After Touting Murtha, Media Largely Ignores Vietnam POW and Hawk Sam Johnson
The mainstream media loves war veteran members of Congress -- when they’re opposed to the Iraq War. As reported by Newsbusters, in November 2005, when Congressman and Vietnam War veteran John Murtha came out against the Iraq War, the network news broadcasts touted his opposition as well as his service.
That has never been the case for Congressman and Vietnam prisoner of war Sam Johnson. Earlier this week, Johnson spoke out in favor of the war and against the anti-surge resolution. Congressman Johnson gave an emotional press conference with his retelling of the events of that era.
Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX): “Words can't fully describe the unspeakable damage of the anti-American efforts against the war back home to the guys on the ground. When they pulled the funds for Vietnam, we were still POW's and we thought we were going to be there forever.”
Unlike Murtha, the only major television outlet that covered Congressman Johnson’s words was Fox News. Others noticed he was there, but did nothing. In the 11:00 AM hour on Thursday, CNN’s Andrea Koppel did a story on congressional debate on the surge with footage of Johnson speaking on the House floor. However, there was no audio and Congressman Johnson’s name was not mentioned.
The transcript from Wednesday’s Fox and Friends First is below.
Steve Doocy: "Well, we've been talking to you about this for a while. The House of Representatives, very shortly, is going to consider a resolution condemning the president's troop surge. And right now it looks as if it will pass. However, yesterday, up on Capitol Hill, Representative Sam Johnson, he's a Republican from Texas who was a POW, talked up on Capitol Hill about what it was like when he was a POW and back home Congress was talking about pulling the funding and stuff like that. That's Mr. Johnson right there. Behind him, John Boehner who at one point started to cry during his, his comments."
Representative Sam Johson (R-TX): "Words can't fully describe the unspeakable damage of the anti-American efforts against the war back home to the guys on the ground. When they pulled the funds for Vietnam, we were still POW's and we thought we were going to be there forever."
Doocy: "We just saw, a moment ago, that was Blunt of Missouri over his shoulder."
Gretchen Carlson: "You see John Boehner just wipe the tear there away, screen left."
Doocy: "It happened so fast."
Carlson: "He was, this is what Boehner said after the fact. He said we will embolden terrorists in every corner of the world. We will give Iran free access to the Middle East. And who doesn't believe the terrorists won't just follow our troops home?"
Judge Andrew Napolitano: "This statement that we just saw was so emotional and so powerful the Republicans are going to ask Congressman Johnson to say it again with a little bit more detail on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday shortly before the vote. The essence of it being, when you take support away from the guys and gals that are actually fighting the war, it's a horrific, horrific thing for them to absorb."
Carlson: "And this is all on the heels of the fact that of course they're going to be voting against this resolution to be against the surge that the president has said is important over in Iraq. 21,500 new troops there, of which that process has already begun. But as we all know, this continues to be debated on Capitol Hill and now it's becoming a very emotional debate."