December 7, 2004

Is the Reporter Now Wearing His Surge Protector?

In the sphere-wide wave about the Rumsfeld set-up by an embed, everyone is looking hard at the reporter's self-promoting email. The sentences that reveal the reporter's plan to make the news and not just report it are:

Before hand we worked on questions to ask Rumsfeld about the appalling lack of armor their vehicles going into combat have. While waiting for the VIP, I went and found the Sgt. in charge of the microphone for the question and answer session and made sure he knew to get my guys out of the crowd.
That seems pretty clear, even though Editor and Publisher seemed unable to quote it directly for their readers yesterday. Then again, as Donald Sensing notes in the best wrap-up on this issue, they can't get their minds around what might be wrong in using a soldier to shill for a reporter.

But another sentence struck me in the next paragraph of the email:

... I have been trying to get this story out for weeks- as soon as I found out I would be on an unarmored truck [Emphasis added.]
I find this confession-in-passing even more revealing of the mind-set of this reporter. The state of armor on vehicles and elsewhere in Iraq has hardly been

unknown, despite the crowing over this "Gotcha." Could it possibly be that this reporter didn't have it on his brain's front burner until it came time for his ass to go on the line?

Seems that it's one thing to "support the troops," but a whole new level of concern when you become the target. Not that there's anything wrong with a healthy instinct for self-preservation. Everyone in Iraq should be running that program in an infinite loop at the top of their chron jobs. I'm not questioning for a minute the courage of a reporter with the troops in Iraq. That's beyond question. His priorities, however, might be another matter.

And besides, if the reporter really loved the troops he was with and had been "trying to get the story out for weeks," he could have always used a blog to save the lives he cares about so much. That woud have gotten the story out months ago.

Humm, I think that's where first I saw it. Months ago.

Posted by Vanderleun at December 7, 2004 11:47 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Yes, I noted that little tag about his self-preserving interest. The story became important once he thought he would ride unarmored.

But if he's riding on a transport truck, not a humvee, they wouldn't ordinarily be armored anyway.

Hey guy, put a sandbag under your seat to protect those cajones that may be rather small on you anyway.

Sheesh, where do they find those journo tyros?

Posted by: mark butterworth at December 10, 2004 9:59 PM

What made me wonder about this story is this: if he's been trying to "get the story out" for weeks, what was stopping him?

Has he written about it? Has his newspaper published it? If not, why not?

If he's an embedded reporter, working for a newspaper, a story like this would have been easy to write. Did he? An archive search would help.

Because if he hasn't, then he's got some 'splain' to do.

Posted by: Bill Peschel at December 11, 2004 11:18 AM

Don't have time to say much at the moment, but I wanted to let y'all know that there is some good material on this matter at the current home page of Soldiers for the Truth:


Posted by: Aakash at December 13, 2004 2:04 AM

transport trucks are -- or should be -- armored. They shoot at them too, you know. Probably the reason he couldn't get the story out before is because nobody in power wants bad news from Iraq.

Is self-preservation such a surprise? Were Rumsfeld and Bush concerned about body armor before it became an embarrassment for them?

That's even worse.

And maybe he helped the kid prepare the question, but if you saw the film, the applause looked genuine.

Posted by: gun-toting liberal at December 16, 2004 4:29 PM