We report a lot about bad media actions.
On the whole, much of the media has been doing better during this Afghanistan debacle when it comes to reporting more honestly.
But one media incident today took a lot of people's breath away given how outrageous and hard to believe it was.
Marine Cpt. Geoff Ball had the hard duty of the command of the company that was helping evacuate people out of the Kabul airport Thursday and his company took the main hit during the suicide attack. In a Facebook post, he wrote about what happened, how 20 others in the company were also injured, and how proud he was of his company. It was a very touching post.
Nine of my Marines and Sailors gave their lives so that others may live, and almost 20 other members of the company were wounded by their side. Up until that moment, I did not believe I could ever be more proud of their efforts, by the way they handled the surging crowds and chaos all week, but they proved me wrong. [….]
There is no greater honor for a Marine to be called to save Americans. To be the last on deck as those who need our help are pulled to safety. To lay down our lives for others. That is what my Marines did. They will always be my heroes.
Apparently, ABC thought it was a very touching Facebook post as well. So, they did something unthinkable, according to Paul Szoldra, the editor in chief of Task and Purpose, and Duffel Blog. They stole the post, used Capt. Ball's name and published it as an op-ed by him, titled “My fallen Marines will always be my heroes: Opinion.” They even created an “author” profile for him on their website. All without his permission.
.@abcnews published an "op-ed” by Marine Capt. Geoff Ball today without his permission.— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) August 30, 2021
Ball wrote this in a Facebook post and was not contacted by ABC about putting his name on a byline, he tells me. They even created an author profile for him. pic.twitter.com/56TVnIzA4J
Imagine having a media outlet do this, after everything this man has had to go through, especially in this past week.
They later deleted the op-ed but so far there's been no further comment on how this came to be.
I'd like to see some explaining on this. https://t.co/5BXz0WnZI9— Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) August 30, 2021
Hey @ABCNewsPR, how did this make it past your standards department without someone — anyone — saying, “Maybe we should make sure it’s cool with the guy who just had nine of his Marines die?”— Davis Winkie (@davis_winkie) August 30, 2021
Or are there no standards checks implemented for your opinion desk? https://t.co/ci4FulRFIa
You can say that again.