B-side news

‘They did not want us to leave whatsoever’

An Indiana Marine is back from Iraq and spending several weeks with his family on their farm. His side of the story is a bit different than what we’re likely to see on the evening news or in the newspapers and big magazines.

“All you hear is negativity. Ninety-five percent of the population in Iraq, in my experience with the locals — they had nothing but good to say about us.

“A lot of them would come to us with information, a lot would come to thank us.”

Kids jumped up and down when they saw his convoy, Cristea said. In Baghdad, Iraqis would crowd the barbed wire perimeter of his unit’s compound and call out “USA! USA! Bush! Bush!”

“Whenever we drove anyplace, it was like we were in a parade,” he said.

He also witnessed one of the rights of freedom that Americans enjoy.

“They actually protested a few times while we were over there (about Iraqis proposed for leadership positions) and thought it was the coolest thing. They’ve never been able to do that before.”

I’ve often wondered why when people march on the White House or lay down in traffic they are exercising freedom of expression guarnateed them by our laws, but when Iraqis protest it’s an example of how badly we’re screwing up over there.

Granted, nwitimes.com is a small player in the media market. But does that invalidate their story? Or does it maybe give it a bit of “realness” that is missing from the major news outlets?

Remember the B-sides of 45 rpm singles? Often they were non-album tracks, put on as a bonus to entice people who owned the album already to purchase the single as well. Many of those B-side tracks were demos, or live versions of existing songs, or maybe alternate cuts. Sometimes they were completed songs that just didn’t make the cut. There was often a roughness to them, especially when compared to the slick, finely-produced album tracks.

But maybe that roughness isn’t always such a bad thing. Maybe the “lesser” outlets can offer something that the big, multi-corporate news companies cannot. I don’t know about the nwitimes ownership. I haven’t checked. But I know that they published a story about a local guy that would never have seen the light of day in the bigger, slicker, more-produced media monsters. I know that often the little guys have a story that the big guys overlook or ignore.

The B-sides were never a replacement for buying the album. But they sure could help flesh out the band. In some ways they painted a “truer” picture of what the group was all about, or showed a different side that had to be controlled most of the time. Maybe that’s what little new outlets (including the blogosphere) have to offer.

And, speaking of the blogosphere, hat tip to Instapundit. I think he reads the entire thing every day.