The Book of the Week is “Breaking News, A Stunning and Memorable Account of Reporting from Some of the Most Dangerous Places in the World” by Martin Fletcher, published in 2008.
Fletcher began his career in his mid-twenties in the early 1970’s, when he found he was super-focused with a news camera. He recorded wars, famines and revolutions in the world’s hotspots. He himself was at peace only when he was telling the world about traumatic events involving mass deaths and ruined lives. He asked, “How could the world have stood by as so many were slaughtered, in so many places?”
Fletcher and his family’s permanent residence was in Israel. Fletcher interviewed dozens of bad guys (terrorists, dictators’ aides, etc.) and wrote, “These gunmen were not my friends; they were just professional sources. However much I might understand their plight, I kept reminding myself, these men wanted to kill my children and their friends.”
On a few different occasions, Fletcher had been following a developing story, but his news-organization employer sent him to get a scoop (which he got) only when the number of white people involved reached a significant number, or when their assets were threatened. In Zaire, he spoke into his tape recorder for a later NBC radio broadcast, to report on eighty Americans taken hostage and Zaire’s endangered vast mineral deposits, even though thousands of native Africans had already become casualties.
From 2001 to 2005, there was a rash of suicide bombings in Israel. The nation took precautions by stationing an armed guard at the door of its every cafe and restaurant; funding this through charging an additional fifty cents to every customer.
Fletcher spoke with the mother of a teenage girl who was killed in one of the attacks. The mother didn’t seek revenge but merely wanted peace. She personally knew Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. She felt that he thought like a terrorist– provocative, petty, vengeful and mean of spirit. With his words and actions, he invited the enemy to blow themselves to glory, and kill his own side.
Read the book to learn the details of the author’s extreme career, of his near-death experiences, and the mentalities of the reporter and his subjects.
ENDNOTE: Fletcher was an old-school adrenaline-junkie-TV-journalist. His goal was to cover and convey a story about other people. In the next week or two, the leader of the free world doesn’t want the post-virus-scare re-opening of society to steal HIS headlines. Is it any wonder that attention whoredom among ALL Americans, “news” reporters included, is at an all-time high?