Saturday, March 22, 2003

The myth of unfettered press access

“...a step forward ... from the restrictive policies and tactics the Pentagon has employed in every conflict since Vietnam.” – Ombudsman Michael Getler, The Washington Post

“...for more than a decade and a half after Vietnam, the Pentagon specialized in attempting to manage the American press corps.” -- Ombudsman Connie Coyne, The Salt Lake Tribune

Mike King, ombudsman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports that he was contacted by “Wallace B. Eberhard, professor emeritus at the Henry Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia and a retired Army Reserve colonel,” who wrote, of the 1991 Gulf War and the 2001 intervention in Afghanistan, that:

"The mythology . . . is that the press was cooped up and restrained unnecessarily -- with emphasis on the last word. What the press can never rationally discuss is the impact of a thousand journalists running about unwatched in a staging area for a major offensive. The media has tried to build a case for unrestrained access in a combat zone as an historic or legal right. They can't do it. A reporter -- like it or not -- is a guest of the military in a war zone."

It's important to remember, he says, "Soldiers fight to win, heavily dependent on secrecy, sworn to defend the Constitution and follow orders. Journalists hunt for news, obligated to their bosses, their view of what the public needs and wants, and a vague code of ethics.

posted at 8:57 AM

RiShawn Biddle responds to David Frum
RiShawn Biddle takes aim at David Frum (also Mrs. Frum and Jonah Goldberg), who wrote a devastating piece on Unpatriotic Conservatives. Where RiShawn really looses me, though, is his defense of Jason Raimondo. I’ve been following Raimondo off and on for years, and I think that Ronald Radosh had him pegged last October when he wrote in The Boston Globe:

…it seems that Raimondo is now attempting to forge his own Red-Brown alliance, as Europeans refer to the coming together in post Soviet Russia of right-wing nationalists and unreconstructed Communists. In August 2001, he even published an article in Pravda (yes, that Pravda) in which he dismissed the idea that ''America is a civilized country,'' and, referring to World War II, maintained that ''the wrong side won the war in the Pacific.'' As for Israel, last week Raimondo continued to proclaim the myth that ''Israel had foreknowledge of 9/11,'' a claim that puts his Web site in league with the most extreme anti-Semitic canards coming from the Arab world…

Here’s Raimondo’s response in which he accuses Radosh of “red baiting” him, but never really denies the fundamental accusations.
posted at 8:11 AM

Pro and anti-military intervention
An interesting juxtaposition.

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