Wednesday, October 26, 2005

“Biased” Reporting in Iraq ?

I recently posted a link to Michael Yon’s Online Magazine – specifically, to an article he wrote, entitled “Purple Fingers”.

(Here is a brief excerpt)

The soldiers do a pre-mission briefing before leaving the gates, and CSM Mellinger warned that the “Green Zone” is extremely dangerous, and not secure. “It’s just a place on the map,” he said. And then, apparently to make me feel more at home, he warned that journalists are specifically targeted. We started down Route Irish to the Combat Support Hospital (CSH) in the Green Zone.

Down at the CSH, Mellinger asked an Iraqi nurse what she thought of the referendum on Saturday. She seemed uncertain. Every time I’ve gone into a CSH, the people seem to be under stress, as if the carnage they see wears on them. Up in Mosul, one soldier told me that he once saw a nurse walk outside and just burst into tears.

For those unfamiliar with his work, Mr. Yon is a truly independent journalist – not affiliated or subservient to any of the networks, or to the so-called “think tanks” of the Right or Left. His work is totally financed by small contributions from people like you and me ; and, in case you are not aware of it, going to Iraq is a very expensive business !

He has travelled to Iraq twice , and has embedded himself with a line company of infantry. Embedded, in his case, means out in the field with the troops – not sitting in comfortable real echelon surroundings.

When the troops he is with are shot at – or bombed – he is in the line of fire ; but must resist the impulse to pick up a fallen soldier’s rifle ,and must continue to walk the fine line between “journalist” and “combatant”.

I admire his work ; but, as you might imagine, there are some Americans who claim his reporting is “biased” because it is “pro-American”.

These critics much prefer the work of “name” journalists , who hunker down in the relative safety of a heavily fortified and defended hotel,and who rely on “indigenous” correspondents and photographers (translation: correspondents embedded with the enemy ; only-we-can’t-call-them-“the enemy”-because-that-would-be-taking-sides.)

The work of these journalists can seldom be described as “pro-American” ; but it seems to fit the distorted, contorted worldview of the Neo-Left and their Copperhead companions.

Honest , no punches pulled reporting – such as that of Michael Yon-endangers the flimsy structure of their beliefs , and must therefore be labelled “biased”.

I have the feeling we could use a lot more Michael Yon – style “bias” in this troubled world !


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