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David Emery

Lindsay Lohan, the Media, and Fallen Marines

By September 26, 2010

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Reader Chuck Anastasia alerted me to a new viral message circulating like crazy on Facebook for the past few days:

Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she's a celebrity drug addict. While Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Chase Stanley 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, and Sheldon Tate 27 are all Marines that gave their lives this week, no media mention. Honor THEM by reposting!

"I agree with the sentiment," Chuck writes, but found the facts less than 100% accurate." Read the results of his investigation here.


September 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm
(1) Bonnie says:

Thanks for the Link in clearing up this matter.

October 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm
(2) ChuckA says:

Thanks David for your vote of confidence for my research. This received the most comments I’ve ever gotten on a blog posting. The feedback from veterans, active duty military, as well as military moms and wives confirms that the details are important.

October 6, 2010 at 1:18 am
(3) Philippos Marinakos says:

Thanks for the clarity, Chuck and David. I too fell prey to the patriotic need to repost this message in hopes of passing the word about the unfair amount of exposure to fallen soldiers vs. faultering celebrities.
After the dust settled, I still feel that the idea behind the message was a solid one. It did have a good point, just bad research and though it may have discredited the author’s journalistic responsibility to truth in posting such a message, it certainly did attract many who shared the gist of the message.

March 19, 2011 at 8:33 am
(4) Alan Kendrick says:

Yes, this message did go viral, I just received it 3/19/2011, nearly 9 months after its creation. Yes, your assessment is right on: The sentiment of this message is far more important than the details, but the details do matter. So what exactly was inaccurate about the message? Apparently, only two letters needed to be changed: from THIS week to THAT week, since some of those Marines died in week of July 23, 2010. The message forward to you and all others that are good at what you are doing: EDIT the details so they can withstand even microscrutiny with integrity, and resend that new accurate message. FINALLY, focus this message so it can fully the reach and impact the recipients who matter most: the program and content managers in the (Big Six?) media who decide what to air with the massive bandwidth which only they control.

July 29, 2011 at 5:57 am
(5) Sharon says:

Thank you for your research, the post you speak of is doing the rounds again, I often listen to BBC radio 4 on which there are regular reports from Afghanistan and wondered how so many had been lost without me hearing something of it… so I went in search of the truth and found your posting. I’m glad there are people like yourself that will go to this trouble for the sake of the accuracy.
I would be upset if they were mine and had their deaths misrepresented and, in effect, misused in any way. But with regard to other comments following your information I would like to add that I do not want to live in a world where the ‘end justifies the means’. We do not need to compare deaths and I only pity those that die and are not mourned. We’ve all got it coming after all.
The media will look at any metaphorical RTA it sees and so do most people so you get more of that kind of coverage. Stop buying those papers if you don’t approve of their priorities.
Frequently these days we are asked to re-post statements on facebook etc, often noble and poignant or thoughtful I have been tempted but I fight the urge as they remind me of the chain letters and emails which always end up inaccurate backfiring or ranting. I urge others to fight the urge too!
Thanx again, Sharon :)

July 30, 2011 at 8:40 pm
(6) Jenn says:

Now it is circulating about Amy Winehouse being all over the media for her untimely death yet these Marines go unmentioned (from over a year ago).

February 22, 2012 at 10:52 am
(7) Bill James says:

I just received a the same message except Whitney Houston’s name was substituted for Lindsey Lohan. The marine’s names appear in the message. IMOP, all validity and initial impact of this message has be lost. No fact checking just send something out to make a point which now appears to be uncivil and mean spirited.

February 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm
(8) Gary says:

I dont think the point of this email was meant to minimize the tragedy that anyone is suffering. 100% accuracy would certainly be preferable but the message is important and undeniable. Our troops need to be center stage in the minds ans hearts of Americans.

March 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm
(9) Harold says:

The military should be honored with correct information but you didn’t seem to feel it necessary to verify the Lohan comments or comment on then. She is a poor representation of our nation and should not receive media notice.

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