I wonder what would have happened if there were television crews at Valley Forge (search) when Washington's troops were freezing and the British were winning.
Or when Union troops were getting their butts kicked in battle after battle, month after month, in the early days of the Civil War (search).
Or in the many months after Pearl Harbor (search) was attacked and the Japanese were scoring one victory after another in the Pacific.
What if cameras were there and the relentless headlines were everywhere?
What would we make of the casualty counts, the losing battles and the hopeless reports?
What would we have done?
Would we second-guess Washington? Or Lincoln? Or Roosevelt?
Probably. I don't know. But this much I do know: History would be very different.
Maybe the public appetite for bad news at the time would have trumped the record of good news that came after that time.
Maybe we would have quit, stopped, put down our arms and moved on.
I suspect we'd still be under British rule, or a divided nation after a Civil War, or a losing nation after a World War.
Thank God we were patient then. I wonder if we're patient now.
Then we didn't have the luxury of journalists second-guessing soldiers. Now I wonder whether our soldiers worry we're second-guessing something else: their mission.
I have no doubt we can win this war. I have serious doubts whether some in the media even want us to.
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