Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Michael Fumento has got himself back into
If you aren’t familiar with the man, here’s a blurb and link from his website:
Michael Fumento is a veteran of the 27th Engineer Brigade (Combat) (Airborne) and has been embedded three times in the western Iraqi region of Al Anbar. Read Michael Fumento's additional writing on the military, on Iraq, and on the media, and view his Spring 2006 Iraq photos from both the Fallujah area and Ramadi. View his 2005 Iraq photos.
So he’s an experienced embed, a veteran, and intimately familiar with the situation in
Another independent journalist, Michael Yon, as well as leading MILBLOGGERS Greyhawk and Blackfive have recently strongly criticized the US Department of Defense (DoD) officials and military officers, for worrisome signs that key leaders in our war against Global terrorism and its practitioners, just don’t get the Media War or new media operations. All valid concerns, all rightful criticisms.
And yet, the journalists, their editors and publishers, and even the reading and viewing public share some responsibility in the poor state of journalism dealing with and in
It’s not fair to say the hotel-dwellers never leave their safe and comfy confines. “Despite the danger, Nancy [Youssef, Knight Ridder bureau chief] and her colleagues do venture out and do find inventive ways to talk with ordinary Iraqis,” then–Knight Ridder D.C. bureau chief Clark Hoyt wrote in a column. He explained that
Even journalists sympathetic to the
Other reporters have been less generous. The London Independent’s Robert Fisk has written of “hotel journalism,” while former Washington Post Bureau Chief Rajiv Chandrasekaran has called it “journalism by remote control.” More damningly, Maggie O’Kane of the British newspaper The Guardian said: “We no longer know what is going on, but we are pretending we do.” Ultimately, they can’t even cover
Perhaps somewhat less so than in
Fumento contrasts the hiding out of some, with the risk-taking and arguably more dedicated and serious reporting done by others:
What leads the embeds into the most dangerous parts of
Newberry’s bravery and dedication are to be saluted, but as a combat vet he has advantages. So did I, as a veteran paratrooper (on my first trip) and a combat veteran (by the end of my second). Michael Yon, famed for his blog and award-winning photos of his nine-month embed with the infantry in
But Patrick Dollard, with no military training, left a cushy job as Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s agent to bunk down with Marines in Ramadi for seven months to film a documentary series (still being edited) that he hopes will show the real war and the real warriors.
In February, a Humvee he was traveling in hit a massive IED, which shredded the vehicle and killed two of the three Marines aboard. Dollard was injured and hospitalized. But he had a mission, and was quickly back on the job. The next month, another IED blast injured him, less seriously. Then . . . right back to work. Dollard’s experiences alone put the
The sad truth is that the mainstream media have no interest in covering the Iraq War for what it is, observes Dollard. He says they are interested in
These soldiers possess and skillfully deploy the eyes, ears, minds, intellects, passions, and word processors that are the force multipliers in the Media War.
It is perhaps not surprising that mainstream media (MSM) mistrusts, dismisses, or resents these new media operatives encroaching on their turf.
It is unfathomable why DoD would view them the same way.
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