Another Reason Not to Trust the Media

Early this week, I received what seemed like a cool chance of a lifetime.  Our family support center had received an invitation from the Montel Williams Show to participate in the audience of a program about deployments and the effect that it has on military families.

As any military family knows, there is often a great gulf between what we experience and what the public sees.  We keep a lot to ourselves.  There is much that is difficult, and yet we don’t discuss it outside military circles because it is often taken the wrong way in sound bites.  The chance to discuss the situation in a forum that allowed explanation was priceless, and I jumped at the chance to be an ambassador for the military spouse community.

This is not what happened.  And I got yet another abject lesson in why it is so hard for military people to trust anyone who thrusts a microphone at them while tape is rolling.

We met just off base, all 25 of us who were attending, and took a bus to New York City.  Just for the record, it was NOT one of the 1950s wrecks!  There were actually nice, comfie seats and televisions at intervals along the rows.

I read a book on the way up, and lots of people were excitedly chattering together.  No one can talk like military people when they get together!  We are nearly always instant friends.

We reached New York, and gathered into a very crowded audience holding room.  We were attending at the same time as a school for the first show, and the kids were not exactly well behaved.  But spirits were still high. 

Hubby and I even got seated in the front for the first taping!  We were this close to the stage!  It was a very highly charged atmosphere, and we got to ask Montel questions before the show began.  We were all having a great time.

The trouble started during the second taping, when we learned that Montel’s agenda with military people wasn’t what it had been portrayed to be when our group was invited to attend.  And as military families have been burned so often by unscrupulous media members (I’m not attacking the ones who work professionally here!), we probably should have sensed it from the beginning.  We were going to be ambushed.

As soon as the opening tape began to roll, hubby and I were uncomfortable.  Montel was using this episode to discuss the debilitating illnesses some military members have suffered from anthrax inoculations.  Using footage with the flag and men in uniform, Montel referred several times to military members being "guinea pigs", repeated several times about the mandatory vaccine which he presented as going to everyone with no one being able to refuse it.  ** 

Montel showed truly heart-wrenching stories of women and men who had been adversely affected by the anthrax vaccine.   As military members and family members we know those stories.  We know that there has been a issue.  In my own husband’s case, he declined the anthrax vaccine before his latest deployment to Afghanistan and when hubby deployed to Iraq in 2003 he only received one shot and did not get the rest.

Furthermore, a point I made at the microphone, these military people who have been disabled by the anthrax vaccine are our family.  As military members we are all family.  With our relatives often thousands of miles away, we are family in a very real sense and the only family many of us have close at hand.  We need to love and care for each other.  We need to work hard to get each other the care necessary and commensurate with the service our family members have given.  We are the first people to comfort each other, the first to be there in good times and in bad. 

And while the issue of the anthrax vaccine is a very real one and one that needs to be addressed further, Montel Williams chose to use this subject to ambush a military group (which included women whose husbands were currently deployed to Iraq).  The sudden ambushing of such an emotionally charged subject, combined with the portrayal of our military members as total victims (which included Montel’s assertion that the military was being treated so terribly that no one would volunteer again and the draft would have to be reinstated) was an emotional manipulation and degradation of the very military members that were supposedly being lifted up.  The blatant emotional manipulation and doomsday scenarios implied by the footage shown reduced more than one attending wife to tears. 

When the military group attending pointed out that we were very uncomfortable with the way Montel was presenting this issue, we were told to bring these points up at the microphone.  I did right before one break, but the flurry of activity and the back it up motions and the replaying of the music made it seem as though my valid counter-points were going to be cut and not included.  Other family members asked for a more balanced presentation during break times.

But it got worse.  The show was being presented in the most scaremongering fashion possible.  There was only attention given to the worst cases.  There was no attention given to those who had experienced no adverse affects, or only the mild swelling and soreness around the injection site, even though we had people like that present with us.  There was no mention about the actual percentages such reactions actually occur in.  And there was no mention of those, like an EOD friend of mine, who actually requested the vaccine and makes sure to keep it updated. 

Finally, we all got up and left during a break before the taping was over.  And I should probably add that there was a quite acrimonious exchange with Montel that resulted in one person being escorted out  by the show security (who were very polite and professional, for the record).  I did say, "You told us this was going to be about deployment, Montel!" to which the reply was, "Please, just leave."  If there was any discussion of how deployment issues affect family members after we left, it happened without us.  All I can say is that the direction and tone of the show definately made it look like the topic was not going to come up.

It is at this point I would like to address the men and women featured who had such adverse reactions to the vaccine – I am so sorry.  I am sorry for what has happened to you.  As your military family member, I want to do anything I can to help you.  I wanted to hug one of the women on the show as we were leaving, thank her for her service, and ask her what I could do for her; but we were prevented from doing so by the placement of set workers.  And honestly, with the anger involved in us leaving, I can see why there would be a lack of comfort in giving us access to the guests.

I’m often asked by people why I have such problems with the media.  This is why.  The Montel Show chose to mislead a group of military family members – people overwhelmed with pride at their family’s service.  People who thought they were going to be given a chance to discuss what our life is like, and what we go through.  We thought we were going to be given a chance to be heard and to show how strong military families can be. 

Instead, it seems we were included to achieve a political agenda.  And I, for one, am so tired of being a military family used for a political agenda.  Why can’t we just be presented as we are –  strong families and strong individuals who volunteered for this life.  We need America’s support, not to be portrayed as America’s victims.

**Information on the military anthrax program can be found here.   What many of us felt the insinuation was during the program was that ALL military are being/have been given/will be given the vaccine and no one is being informed of the possible consequences.  There was, in fact, an injunction against the vaccine.  As I stated before, my own husband was allowed to decline the vaccine.  The vaccine will now be a part of the battery given servicemembers deploying to certain geographic locations once again.  There are exclusions allowed for medical and administrative reasons.  A more easy to read fact sheet (not associated with the military) about the anthrax vaccine, it’s possible side effects, and the numbers in which they occur can be accessed here.   


About the Author


airforcewife started her military journey as an Army National Guard wife, but upon experiencing base housing decided to aim high and made the switch to the Air Force. That's worked pretty well for Air Force Family so far, even though airforcewife holds the spouse world record for Come to Jesus talks with various members of the command.

Air Force Family has four children, two pit bulls, and a Mother-in-Law who lost her mind eight years ago. Despite the reputation of pit bulls, airforcewife would like to assure you that her Mother-in-Law is truly the most dangerous of the group, and is banned in more places than the dogs.

airforcewife gets through Air Force Guy's frequent deployments and TDY's by frequently attending her boxing gym, after the chance discovery last deployment that hitting things really does make life better. She also volunteers as the Ambassador for Sew Much Comfort to Bethesda National Naval Medical Center and in a variety of other causes throughout the year.

airforcewife has no idea what the future holds, but decided five years ago that she wants to be Andi when she grows up.

44 Comments on "Another Reason Not to Trust the Media"

  1. Montel is a former Marine (before he went to Annapolis)…but just like Murtha, he's forgotten the meaning of "Semper Fi."

  2. Great article Airforcewife! Well said. I take my hat off to you and all the other military families who sacrifice so much for the good of your nation. The MSM need to remember whose side they are on.

  3. Siddhartha Vicious | March 11, 2007 at 5:07 am |

    Montel has gone from being the only talking head worthy of trust or respect to just another leftist-agenda driven hack.
    Whether this is the result of his capture by the culture of the entertainment media, or his true feelings finally coming out, might be an interesting question to ask at some time.
    But for now, whatever the reason for his actions, he is doing the same kind of complete disservice to the military, and military familes, of the US that one would expect from something like Moveon or Kos.

  4. I suppose I'm lucky. When dealing with reporters from our Public Radio Station, or the print media, I have had nothing but respect and gratitude for our troops. Our local TV stations have been great too, when they released the information about extension before the troops were notified, they apologized to us when they found out WE didn't know before they did, and did it on air.
    I don't watch talk/chat shows. That's not news, Hannity et al is NOT news, nor is Oprah or Montel or any of the other first name babble fests. If you want news, go with the BBC or Public TV (Lehrer is good and balanced) If you want titillating twaddle watch chat shows.
    There's my 2cents.

  5. lady redhawk | March 11, 2007 at 5:36 am |

    Montel owes all military families a sincere apology for this blatant manipulation. He should be ashamed.
    My husband is an Air Force veteran, and has always respected Montel for his stellar service to our country. He is deeply angry and disturbed over this incident. It's been 27 years since I've been an Air Force wife, but my bond with military families is just as strong for me today as it was all those years ago. How could Montel forget?
    Perhaps Montel will do the honorable thing and apologize for placing his own political agenda ahead of the well-being of our troops and their families.

  6. LAW…problem is that a great many people, with votes, do watch twiddle and twaddle shows, and the intent of the personnel who consented to go on the show was to reach those who do so. No grand agenda, just relate the deployment experience to those who won't know otherwise.
    I am proud of the people who stood up and left the show, once in a while it's nice to see principles at work.
    I for one am tired of the "respect" shown by many in media and politics that in effect belittles their service and sacrifice, as Sen. Kerry did so nicely in his purported fauxpaux of a joke. Joke to whom? Those of us who served, as he did, but lack his "enlightenment?"
    I am sure Montel self justifies by believing he's helping the troops while simultaneously deriding the military. That seems to pass for Political Correctness today.

  7. AFW, thanks to you, Montel's not going to be able to bury his disgraceful behavior, even if that show doesn't air. Thank you for doing what you do.

  8. Enlisted folks who served with Montel when he an officer would not be surprised. He was a tireless self-promoter then, as now, more concerned with his advancement than the care of his team. Only one thing mattered – Montel.
    Some things never change.

  9. airforcewife | March 11, 2007 at 7:34 am |

    LAW, I agree with you 100% about the fact that talk shows are NOT news! I do not watch them myself (not even when Sylvia Brown is on Montel ;P). What we were hoping to see and participate in was an accurate portrait of the good and the bad of being a military spouse during war-time.
    I get so many questions from civilian friends and family members, and it's so hard to explain in short bursts. It's so complicated – to quote A Tale of Two Cities… "It was the best of times and the worst of times."
    There are things that are seriously wrong, and things that are amazingly shining right. And in no other area of my life to I feel as if I am affecting and changing the world for the better as I do in my role as a military wife.
    I was hoping that, for once, a mass venue with millions of viewers unfamiliar with the military lifestyle would be willing to portray us the way we are and the way we feel.
    And instead we were ambushed once again for a political agenda. Real concerns military families face were given apocalyptic proportions. The wife of an airman currently deployed to Iraq was reduced to tears.
    And we thought we could trust Montel not to use us because he, too, is a vet

  10. Just because someone is a vet isn't a reason to trust them. Montel is out for ratings, they all are. No, they aren't going to leave us alone, because they don't UNDERSTAND us. Less than 1% of the country is a family member (however distant) of someone serving in the military. We are a bit like a museum or zoo exhibit, those strange beings who aren't quite civilians, and who aren't wearing a uniform on the outside. We are all painted as being the same, poured into the same mold and popped out like Stepford Wives, and the media is always amazed when they talk to us and find out that 'surprise'! we aren't all marching in lockstep. They want to figure us out, they are curious about us. I don't think they hate us, they simply don't understand. and I'm talking about the right wing media as well as the left wing media. They are all the same. Ratings sell advertising.
    I don't know how we are going to show the rest of America who and what we are, and all the differences in the "family". The Circle the Wagon mindset doesn't work, the understandable "Them against Us" isn't working either. the only time "they" look at us, is when one of us dies, when there's a murder, or a huge scandal. WE have to show them who we are.

  11. floranista | March 11, 2007 at 8:52 am |

    Thank you for bringing the real story to light, afw!

  12. I was on the Montel show in Sept. '06 as a guest. I'm an Army wife. I sat next to Jesse Jackson. It was a bad experience. Montel's show is simply a hit job on the President. I can garauntee that if Bill Clinton were president, Montel would not be so quick to slime the military. It's an attempt to slime the President. He's very unprofessional both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

  13. I have to echo the comment by LAW that just because one is a veteran doesn't mean they deserve to be trusted. John Murtha and John Kerry are a case in point.

  14. I'm deeply disappointed in Montel Williams. I don't think it's too much to expect those who have worn the uniform to act in a more responsible manner than was on display here, but as others have stated, sometimes it just doesn't matter.
    Yes, I understand ratings are the only important measuring stick in Montel's business, but my guess is that ratings would go through the roof if he, or others, turned the microphones over to milspouses and, as LAW said, let us "show them who we are." But that would assume that some actually care about who we are, beyond the obligatory, traditional lip service, that is.
    I too have issues with being treated as a victim and a political weapon. This life isn't easy and I don't mind the warts being on display. In fact, I prefer it that way. However, if you're going to show the warts, you should also show the battle scars that many of us proudly display. Battle scars? Proudly? Yes, I say "proudly" because we know the scars were healed and sealed due to remarkable courage, strength, pride, love, committment, loyalty, bravery and determination. These traits, so common to military spouses, keep us moving forward in the face of very difficult circumstances.
    I'll bet Montel didn't count on a blogger being in his audience. And not just any blogger – but a proud, strong military spouse!

  15. That was disgraceful on Montel's part and as a veteran he should know better. I agree with LAW that it's all about ratings, there's no sense of responsibility or respect and that's the real shame.
    Good post, afw.

  16. when the anthrax vaccine was "voluntary", I asked both members of my family who are physicians about its safety. Both my BIL — after a great deal of research – said that the rate of adverse affects is less than for other routine childhood vaccines and that ANY protection against anthrax was worth the extrememly minimal risk and that my son should go ahead and get the vaccine; that his chances of dying from anthrax in the ME (which occurs naturally in soil and animals there) was FAR GREATER than the chance of an adverse reaction. Pity Montel didn't speak to doctors with some actual knowledge on the topic! SHAME ON HIM! Mirrors a lot of our reactions to the media.

  17. Last week when my husband got deployed the news was there asking us for a comment. We declined because you just don’t know how they are going to edit it. It was at night and very dark. Another couple had their headlights on so the kids could play in the dirt and see what they were doing. Well we were making out as was many other couples were and all the sudden a bright light hit us. The news was filming us. I told my Husband I felt like I was in a porn video with all these people with their lights on us filming. My husband said not to make a move and maybe they would leave. When they did and we were in the dark again the making out started back up. Why can’t they just let us play tonsil hockey in peace. He will be gone a year you know!

  18. It figures. But please, please do not give up on reaching out to the civilians. I am one of the 99% that does not have a relative in the service (my Dad served way before I was born, but has passed). And I do want to know more – not as an exhibit, but so I am able to do a better job of supporting the troops and their families. I have a colleague whose husband is a deployed National Guardsman. I try to be there for her, and it seems to be going OK, but I really want to do my best to provide whatever support or help I can. Meanwhile, I take her to lunch and chat, and try to let her know that I am ready to listen and help.
    It is why I come here.

  19. Andi said:
    "Yes, I say 'proudly' because we know the scars were healed and sealed due to remarkable courage, strength, pride, love, committment, loyalty, bravery and determination. These traits, so common to military spouses, keep us moving forward in the face of very difficult circumstances…"
    You know, I am old dude, but those are exactly the values most families had when I was growing up in a different time and place…during WWII. Exceptions were rare.
    Have we really gone so far off the edge, as a nation, now? I was appalled by the behavior of way too many civilians while I wore a uniform in the late 60's and early 70's, including the traitorous "Winter Soldier" activists. *Spit*
    In a way, I think the mind set to day is even worse…it reflects total ignorance, selfishness, and taking life for granted.
    To me, military families just may be the last bastions of what family really means, at least to me. You choose to serve, as I did, and at no time are you not "Captains of your Fate", that is the detail about American servicemen and women that confounds our enemies. They believe in something. They are unafraid to lead. The don't deny "warts" , they heal them.
    Those who out, family and all, risk life, share with family, living like Gypsies,moving on and on,for 30 plus years, so that the rest of us don't have to do so. No one is more "American" than that, in the truest form of our pioneer spiritual heritage.
    Just call me a simple old fool.
    And Thank you all.

  20. Wow, sorry to hear that…. The MSM is hopeless…

  21. To Whom It May Concern,
    My name is Christy I have a husband that is currently serving in Iraq with 1st Calvary Division. He is a NCO in the United States Army. This is my story:
    In January of 2007 I received a phone call that my mother in-law was in the hospital. She was just going in to have Gall Bladder surgery. I notified my husband it was a simple easy surgery. My mother in-law came out of the surgery ok sick but ok. Two days later I receive another phone call saying she is bleeding out and needs emergency surgery. So I then sent another message to my husband letting him know. Naturally he was worried. So she came out ok and ended up having her spleen removed. I notified my husband once again that she was ok. One day later I received another call from the hospital that his mom was dyeing and had to have another surgery to release pressure
    in her stomach. There was so much swelling that her heart, lungs was failing. So she ended up on life support. I sent my first Red Cross message for my husband to return home. Well he came home and mom got a little better, but then crashed again. We had so much to take care of for her. Her finances, medical bills, insurance, disability, social security and legal affairs were all needing to be taken care of. With only a short leave granted, and no will, or power of attorney there was little he could get accomplished. The hospital did give him all medical say so, because he was the only one his mom had and she had told her case worker that she wanted him to, in case something happened to her. When his leave was up he left to go back to Iraq without having time to take care of everything and with dealing with his mother telling him, "please don't leave me son". Once I was back home, and he was on his way back to Iraq the phone calls started coming in with her health going up and down, as well as the hospital needing him there to make decisions for her.. So I had to email him and do what I could to get him on the phone with the hospital. Then with the hospitals guidance, we sent another Red Cross message to get him home for his mom. The message was sent with all the proper info from Doctors and Administration. I could not make these decisions, or handle any of her affairs. No one would even talk to me about them. The Army then refused to send him home, just because he had been home prior to this for the same reason. As we all know it takes time to get things in order and done. So I went to his chain of command here in the states. They have been so helpful. They verified that all the information was true, and he really needed to be sent back to take care of his mother's affairs, and to be with her. All I hear from the rear command is he will be leaving the next day, or soon they will have him on a flight. After three weeks and matters getting worse, he is still not home. From over in Iraq he is not being told nothing, and later finding out that it has been denied three times. I can not understand why his battalion will not release him to come back to take care of his mother. My husband is not the only solider this is happening to. I am hearing more and more of this kind of thing happening in this unit, I just wonder if it is an Army wide dilemma. The Army's Saying is, "Soldiers and Family Always," Where's that coming into play here. There's nobody that can make decisions on his mothers behalf but him. The Army is playing politics with me, and giving us the run around. They tell you what you want to hear. The command here at Division level has been more than helpful but why does the middle guy seem to have a problem with taking care of one of his soldiers and family, like he told us before my husband was sent over there. Well the battalion commander is mad at me because I over stepped him, and now my husband and his mom has to pay for it. Why does the Army let him get away with it? They still today are refusing to send him home and delaying everything that is being sent from Division. I have the 1st Cav Division here fighting to have him home and over in Iraq a Battalion Commander that is refusing to let him come home because I over stepped him, to take care of my family. If the shoe was on the other foot, I bet things would be different. Can somebody put a stop to the way our soldiers and when I say that I am meaning husbands, wives, sons, and daughters are being treated over seas by commands that say one thing but do another? This needs to end here and now! We need to wake up and realize that they are human and if they are worried about home and not the job at hand over there in Iraq then somebody is going to get hurt or killed because someone was not in the right state of mind. Then they will see that our soldiers are not robots. It should not take that for them to see they are human too. We all want them home, we know there is a war at hand and they are needed there, but we need them home too for family issues as well. PLEASE STOP AND LET THE PUBLIC KNOW HOW THEY ARE REALLY BEING TREATED SO OUR FUTURE SOLIDERS DO NOT GET THE SAME TREATMEANT.
    Thank You,

  22. mismysailor | March 11, 2007 at 4:39 pm |

    This story makes me want to scream. I read it thinking we should do something…send this to other news organizations…let others know what was done…but then how will they spin it for their ratings. It's really sad that for ratings Montel disrespected so many people that serve our country but karma is a witch (not the word I wanted to use)

  23. It's so frustrating that all of the military branches seem like they only want to look good in front of the cameras. Christy, if your story was on CNN, your husband would be on the next flight home. But no one in the media is watching, just his family, so they don't care. It's absolutely frustrating, and it's not just a problem in his unit, or even in the Army. I've heard similar stories about the Marine Corps.

  24. This does not surprise me about Montel at all— I have watched his show on several occasions hoping to see he could present a show without it being slanted. Each time I always find myself disappointed.
    I became very interested in watching how he presents issues once he came out publicly and acknowledged he has Multiple Sclerosis because I have been diagnosed with it since 1989. I also happen to be a RN so I feel like I have a good solid knowledge of my disease and he does not present the disease as he should. He has never presented all types of the disease–he presents the but I look good ones.
    I am glad you are making people aware of the truth as it applies here. Thank you.

  25. Dominique Veillard | March 12, 2007 at 1:47 am |

    Not being in the military, I do not feel fully qualified to insert myself into this very interesting discussion, but I want the military family to know that I respect you and and I am grateful for your service and your many personal sacrifices. I am sure I am not the only one.
    The distortions about the military in the media are very common, but thet are not fooling everyone. We are safe and free only because some of us are willing to take personal risks and make personal sacrifices to defend us and our freedom.
    My heartflet thanks. Dom.

  26. Well I will definitely be blogging about this on my site! That is just absolutely awful but not surprising in the least bit. The mainstream media is notorious for doing things like this I have to agree that just because they are veterans doesn't mean we can trust them.
    The only way people will truly understand is for "our family" to evangelize our lifestyle (the good and the bad) then maybe just maybe they will start to realized whats its like. (even if it is only 1% of what we go thru)
    Thanks for standing up for us all AFWife!

  27. afw,
    That is disgusting. I am so fed up with our media and their portrayal of America's military community as "victims".
    Thomas Sowell has a great article this week:
    It angers me especially, that this happened to you. You are one of the best! Shame on Montel and his producers.

  28. Debbie Steele | March 14, 2007 at 1:46 pm |

    I am so saddened by what I am reading. My husband has been deployed for over a year in Afghanistan and I know the sacrifices he is making. We have six children and we are making sacrifices as well. No one "wanted" this war, but it is here. My husband knows the sacrifices that must be made for our freedom and for Montel to only talk negative about how our military is treated pisses me off. I am so sick of the media only telling one side of the story. I do not see more articles about how the VFWs and American Legions are building new homes for those that need new wheelchair access and other organizations that are helping our military. So they take a vaccine. Just like with any vaccine we get here that are required for our children to go to school, there is a percentage that can have adverse problems. But once someone gets exposed and/or dies from anthrax then it would be "why were they not given the vaccine". There is no way the military will be able to win. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. I know there is a lot of things going on and military families are having trouble, but there are also those that come together and become stronger.
    On another note:
    Christy, I am so sorry that you are having to go through this and know that my thoughts are with you.

  29. I realize this is not the normal reaction to this story. I think what Monel did was absolutely disgraceful. But I would have given my right elbow to have been a fly on the wall! I'd just loved to have seen AFWife and others go off on Montel! Having met you and knowing how wonderful and warm you are – I'd have loved to see the Irish temper come out!
    I can only imagine his reaction when the mild mannered military wife showed her true colors – Red for the blood that beats for those who've given their life, white for the backbone we've all grown and blue to match the bruise you gave to his pride!

  30. The BBC is about as twaddle as twaddle gets — unless you think being exposed to tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories and charges based on nothing whatsoever but the fevered imaginations of paranoid leftists is information.

  31. I suggest we all send in our view of the program:
    Here is what I sent…
    Mr Williams,
    I am totally dismayed with your show regarding the Military's position on the anthrax vaccine.
    The statements you presented were biased, and hurtful.
    Why did you cut the rebuttals made by military guests and their families?
    By eliminating their views, you have misled America.
    Therefore, I will put you on my growing list of slanted programs airing for the sole purpose of demeaning our Government and the military.
    You left me feeling disgusted with yet another media outlet.
    Thank God I have the Internet and the truth from my son who is serving in Iraq.
    I speak with many members of the military and their families on a daily basis.
    You at best are clueless, or perhaps even worse deliberately lying to the public.
    Did you gain your objective? Are you content with the anguish you placed on the guests you invited?
    Despicable behavior!

  32. MONTEL WILLIAMS, JIMMY CARTER, and JOHN KERRY… all three were Navy Officers. All three are sorry a$$ individuals!
    GO ARMY!!
    God bless our troops and their families (even the US Navy)!!!

  33. It is a terrible, sad knowledge I have now about a man who should know better, who should be better. I'll spread the word to turn our backs to him. My TiVo will register him as 3 thumbs down.
    A strong recommendation regarding where to get the news: BBC and PBS are, well, so sorry, extremely left leaning. Please do not consider their coverage neutral, for BBC is, self-admittedly, anti-American. Consider adding at least a pro-American outlet for some kind of balance.
    I'm doing what I can to make sure the Dole/Shalala Comm. and the House and Senate Hearings actually effectuate improvements, NOW!

  34. Christy,
    I wish I could wave a wand and make the bull-headed commanders who are in the way stop abusing their authority. Unfortunately, just like in the general population of humans, there are heartless jerks who derive pleasure in making others suffer. Honestly, there's a part of me that hopes that it's "just" that, and not that your husband is somewhere deep in combat.
    Have you contacted your Senators? If not, do so. Many now have military liaisons who can intercede. Have you contacted JAG? Two questions for them: how to speed up your husband's return, and setting up a Revocable Living Trust, not just for your mother-in-law, but your family as well. DO IT, do it now. I'm serious.
    Also, call Soldiers' Angels. Patti has cache and may be able to reach someone who can reach someone.
    If I can think of someone who can help more directly, I'll post here again.
    Please let us know how your mother-in-law progresses. You are in my prayers, all of you.
    Oh, came here by way of Bouhammer, by way of B5.

  35. airforcewife, I got this interesting comment on my blog about your entry….
    Today I watched the Montel show and the subject was Race. I was about how badly the black people are treated by the white people and that white people are so racist. He tried to add the Latino's and the Asians in with the blacks. Well, Latino's and Asian's aren't the same as black people and they don't want to be considered as such. ( I know because my wife is Latino) We associate with whites, Latino's Asian's but we don't hang out with any blacks, even though there are some in our area. We go out to a club every so often, and we always see these black guys trying to hit on white women and not even talk to a black women. (what kind of crap is that)
    All of the people that were talking about the white racist were black.
    What he didn't say is that Louis Faracon the black panther leader is a huge black racist, who preaches to millions of blacks, that white people are devils.
    He had a black women on that said she was attacked by a white man but he didn't tell you that 9 out 10 rapes are done by black men on white women. One of the latest rapes in our area was done by a black man on a 13 year old white girl and 75% of violent crime in our area is done by black men on white or Latino's. Recently, I had my car broken into by two black men.
    Also, he didn't tell you that it was ok to have all black movies like Dream Girls but it was that a white movie had to have black people in it. Also that most of the commercials on television have black actors.
    I agree that Montel has gotten so one sided in his views that he should not be on television. He has no objectivity.

  36. Christy,
    If I were you I would see if you could contact your local news or a newpaper and get the word out. Maybe from doing that your story could possible get on CNN or another big news story. I agree with you I have a friend whose husband was in Iraq last year and he came home with PTSD and because her husband said he did not have it when she called his commander and told him about it he just said there is nothing we can do if he does not admit it. It is so crazy with the war. I have realized sometimes you just have to take drastic measures to get what you want. If you would likee to e-mail me feel free to at

  37. It would appear to this former vet that Montel was saying if we have one military member who is ailing we, as a country owe it to our military personnel to do what ever we can to heal the damage. To this end I take my hat off to Montel.
    I would suggest the film be aired on the internet over and over.
    God bless all of you who have served or supported our military.

  38. I am watching the show right now and actually wanted to search the internet to find a blog from someone who had left the audience. And suprisingly enough I found this.
    I really think that Montel was just presenting the information to the public so that we could prevent this from happening to us or our families. I personally, do not believe that he was in anyway bashing the soldiers or their families.
    I will continue to respect Montel because of the stands he takes against the government and society.

  39. airforcewife | September 7, 2007 at 1:08 pm |

    Thanks to those of you who are joining the discussion!
    I have no idea what Montel actually showed of the taping – as I do not generally watch talk shows. The power to cut and rearrange is all in his hands.
    If you'll read the above entry, though, you'll see exactly why those of us attending had the problems we did with his program.
    I truly hope that he cut the scaremongering and focused on the care necessary for our troops.

  40. I think that if Motel had invited some military families to the taping of the show and performed a bait/switch that was wrong. It could have been a breakdown in communication between the people that work the Motel show and the actual show. Things like that can happen as well. However, I applaud Montel for letting us know that this IS going on with this vaccine. It would be no different if Montel alerted the public about the problems that babies have with the vaccines they take. Not EVERYONE has a reaction, but the ones that do have this reaction need to tell their story too. If that is what the show was to be about, the military families should have been told this. And shame on the Montel show for not communicating this properly. But I don't think that what Montel was putting out there was wrong. It is factual and the people of the USA need to know this. What it does to us is want to fight for and comfort those in the military that much more. The ones that are out there now serving their country as well as those that have served and are now home safe or home with a disability. The arguement here is mute. The only part of the Montel show that was incorrect was to make the families think the show was about one thing and then tape something else. Thank you Montel for airing the stories that no place else has the guts to.
    I pray for our military women and men out there and hope that they ALL come home safe, sound and healthy. Thank GOD for our soldiers and pray that our communication will stop any further women and men to have the types of issues the people on Montel have to deal with for the rest of their lives.


  42. To The Audience that walked off the Montel Show :
    How much is DoD paying you to be a 'plant' ? To show up, I pray against your inner truth, to try and defy the truth of so many ill from the I.N.D., squalene laced (FDA banned and FDA discovered in anthrax vaccine LOT's at DAFB) anthrax vaccine. You are completely bias, paid off, or did your AD CC's order you to go and make a scene. Your type has appeared at before at Congressional Hearings, military meetings, effectively making a showing for DoD that all is well with the anthrax vaccine. You are a disgrace to the American Service Uniform. To the F who claimed the shot was safe, where was your husband?? To the short haired male, yelling at Montel, who walked out 1st : I'd gladly give 8 hrs pay for 5 minutes of your personal time. reply back : I'll pass my HOR to you – you need to wake up and stop living in betrayal of your fellow soldiers. — find me brother — we need to talk + +
    Have many friends still on AD, med retired (DAFB, FT Bragg/Benning) who live and suffer dailey with the aftermaths of this diagnosed failed medical experiment.
    100% SC Disabled from AVIP

  43. I can't believe the people coming in here blaming Montel Williams for the Antrhax vaccine disaster that has hurt a lot of people.
    What the hell is wrong with you people? Please remove your disgusting snouts out of the brass's rear ends!

  44. Fear of reprisals | January 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm |

    This is all well and good, until you consider that before the injunction, there were thousands of servicemembers, myself being one of them, who were forced, under threat of courts martial, to take the vaccine. I am now slowly going blind in one eye. I know of numerous cancers, arthritis, lymphomas, and other strange diseases, given the ages of those affected. There are federal statues that allow the use of non FDA approved, experimental drugs on soldiers WITHOUT INFORMED CONSENT!!!! That must change now!!! I will do everything possible to bring that to public attention. Even Hitler didn't experiment on his own troops.

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