As you all know (and are probably sick of hearing about), I simply cannot accept the way that the media, in general, has decided to cover the campaign in Iraq. That being said, I also happen to think that the military is blowing it big-time when it comes to scoring points in the public opinion game because they just don’t make it easy to get the stories out.
Case in point: Michael Yon’s latest:
We are into the fifth year of the war Iraq, yet no comprehensive system exists to help media communicate to people at home. Raw information only trickles back from Iraq because the flow is strangled. That we are into the fifth year of war here, yet there is no filing center on even the larger bases is telling. Telling, perhaps, that information flow to America has never been a priority, or perhaps the priority has been to squelch it…
Generally it’s a huge waste of time and money to come here, and the hassle and risk to reward ratio is very bad. I’ve spent more than a year embedded in Iraq, and numerous times public affairs people have made snide remarks that journalists should be happy they get to eat –their chow” for free. Of course, they don’t mention that –their chow” belongs to American taxpayers, the same taxpayers they hurt when they squelch journalism from the war. Whether they do it directly, intentionally indirectly, or just by plain bungling the simplest stuff, like making sure writers have a surface to write on, whatever the case, I haven’t met anyone yet who knows how to write or hold a camera who comes to Iraq for free food.
You really should go read the whole thing.