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Monday, March 15. 2010
Recognize this photo?
Well, some professional journalists don't.
The Chicago Tribune's Ron Grossman writes:
I took a quick survey in the newsroom the other day, something between a Rorschach test and a pop quiz, asking younger colleagues to identify an iconic photograph of World War II.Is this historical ignorance more of a generational thing, or is it more evidence of a general overall media ignorance?
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The ignorance of HR Departments. How do you hire someone to work in a newsroom, who sees history through the prism of a movie.
The really sad part is that if you admonish someone for not knowing they are the very people who will say it doesn't matter anyway as it was too long ago. These very same people will know everything about Am.Idiot (Idol?) and all sports and pop stars. Luckily, most of them won't vote and will leave running the country to people who at least care.
They died for our freedom to bask (or wallow) in ignorance of our nation's history.
What did the die for? Ask Tom Hanks, he'll tell you they died in a racist crusade against the Japanese, because they look different and had a different religion.
And they drive by the Marine Corps Memoral in D.C. and have no clue?
Wer'e in trouble.
I have driven past the monument several times, and many of those times I've stopped to see it up close and thank the Marines for their contributions to our liberty.
Go to Harlingen, Texas, and see the mold from which the D.C. (well, Arlington, VA) statue was cast. It's even more awesome and impressive.
Perhaps, besides being residents of DC, the home of the best little whore house in American, it is not called the Iwo Jima memorial... It is the Marine Corps Memorial.
And Marine when writing about them is ALWAYS with a capital "M".
On a visit to the USA in 1999, my family and I wanted to visit the Iwo Jima memorial in Washington DC. Asking directions, we were amazed to find that almost nobody seemed to know where it was, and few even knew what we were talking about. Even when we described it.
That's about the level of ignorance I'd expect from today's journalists.
My game is public education - and I'm on the classical, more traditional side of the debate. Like Mark Bauerlein details in "The Dumbest Generation," we've got a serious problem with historical ignorance, and we can't even depend on our college graduates to have a grasp of the most basic issues, events, personalities or, in this case, imagery.
I go on and on about these deficiencies at every opportunity. Occasionally I'll think I've gone a little crazy - I'll think, "... it can't be this bad," that I, along with the Bauerleins, VD Hansons, et al. are getting carried away.
Then I see another little bit of evidence like this and think, "God help us."
I'm a HS science teacher & amateur historian & you have a right to be scared. I am always asking my students about historial incidents, as well as ?s on the Constitution as they file into my classroom before class.
They don't know anything abt anything.
Kids need a history class every year.
Here in ND they have World Hist 10th gr,US hist 11th, & govt 12th.
They need it in the 9th grd too.
But will it help?Parents need to educate their kids at home, too, & help explain that movies are not where you get your history.
I had American History in 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, and 9th grade. We didn't have any World War II history, as it was still going on by the time I got to the 7th grade.
The reason history is not widely known is because of AYP( annual yearly progress) from No Child Left Behind. Reading and math rule....those kids that do not pass their state assessments at middle school level have to take language arts and a remedial reading class and the same for math. In elementary schools, kids pulled out of class for a second math and reading class sacrifice history and science class, hence when they come to middle school some of these kids have NEVER had ANY science or history. That means the middle school teachers have to fill a clean slate...ie. no prior knowledge. Try to teach the Civil War when the kids have no knowledge of the Constitution....Revolutionary War, etc. Imagine when you start teaching World War II.
Doesn't surprise me. They don't teach this in school anymore. I remember all of the students in my AP US History class (besides me) thought that the tv show MASH was set in the Vietnam war. We never covered much of WWII in US Histroy. Spent too much time on Age of Exploration, Evils of Colonialism in 15-18 century and how that mirrors what US is doing now, etc. May have talked about the Industrial Revolution a bit then on to the Civil Rights Era and summer vacation!
Well, those kids may know something after all. MASH was really just another anti-VietNam show, with Korea as a fake backdrop.
At 55 I'm watching the older generation die off and the younger one die intellectually. Sad.
As a firm believer in the adage that the past is prologue I weep for the future.
It's the intentional dumbing down of our universities which only push Marxist indoctrination at all levels.
No..what the issue is elementary and middle schools are so busy teaching manners and ethical issues (don't like don't steal) and other crap mommy and daddy should be teaching that they don't teach much about the basics any more...my mom was an elementary school teacher for 30 years. the last 10 years she taught she nevery really had time to teach much...she was so busy teaching kids manners, etc. That's what's wrong with our schools.
High schools are graduating kids who can't read, write or even do basica mathematics...and we wonder what's wrong...sad
Hey, I think I saw that on John Stewart last year. It's from one of those wars isn't it?
Hey did you hear what happened on "LOST" last night?
Dude, it was AWESOME!
I'd say that about sums up the general attitude of the youth today. Even I know somebody who I would consider reasonable smart who gets his news from Jon Stewart. After the Massachusettes special election I asked if he'd heard a Republican was elected. He had no idea what I was talking about. A day later he came back saying, "I watched Jon Stewart. I'm now informed." I wanted to shove pencils in my eyes when I read that.
As for this picture, I was never really big on learning about the Pacific theater of the war - my focus was more Holocaust centered - but I at least recognize it and know where it was taken. And I've never even seen "Flags of Our Fathers."
I was born just 10 years (almost to the day) after the end of WWII so it was fresh in everyone's minds. I knew a lot about the ETO but the island hopping campaign fascinated me.
As bad as the crimes of the Nazis were they paled in comparison to the sheer viciousness and inhumanity of the Japanese.
It's Generation Y. They don't know anything except that each one of them is a special, precious snowflake.
Schools deliberately do not teach real history (as opposed to Black, Hispanic, Women's History) in order to erase the idea of American Exceptionalism.
I bet those journalists know all about Japanese internment and the racism behind Hiroshima, though.
Why are those guys tearing down that flag pole? Is that William Ayers on the far left?
I have two daughters in their early 20's who went to very good schools. There is a "Pickett Bridge" in our town named for Confederate Gen. George E. Pickett, who supervised its building as a junior officer. So I told the girls that this was Gen. Pickett of Pickett's Charge, and neither one of them had any idea what that was. This after something like $200,000 apiece for tuition, room and board. All of American history could be subtitled "Causes and Consequences of Pickett's Charge" yet our current educators don't seem to think it's worth mentioning.
Horrid consequences and bad return on an investment in education. I understand why so many choose to home school.
Not necessarily a bad return. They are very capable and self-possessed young women in other ways, in large part as a result of their college experiences. I would hope we could fix what's wrong with our institutions without just lashing out and tearing up the pea patch.
The Hate America First profs win. Once in every 7th and 10th grade history text, this photo is an embarrassment to Democrats and Academia. Racist Jingoism to people like Obama.
That was actually the 2nd flag raising on Iwo Jima. Neither was in and of itself a big deal, either. The hill was uncontested: the Japanese had pull back the previous day. For the first raising, a Marine officer trotted to the top of the hill and raised a small (3' x 5') flag he'd been carrying in his pack, on a piece of water pipe he found laying on the ground. The general in charge of the landing didn't think everyone could see that one so he had a squad carry up a new flag - the one you see in the picture - and raise it instead. A combat photographer went along the 2nd time and took the famous picture. The news reel footage that gets shown sometimes is, I believe, a reenactment.
Rosenthal was the photographer of the still that you see. There was also a movie photographer that captured the same flag raising (in color). There was no reenactment.
The first flag raising was a big deal. Most everyone on the island stopped fighting and took notice. Even the ships at sea were tooting their horns. The walk up the mountain was uncontested but there was still some fighting on the way back down.
The second flagraising was no big deal to everyone, including those who participated. The famous photo was just a lucky shot. The "reenactment story was false as proven later. The photo and the movie clip were both shot at the same time. The book Flags of our Fathers goes into detail about it and the whole battle.
You're correct, the two flag raisings took place on day 2 or 3 of the battle and there were weeks of hard fighting left to go. Rosenthal took a number of pictures on Suribachi, including a "team picture" of the Marines lined up, facing the camera. Apparently his flag raising photo beat him back to the US, and took the country by storm. He was told that one of his pictures from Iwo had gone viral (in a very 1940's sort of way) and he asked whether it was the "posed" picture, i.e., the team picture. This appears to be the root of the rumor that the flag raising photo was posed. As the contemporaneous video shows, it definitely was not.
After the first flag raising, Rosenthal asked the Marines who raised it to pose for a photo. They did. Then the second flag raising took place and R'thal took the famous photo.
"Rosenthal's famous photo was flown to Guam where it was developed. The significance of the picure was noticed immediately. Within hours and days it was published all over the nation and the world. R'thal remained on Iwo and did not see the photo for some time. Someone, referring to the famous photo, asked R'thal if the flag raising photo was posed. R'thal, thought he was referring to the group photo that was posed and taken after the first flag raising, said sure. And thus was born the myth the famous photo was posed.
A Marine movie photog, standing very near to R'thal, took movies that show the same shot, briefly. Together, stills from the movie and the famous photo produce a stereoscopic view, proving conclusively they were taken at the same instant and thus were not posed. (The Marine photog was later killed on Iwo.)
What is seldom remembered is that the flag raising was an intregal part of the battle plan. It was a signal to the fleet and the rest of the Marine Division at the base of Mt. Suribachi that that part of the island was secured and they could advance northward to capture the airfield, which was the main purpose of taking Iwo Jima. The first flag was too small to be seen by some, so a second patrol was sent with the lager flag, which is the one in the picture.
Nietzsche suggested that, for the people at large, history ends with the grandfather. It's about time, then, that the sh1t begin to forget Iwo Jima.
...not that we should ascribe any special powers to Nietsche, who was a complete dick.
That was on Mount Suribachi and it was not uncontested. It took two days for the Marines to encircle the base of the mount and then a platoon worked its way to top where 6 men raised the first flag. While they were raising the flag a Japanese soldier threw a grenade at the flag party. A surviving veteran of that first flag raising said the getting up Mount Suribachi was fairly easy, it was getting to it and then the fighting afterwards that was hard. Of the 40 man platoon that got to the summit the first time 36 of them were killed or wounded in the later fighting on Iwo Jima.
The Marines had it bad, but the worst battle of the war from our stand point was the Battle of the Bulge. Also the Japanese may have killed 30 million, in the 4 or 5 countries mentioned, but Russia lost 35 Million during this period. Tom Hanks has been a driving force behind the World War II Musuem in New Orleans, so I question that he made any negative comments on US service men.
it's a picture taken by some jewish guy for a statute in washington D.C. (which stands for Don't Care, I think)
Tis the same overall media ignorance that cannot see the next Civil War coming.
Count the number of hands on the flag staff. There's nine. The odd one is called the hand of God. Check it out.
I honestly do not know what to say. For this to occur is gut wrenching. I am Gen Y. News for me is only the drudge report, hot air and Mark Steyn. We won the battle against the Soviet Union but lost the war. Steyn is correct - the levers of power that move nation states in the west support maxist values - and with that go peoples spirits. I am sadly coming to believe that within my generation, freedom in the west will take its last breath and with that any hope for advancement for the future is gone.
Nice thought but really, did the 5 soldiers in the picture have fewer than 10 hands between them? Try counting legs too. Are they the legs of god? There is one soldier standing beside and mostly obscured by the other raising the flag. Iconic pictures of American Exceptionalism are under constant pressure to be wiped from the collective conciousness. Like the US Flag on the moon.
I'm not surprised, what with Tom Hanks running around calling our Marines and GIs in the Pacific racists.
And people wonder why we make the same mistakes over and over! If you don't know history, you aren't going to learn from it.
As a Marine Veteran living in DC I'm both eternally grateful to our nation's servicemen and women as well as embarrassed that so many of our country's great moments have been forgotten by so many. God Bless America and God Bless the USMC.
I'm sure that all of these journalists know that the Japanese were the 'other' that our militaristic, racist society was programmed to destroy in order to bring white hegemony to the Pacific rim.
Huh. All Americans I've ever spoken to or read are historically ignorant (usually grossly so), except for a myopic comic-strip version of your own history.
Those journalists just read a different comic strip from you, that's all.
It's not a generational thing. It's the result of intentional destruction of true American history in progressive schools. They HAVE to destroy any sense of National identity, pride, and purpose. The liberal/progressive/socialists must destroy our history and pride in order to reconstruct it in the "great and glorious socialist, people's norm". I submit the average "journalist" is a propaganda consuming and disseminating tool and fool of the socialist elite. Just watch the pathetic performance of Wolf Blitzer on "Jeopardy". He's a complete moron incapable of independant thought, competent only to read his socialist crap off a teleprompter: just like Obama.
Maybe they did know but, being journalists, felt they had to pretend to not know about such Bad Stuff, such as war and American heroism.
Actually it's both... just a sad general state of affairs in regard to the awareness of history.
Who are we to say grievance studies and building self esteem are not important than the triumph of good over evil in WWII?
Just show 'em a picture of Obama's ass. They will know THAT one.
I'm not sure what's worse - to not recognize the picture, or to have seen the movie "Flags of Our Fathers" and still not know at what battle this photo was taken.
It's almost like SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy: the audio daily double "continents that begin with the letter 'A'", and the audio clue: "Asia". Hmmmmm, what could the answer be?
Journalism is now irrelevant. What little credibility there was is a thing of the past.
I always thought people went into journalism as a fallback major because they flunked pre-math. Now I realize there's probably no history requirement either.
Why should things like bravery, glory and victory matter to them?
Maybe if the image depicted social workers delivering vaccines to the poor indigenous people of Iwo Jima- long oppressed by the white patriarchal masters from the United States- they'd be able to instantly recognize the image.
Not an excuse, really, but a note: We are now as far away from World War II as I was from WWI when I was in high school. I have no doubt that I would be unable to identify the battlefield of some iconic photo that people of that generation thought I should be able to place. How many of my generation could identify a photo of Verdun or The Marne.
But that assumes that there is a photograph of the Verdumor the Marne that is as Iconic as this one. But you raise a good point. Nobody knows anything about WWI anymore. No Googling: which side was Italy on? Japan?
Not really surprising considering what passes for "Journalists" these days!
I went back to school to obtain a 2nd BS degree in '01. I had to take a stupid speech class because I'd never taken one before for my 1st degree (USMA). I delivered a speech on the Pearl Harbor attack and of a class of 35 students only 1 (not even the professor) knew what the significance of Dec 7th, 1941 was. And that lone student knew because he was in the National Guard and was a military history buff.
I was physically shaken by the ignorance of kids that were only 10 years younger than I. I shudder to think how much worse it has become since then...
I used to think those that thought undermining our educational system was some sort of socialist plot were delusional. I see now that I was the deluded one.
#11 said: "I bet those journalists know all about Japanese internment and the racism behind Hiroshima, though."
But do those journalists know all about the racism of the Japanese killing 30 million Chinese, Phillipinos, Koreans and Indonesians in genocidal frenzy in WWII????
Or the institutionalized rape of captive women, human bio-medical experimentation, forced slavery, and other war crimes and atrocities? It will turn the stomach of a strong man.
Tom Hanks is such an idiot...and I used to think of him as a modern day Jimmy Stewart. Stupid is as stupid does.
Not just journalistic ignorance I'm afraid, but cultural and historical ignorance as a result of what is not taught in schools today. Sad commentary on that I'd say.
Well, I certainly recognize it, and I'm a journalism professor.
But I think it's more of a generational thing. WW2 kicked off about 70 YEARS ago.
How many of you would recognize images from the Spanish-American war?
Plus, that photo, if you know the real history, is not the original flagraising on Mount Suribachi.
I think I'd recognize a photo of the USS Maine, as well as Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders on San Juan Hill.
Most college graduates these days probably think Rough Riders are a brand of condom.
20 years ago I got a chest x-ray of a man who still had shrapnel in his lung from D-day, which I though was very cool. I never charged the guy.
Anyway, I had the film on the light box in the hallway, and this kid nurse walks by and I point and say "Omaha Beach."
And she says, "What's Omaha beach?"
A journalism degree is for those that can't hack the rigors of a education degree.
I recognize Neil & Alan but who are the other two in the photo? And why did our government lie and say we landed two men on the moon and not the obvious four? What are they covering up!?!?
Hey Scott (#40): I always wanted to know what a "journalism professor" professes to his students.
"Attention class: This semester we learn to attack and destroy anyone with an "R" after their names and cover up for anyone with a "D" after theirs, especially if that person is sanctioned as an elitist ruler or is a former Democrat VP candidate running for President."
There's another copy of the flag raising statue at Parris Island.
I have a picture of my son standing in front of it when he received his Globe and Anchor.
Believe me, the Marine Corps doesn't forget what it stands for.
Remember when Rush Limbaugh was part of a group that was interested in purchasing the NFL Rams? The media went into a tizzy and the most vicious and vile quotes were attributed to Rush. "James Earl Ray deserved a medal", for example. For better or worse, Rush is the face and voice of American conservatism. Especially, to the media. That so many media "professionals" were so ignorant who Rush Limbaugh is speaks of an unbelievable level of liberal isolation. Rush speaks 5 days a week for 3 hours a day, and most of the media have no idea what he stands for. None. That, my friend, is ignorance.
Life is a journey. If you don't understand where you came from, then you can't understand where you're going.
But ignorant people are easier to lead so it pays off for the ruling class to foster ignorance.
Fella, I count five guys in that picture. It's a great moment that stands for something, yes, but let's not get too worked up about a picture.
This is just another example of the lack of Historical knowledge of most people who have gone to High School and College in the last 40 to 50 years.
These so-called "journalists" neither know nor understand history, economics, business or even have a basic understanding of our form of government.
Basic questions about the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution will get the same BLANK STARES.
Howard Zinn the Marxist piece of shit, who recently died (oh, geez, I forgot, don't speak ill of the dead...too late) is being taught in schools, and Matt Damon, the loser, sponsored Zinn's horrific "The People Speak" version of Am. History on TV recently.
We're doomed unless we teach our kids about the real heroes and history of America, not the Marxist hate-America one. This is depressing but believable, that our Fourth Estate is beyond abysmally ignorant.
It's not just which eras are being emphasized. Histoty as a narrative with individuals shaping events has been passed over in favor of the very boring social history, which focuses on how people lived in day to day life- and how they were victimized. I have found that young people know that Goerge Washington owned slaves and what a slave cabin looked liked, but they know nothing of Valley Forge or Washington's ability to hold his ary together against the British while he was often fighting another action with the Continetal Congress and abitious rival generals.
If the iconic American war photo of 1945 can be so mysterious, no wonder that Americans, despite the best efforts of The History Channel, remain so clueless about history. What are the chances that today's kids will understand World War I or the War Between the States? Schools today do not impart knowledge; they think that it is their tast to teach children to have the right "attitudes" on social issues. The World War II generation is dead or dying. When they are gone, World War II will become a remote as the Punic Wars. No wonder we elected a man like Obama, a "man from nowhere," about whom we know almost nothing. His college transcript (!) is treated as a state secret.
Unfortunately for those who still read newspapers and watch network news, history is not the only subject the journalists are ignorant of. Ask them about supply and demand, teach them why the govt cannot perpetually print money,...
Oh, better explain the Constitution to them too. Yes, that piece of parchment that a bunch of dead white folks clung to about two hundred years ago. An LA Times columist recently stated that in a democracy it's unconstitutional for a big state like California to have the same number of senators as Iowa.
May be it's better for the "journalists" to return to their root as scribes to keep "journals" for the high and mighty.
Meh, I don't think this is an indictment of history education in general as it is a story of professional incompetence.
The sad fact is that the vast majority of people have no interest, inclination, or need to learn about history, and I think that's always been the case. I'm guessing that if you told a random Roman in the late Republic "This Caesar is no Cincinnatus!", he'd probably say "Who?"
My wife is an example. Very little knowledge of history. Why? It just doesn't interest her, so her ability to retain bits of historical trivia is limited. But on the other hand, we can walk through a forest and she can name every single plant, genus, species, the Latin root, etc., whereas I can't even tell you what a daisy looks like. Why? I have no interest in plants, so my ability to retain that information is virtually nil. My experience is that most people are like that with regard to history--it just doesn't interest them.
What's bad about the example here is that I would think knowledge of history is pretty important to the job of a journalist. It's hard to report news if you don't know the historical context or importance of what you're reporting--if you can't use words like "unprecedented" or "never before" or "historical event" in an article, everything is without context.
My co-worker is 23 and he knows what it is...but we're in MN where education still exists...
One day at work meeting last year someone asked what the date is.
I answered it's Pearl Harbor Day.
A co-worker (about 38 years old) then said "A day which will live in infamy" and none of the other people in the room had any idea what we two were talking about. Everyone else was under thirty.
Me and the other history knower were shocked. One person even said mentioning Pearl Harbor Day made her uncomfortable!
just to straight the record straight, the actual quote was "a DATE that will live in infamy". I make it a point to thank anyone I meet that is currently serving or has served. they have my heartfelt thanks no matter what they did or where they served. God Bless them and God Bless America!
Not to get overly technical, but the actual/actual quote was "A date WHICH will live in infamy".
Ironically, according to a lot of the posts on here, not only has that date not survived the quote with today's generation...neither has a lot of other historical moments in our country's great history.
And I can't decide if I'm more sad or more upset by this. Perhaps it's a mix.
God bless America
What would you expect from "journalists?"
Look at some of what he have today - Dan Rather, Katie Couric, Keith Oberman, etc. Must be the kids who want to go to college, under government handouts, can't pass the tests to get into a good paying job, so they wind up in journalism!
from right to left: Harlan Block, John Bradley, Mike Strank, Rene Gagnon, Franklin Sousley, and Ira Hayes.
Block, Strank and Sousley were KIA within 48 hours of this picture being taken.
Most Americans are this stupid when it comes to history. And this is American history, never mind world history.
I'm not even American and I recognized that as the 2nd flag raising at Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima. A friend of mine could name every man in that photo. Some of us over here in Europe still remember.
This reminds me of one of the great quotes of all time. When asked by a smartass reporter if he took basket weaving at the U of Alabama, Joe Namath said, "No. That was too hard. I studied journalism."
i grew up on guam and okinawa,i was born in 1955 and my father was in the air force. i explored all of the caves and battlefields where at that time bones ,bombs etc were still in evidence people forget that the japs enslaved china,korea,etc,etc.
they murdered and starved more people than the germans.
it seems we are doomed to repeat history,with out US power china,russia and N.korea will exert its influence.
the world has not changed as much as we would like to believe in 70 short years.
many of my teachers fought in ww2 and hated facism.the yeachers now only know communist propaganda.
My Son is 9 I showed him te photo and asked him if he could tell me anything about it. I figured he might know a little something about it because he reads my books and loves the military channel. To my surprise he not only knew the battle he even knew he name of the hill. Hope is not lost.
I too taught my two children, girl and boy, about some famous "dates" in US history, because the ed. system wasn't. I felt it was an obligation as my Dad was an Army veteran of the European Theatre, WWII, and my Mom grew up in Occupied France.
Dateline Haiti - 18 March 2010 - 1800 hours. Obama will not allow the US flag to be displayed in Haiti. We've come a long way baby.
My dad flew in B-24s in the Pacific, his cousin was a tail-gunner in B-17s in Europe. I am a paramedic and have had the priviledge of transporting 1) a Marine who served with the group known as "the devils brigade" (not to be confused with the army brigade in Italy), 2) several different Air Corps members, and 3) the guy who found and rescued Smokey the Bear. I have been allowed by my profession to meet these american heros and am blessed.
It's a re-enactment of a famous moment on Iwo Jima...about as real as Ann's outrage over the health care plan being supported by a majority (that's right, sheeple-a MAJORITY) of Americans. By the way Ann, you are not hot.
Well over and above that, the photo below should be taught in American History!!! HOW FEW KNOW OF THIS and if it happened once becarful as it can happen again
That is the burning of the white house by Canada isn't lol TOO FUNNY good photo
Wonder if Coulter knows of that.
Folks don't know our history because we are systematical being taught of our failures and our greatness or heros are being not taught on purpose. The purpose is so we will not seek greatness, but only be satisfied with handouts and programs.
It explains why America is in fatal decline. We'll be a 3rd world nation any day now (no blame to any one party or president).
Read Creature From Jekyll Island by Griffin to get insight as to cause and effect in the 20th century. That such great men as pictured above sacrificed sp much without knowing the true purpose of the "man behind the curtain" is tragic.
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