but the darn selves. a person at least give like a little thanks or like pray for them. the world ain't what it used to be man.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  155. Eva Kosinski

    It means that in war, those in charge always end up having to cover their butt. Once war starts, whatever agendas caused it to happen become less and less important to the citizens in the US, while war itself usually makes the problems abroad worse, not better. Once any administration has war related goals, returning caskets are a heavy reminder of the cost, and the country starts to turn away, hoping there's another way.

    The fact that the media stops showing it means it is so normal it is no longer "news" and that's pathetic in itself.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  156. Jake Ansen

    Mr. Cafferty,

    Now that we feel our voices are being heard, and see careful deliberations taking place; the cost of war, in blood and tears appears to be somberly understood on all sides. Your report is a welcome reminder of the importance of the decisions we face as a country. I'm hopefull the President sides with Vice President Biden's case for a narrower anti-terrorism task force bringing the vast majority of our troops home to help us rebuild our economy. I thank them for their service!

    Jake Ansen
    Louisiana

    September 30, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  157. Laura in Illinois

    It means the press assumes we don't want to see it-a decision has been made it isn't sensational enough or we don't care.
    I'm heartsick to hear about the lack of coverage by the news media of our Heros. If I could, I'd be there, it's news to me and it's important to recognise the sacrifice of our soldiers and their families in serving our country. I'd like to see a story done on each returning hero. I want to know who he/she was and what was important to him – the obvious being to serve our country. I'm sensitive to doing the right thing about homecomings for any soldier, lost or alive, because my Husband came home to nothing from Vietnam, nothing at all. We all can do so much better. Send the camera's if the family wants it, and let's pay our respects. Thank you to the Associated Press, you are absolutely right in your actions!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  158. Jackie in Dallas

    To all who posted saying that the media only did this under President Bush: uh, you have obviously forgotten that President Bush did NOT ALLOW coverage of returning fallen, even with their next of kin's permission.

    One of the first things that President Obama did was to allow media coverage with consent.

    Take the politics out of this discussion - it isn't about GOP or Democrat, George W. Bush or Barack Obama - but about the fact that the public does not WANT TO SEE IT. We must take our fair share of the blame. The media will not show/publish/write about something that will not gain them public support. Cause and effect, people.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  159. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Hmmmm ... media wants to cover returning fallen troops when Bush was prez, but now we have a new commander in chief & the press doesn't want to display the negative aspects of what is now Obama's war.
    Can anyone define 'double standard'? Anyone..Anyone..Anyone? Bueller?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  160. Robert (Orange County, California)

    The news media’s priorities are off! What is more important and worthy of continued news coverage than the loss of our U.S. solders serving to protect all of us at home? The majority of the news media should report on the return of all our fallen soldiers every time with no exception.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  161. Balthazaar

    Jack,
    Shame on the media. Shame on our Government. Shame on everyone whom isn't ouraged by how we have lost our voice to the corporations whom have bought our represenatives. Shame on all of us for allowing those whom start these wars to be able to avoid the pain and suffering.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  162. Kari

    It proves that the real story that the media wanted to cover was the fact that photographing the caskets was not permitted by a conservative president that felt that this solemn ceremony event should be done with honor and privacy rather than as a public spectacle to be used as an anti-war tool.

    Now that a liberal president who never served in the military has knuckled under to the liberal media's insistence to allow exploitation of the caskets, the media got their story and can now move on. If the media and the liberal's real motivation had been the right or urgent need to cover this event then they would still be covering every ceremony. Again the media and the left have had their true motivation revealed and again exposed themselves for who they really are.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  163. pete

    I think it is pretty sad when celebrities get more coverage than our fallen heroes but on the other hand thats human nature to try and hide or dismiss the things that we really dont like to hear about everyday my condolences to all the families and god bless all of our troops still fighting for our freedom becase we have tougher times still ahead.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  164. Frances Hefner

    Media outlets report what they expect will be sensational material in order to advance their own standings, daily reports of military casualities do not create a 'sensation' which will increase the media's rating, viz., repetition of young soldiers deaths becomes "boring" in the eyes of media directors. One wonders if the military-industrial complex which controls much decision making on the part of varied Boards of Directors also exerts its inflence on the corporate boards of media companies. As in all wars of the past century, the lives of American youths have been crucified in unnecessary conflicts. Drones have been proven hghly effective in the terrain and type of enemy we are against in Afghanistan. Use them in place of our young troops! Increase the drones, not the troops!!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  165. Peter

    Jack

    Dead soldiers don't sell the news. The media has better things to cover like our senators not being able to make up their minds about weather Americans should have affordable health care or not. It looks like the American people will die of disease or old age before our elected officals develop some legislation. That would be horrible no one to pay taxes!

    Peter NY

    September 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  166. David Huntington

    The lack of interest the media shows now is testimony to their motives for the coverage from the start. First, like a 4 year old bucking authority the media was told this was something they could not cover hence, they had to have it. I say black, you say white. Second, during the Bush administration, portraying an endless stream of coffins returning from S.W. Asia could have been used to further attack an already unpopular president. Yes Jack, the media is bias. The current lack of coverage simply demonstrates this. They have little interest in attacking our current leader. Good luck Jack. David H

    September 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm |