The red badge of reportage

Posted by lex, on October 25, 2006

Michael Fumento is an embedded reporter working in al Anbar, western Iraq. Indian country. Most of his colleagues – the ones whose daily reporting from within the Green Zone so influences our perspective on the war – are not embedded. Some go so far as to call embeds “jock sniffers.”

Which is a psychologically revealing choice of words, it seems to me.

But Fumento doesn’t take it lying down, penning a hard-edged comparison that will likely get him plucked off of many a J-school Christmas card list:

The sad truth is that the mainstream media have no interest in covering the Iraq War for what it is, observes (Hollywood filmmaker Patrick) Dollard. He says they are interested in Iraq only so far as it is useful as a weapon against their self-imagined mortal political enemy, George W. Bush. The embeds, however, want the real picture — and we want to tell the truth about it to the world.

Which is something their detractors simply refuse to understand. Screenwriter-director Nora Ephron says that dispatches from both soldiers and embeds are worthless, because we’re “too close” to the war.

I suppose that’s possible at times to be too close to the war. Certainly anyone who is actively being shot at, or, like Dollard, whose vehicles keep getting blown up by IEDs probably feels too close to the war in those unforgiving moments.

On the other hand, at some point these reporters actually have to find a little bit of sanctuary with which to type out their story, and one would think they do that in a somewhat less agitated state of mind.

What’s the alternative: That a reporter too close to the war if he’s seen it, but sufficiently removed if he hasn’t?

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1 Comment

Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Heroes Among Us, Iraq, Media, Neptunus Lex

One response to “The red badge of reportage

  1. Pingback: Boots on the ground | The Lexicans

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