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Today's shameful journalism attacking all of us

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  • Today's shameful journalism attacking all of us

    This article is an example of the continued abuse the conservative media world calls (at least in the Sacramento Bee) journalism. Although it starts off with a California story, (which does not tell the real story) it ends with nothing but a slanderous attack.

    Firefighters Fiddle While Roseville Burns
    by Steven Greenhut
    Recently by Steven Greenhut: Sacramento Bee Stokes Phony Crime Wave

    I hear endlessly from firefighters who typically earn pay and benefit packages of $175,000 a year here in California that they are heroes who put their lives on the line to keep us and our property safe. Yet, so often when tragedy strikes, these heroes act in ways that certainly are not heroic.
    For instance, on Thursday a major fire consumed a good part of the Roseville Galleria, one of the largest malls in northern California, while firefighters basically waited outside to allow the fire sprinklers to do the job.
    As the Sacramento Bee reported, a "troubled" 23-year-old man walked into a game store, claimed he had a gun, ordered everyone out and set fire to the store. Everyone was evacuated from the mall without incident, according to the Bee, "But because he left a backpack behind, and because no one knew if it contained explosives, firefighters waited outside while a bomb squad went in looking for the back pack."

    The authorities figured the sprinklers had the fire under control, but when the bomb squad got into the building they found out that "the fire apparently smoldered and grew" and then "it burst out of control, roaring through portions of the mall roof and sending the bomb squad retreating … . The result was a fire that raged into early evening." It caused massive damage including a roof collapse.
    The Fire Department heralded its decision to withhold firefighting from the mall. As the department spokesman said, "As it turns out, it was a good decision from the firefighter safety standpoint." As we see here and in virtually every other case involving fires and police efforts: The safety of the firefighter or officer is the primary – at times it seems, the only – concern of public safety officials.

    I had previously written for LewRockwell about a "Dateline NBC" show depicting a man who was about to commit suicide from a bridge in Philadelphia. Dozens of assembled police and firefighters watched and even joked as the man stood in a precarious position. As I wrote, "They [police and firefighters] had a long time to bring a boat under the bridge from a nearby police boathouse as [Matthew] Beaufort threatened to jump. Only after the two volunteers dragged the drowning man onto the shore did Philly’s finest begin to take their rescue equipment down to the river. And the officials wouldn’t touch Beaufort or try to resuscitate him until the rubber gloves and other safety equipment was on the scene. They left the dirty work for the brave volunteers." I also wrote about how during some mass-shooting situations, "The officials were unwilling to endure risk, so they surrounded the building and waited while innocents died en masse."
    This is reality. We should at least dispense with all the talk about heroism. In the world of government "public safety" work, it’s all about protecting the safety of the officials. A hero is someone who risks his life to save others. I understand the desire to minimize risks and especially unnecessary risks for firefighters and police, but the whole point of these jobs – as we’re told endlessly by public safety unions and politicians that court them – is that they are first responders who are supposed to endure some risk. Why else do we have them? Why do we pay them such high salaries?
    In the law enforcement world, the officer-safety cult has led to senseless deaths of citizens. Police don’t save deadly force for extreme situations. Rather, they would rather use deadly force if they fear any threat to themselves at all – which explains why heavily armed and armored police often kill people who have only small knives after they step within 20 feet of them. That’s what cops are taught to do. Call it necessary if you want, but don’t call it heroism.
    One conservative talk radio host on Friday (Eric Hogue in Sacramento) complained about people who second-guessed the firefighter response in Roseville. And of course many people have been chiming in and defending the "heroic" firefighters who – altogether now – "put their lives on the line every day protecting us."
    Apparently, Americans are desperate for heroes, even ones who only occasionally act heroically and who are paid handsome sums for their heroism ($100,000 retirements at age 50, three-day work weeks, paid while sleeping, salaries with overtime that often top $200,000). There's not much sacrifice going on here. But perhaps the more the public sees the response, or non-response, to fires in places such as Roseville, the less apt they might be to continue with this silly hero worship.
    October 25, 2010
    Steven Greenhut (send him mail) is editor-in-chief of CalWatchdog.com and a widely published opinion writer. He is the author of the book, Abuse of Power, and his latest, Plunder!.

  • #2
    Typical DB looking for an audience. Fighting with him will only propel him further. Left alone, he'll find that most of the public will agree he's a d-i-c-k.


    • #3
      I'm sure I'll get blasted for it...but I don't entirely disagree with his premise....

      Many FF's do talk of their "heroic" duty....while actually doing very little.

      Not to say there are not the truly heroic guys out there doing their job....but the "deadly/heroic work" does get overused.
      "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
        I'm sure I'll get blasted for it...but I don't entirely disagree with his premise....

        Many FF's do talk of their "heroic" duty....while actually doing very little.

        Not to say there are not the truly heroic guys out there doing their job....but the "deadly/heroic work" does get overused.
        I know what you mean in that. I have your back!
        Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
          I'm sure I'll get blasted for it...but I don't entirely disagree with his premise....

          Many FF's do talk of their "heroic" duty....while actually doing very little.

          Not to say there are not the truly heroic guys out there doing their job....but the "deadly/heroic work" does get overused.
          Heroic deeds are done on a daily basis by both fire and law enforcement, but that doesnt mean we all tout how we are a hero. If any fire or police officer is touting about being a hero, they are a fool, and I think all of us recognize when we see one. It is important for the public to know that these jobs do come with high risk that may include the ultimate sacrifice. It's no different than the military. During peace time you could go 20 years unscathed, and even retire without being in harms way. During wartime, many heroic deeds are done, also along with many casualties. So, the heroism falls in line with what the job really is, and the risks that may confront any of us someday.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
            but the "deadly/heroic work" does get overused.
            Agreed. The whole notion of "heroes" has been abused to the point the word is almost meaningless to most people.
            "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
            The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.


            • #7
              In my expirience, the true heroes would never claim to be such. Most of the time the yayhoos who throw around the hero junk are the ones who are in fact afraid to crawl down a hall.
              Career Firefighter
              Volunteer Captain

              -Professional in Either Role-

              Originally posted by Rescue101
              I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.


              • #8
                Screw the media, anything run by the government is evil to them. But who do they call for if they have a wreck or their house catches on fire, that's right, the very firefighters that they are bashing. I'm not even going to start on how they treat the military and cops. There is a special place in hell for those slanderous bast***s called the media.


                • #9
                  BTW, heroes, are those individuals who act in a moment of urgent need, not those that talk about what they'll do in a moment of urgent need. Heroes would never profess themselves as heroes, they are labeled by those whom they performed a heroic deed for. Anytime anyone gives me talk about being a hero because I'm in the Marine Corps or because of my time in the fire servise, I ask them "why, what qualifies me as such?" I have done nothing to gain that title, therefore I refuse to accept the thanks for it as well.

                  343 of my heroes are those that continued to climb the towers on 9/11, knowing full well that it wasn't a typical high rise incident. Those are just a few that I consider heroes, the list is too long to post.

                  Anyway, enough of my tangent, lol.


                  • #10
                    I just might make myself the most hated person here. If so, so be it.

                    I hold the term "Hero" with a very tight lip, and with very stringent actions. Just because you pulled 4 people out of a burning house, doesn't make you a hero. You just made a good save, by doing what you were hired or joined to do, and trained to do. Should you get a pat on the back, or accolades, you bet. You did your job. Are you a hero? No, not in my book. No matter the conditions.

                    This will upset all of you firefighters, so I'll apologize now.

                    I wasn't associated with the fire service when 9/11 happened, but I knew that FF's were inside the buildings, even as they collapsed. It broke my heart knowing they were inside, as well as civilians. I hold the utmost respect for the 343+ that gave their lives on that day. They will never be forgotten for their sacrifice, EVER!!! I hold them in my heart, as my fallen Marines.

                    I was in Grenada, operation Urgent Fury. I lost 3 men in the HLZ coming off of the USS Guam before we could drop. When we hit and cleared the students barracks, they called us hero's. The hero's, were the ones that didn't make it. So yeah, I have a problem with the "Hero" nomenclature.

                    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

                    Originally posted by EastKyFF
                    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."


                    • #11
                      Excellent post, Firemech1! This raises a sort of related question this thread got me thinking about. In our department, we have medals we award firefighters for various things. One of the medals we've never awarded yet is the Medal of Honor. Our policies say this can be awarded to someone who performs an act of personal bravery or heroism. So this thread got me thinking, what exactly qualifies as an act of "heroism" when you're doing what you're paid to do?

                      Years ago, before this program was implemented and before I was hired, we had a guy who ignored the orders of the incident commander and went in to a house to pull a victim out. The victim survived. Do you pin a medal on the guy for heroism, or do you suspend and potentially fire him because because he ignored an officer's order and went in to a burning structure by himself?

                      Anyway, this is the kind of stuff that goes through my head before I have a chance to drink my 5 cups of coffee in morning.


                      • #12
                        I don't know. Reading these posts has me thinking. But the bottom line is that the term "hero" is defined by the person using the term.

                        In other words, it's a relative term. What a "hero" is to me may not be to you. For example, if I fix my daughter's Barbie doll after my other daughter pulled an arm or leg off, she may consider me a "hero" (if she was asked)

                        But, if you asked anyone else if what I did was "heroic", they'd say no.

                        Same with bigger issues. If you saved me or a family member from a terrible death in a burning car or home, I'd consider you a "hero". But, chances are, you wouldn't consider yourself one.

                        It's all relative to the person electing to use the term. This jounalist may not consider what we do "heroic". And to a degree, I personally agree with him. But many people do consider it "heroism".

                        The fact remains, we are blessed to be a part of a culture (paid or volunteer) where we get an opportunity to help fellow humans, regardless of their appreciation. At least we can say we're part of the "good" that happens in life.

                        Rest well guys,


                        • #13
                          The Sac Bee is nothing more than a fishwrap rag. They are notorious for beating up on public safety. Pretty much any McClatchey owned news medium is. The upshot of this is that the citizens of the Sac Metro area love their firefighters. I hope that this is as far as this article goes. Good post babcusar5.


                          • #14
                            Seems to be an agreement that the term "Hero" is determined by the speaker. Thus so, I can not disagree with the article. Let him vent about someone who could save his life.

                            That said, I would consider someone a hero doing an action, but not consider myself a hero doing the same action.

                            If I was saved by someone, them putting their life at risk to save mine. They are a hero.

                            If I save someone putting my life at risk, I dont consider myself a hero. Even if it wasnt as a public servant but as a passerby, I am doing what I feel is right as a human being. I cant be a hero every time I do something that I feel is right, rather than going home with a guilty conscience.

                            A hero to me is someone who gave their life saving those whom they have never met. Someone who ignores race and gender, and does what he does for the good of humanity.

                            However, I believe there is a line between heroism and being stupid. Defining that line is the hard part. Trying to save a life that is already lost, could be stupid. But who is to say that we knew that person was dead or not?

                            Very interesting subject, with many varying answers. Look forward to more.

                            edit: To clairfy, There are MY heros, and societies heros. My hero is someone saving me from impending doom.

                            Just noticed that slight contradiction.


                            • #15
                              I geuss this is the type of hero these clowns are looking for....http://www.break.com/usercontent/200...denkirk-549015


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