This crushing segment from Bill Dwyre’s excellent LA Times piece upon seeing the documentary of Pat Tillman’s death at the hands of fellow soldiers on a hill in Afghanistan six years ago. The film follows the pursuit of truth by Tillman’s mother, Dannie.
Dannie Tillman did what a nation full of high-paid, overblown journalists should have done. She went after the real story while the beautiful people on TV and the nerds with notepads broadcast and wrote morality plays. She got in the military’s face, in the government’s face. She didn’t let up. She was doing journalism while journalists were doing what we mostly do now — chase Web hits and take short cuts to higher profits.
A housewife got the real story, or as much of it as anybody probably will. Professionals trained to do so gathered moss and wrote slop.
So again, journalism is practiced by many who are outside the velvet rope of the institution. Dwyre indicts himself in the piece, and it’s a most worthwhile read.