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Blogging From Fallujah

God bless Bill Roggio, one of my favorite people in the world, who is now reporting from Iraq. Read his entire account. I found it interesting to learn that one of the toughest parts of reporting as an embed was aligning with the press.(Hat tip to Instapundit).

While waiting to manifest on the flight to Fallujah, CNN played a news segment of President Bush announcing there would be no "graceful exit" from Iraq, and that we'd stay until the mission was complete. Two sergeants in the room cheered. Loudly. They then scoffed at the reports from Baghdad, and jeered the balcony reporting.

In nearly every conversation, the soldiers, Marines and contractors expressed they were upset with the coverage of the war in Iraq in general, and the public perception of the daily situation on the ground. The felt the media was there to sensationalize the news, and several stated some reporters were only interested in "blood and guts." They freely admitted the obstacles in front of them in Iraq. Most recognized that while we are winning the war on the battlefield, albeit with difficulties in some areas, we are losing the information war. They felt the media had abandoned them.

During each conversation, I was left in the awkward situation of having to explain that while, yes, I am wearing a press badge, I'm not 'one of them.' I used descriptions like 'independent journalist' or 'blogger' in an attempt to separate myself from the pack.

What a terrible situation to be in, having to defend yourself because of your profession. I've always said that the hardest thing about embedding (besides leaving my family) is wearing the badge that says 'PRESS.' That hasn't changed. I hide the badge whenever I can get away with it.

This isn't the first time I encountered this sentiment from the troops. I experienced this attitude from the Marines while I was in western Iraq last year, and the soldiers in the Canadian Army in Afghanistan also expressed frustration with the media's presentation of the war.

Perhaps this tension between the media and the military is nothing new. But it appalls me none the less.


Comments (14)

Of course soldiers don't li... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Of course soldiers don't like the media coverage. Who on earth would like television and print commenting on how you are losing?

Fake but accurate hey jp2? ... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Fake but accurate hey jp2? Idiot.

jp2, since these folks are ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

jp2, since these folks are in the direct line of fire there, I would have to give their impressions some level of credence. Considering the military is focused on a strategy of winning and the reporter is focused on making sure his/her byline is the one selected for print in the next edition, I can accept that there is probably "unprintably" good but boring news to be had somewhere in Iraq.

Lets see, who should we bel... (Below threshold)

Lets see, who should we believe, the soldiers who are actually there on the ground fighting, or a liberal media that breathlessly trumpets every setback?

Personally, I think I'll go with the eyewitnesses.

I am beginning to believe t... (Below threshold)
moseby:

I am beginning to believe that jp2 is really katie couric? Hi katie!!

Hey, if you think we are wi... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Hey, if you think we are winning, great. Believe what you want. But even nominee Gates thinks we are losing.

Whether the nominee for Sec... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Whether the nominee for Sec. Def. believes we're winning and whether or not the media has been biased in its reports over the past 3+ years are two completely different issues. In fact, one could make a compelling argument that the bias has been a detrimental factor.

Whatever happened to the 'enlightened', 'nuanced' left ? All I see now are brain dead parrots.

Ah, that explains much - re... (Below threshold)

Ah, that explains much - reading only the headlines does the opposite of educating a person. If jp2 read more than just headlines, he might know what Mr. Gates actually said.

jp2, I'll check again but I... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

jp2, I'll check again but I don't think he is quoted as saying we are losing. I think he said we are not winning and we are not losing. I think he was trying to emphasize the critical point that Iraq is in.

For jp2 and the rest of the... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

For jp2 and the rest of the left, the thought of the war in Iraq even being winnable is abhorent. How can they accept a "winnable" war being led by Bush or the Republicans. And for that reason, if for lack of any other, we must lose even if it is only in the eye of the MSM.

Let me ask you a question, jp. If we are losing, why do the re-enlistment rates for the Army and the Marine Corps stay so high - even above the re-enlistment target levels?

Seems to me the reason is two fold. 1) The men and women believe in what they are doing and 2) We are winning. Do you see any other reason? Unless you agree with Rangel and Kerry that the members of the military are too stupid to know any better.

Let's see, the Iraqi's are ... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Let's see, the Iraqi's are dying in the streets with everyone too fearful to even go pick up a body or help someone who has been shot. But the news media is simply "sensationalizing" the "blood & guts"?

People are found with holes drilled in thier heads and left in plain sight but the news media is simple "sensationalizing" the "blood & guts"?

We have been given at least a dozen different benchmarks as to our "victory" in Iraq from the fall of Saddam's statue, to his apprehension, to the death of his sons, to the capture of the faces on the deck of cards, to the forming of an interim govt, to elections, to the making of a constitutional government, to the training of Iraqi's and this idiot wants us to beleive we're likely going to turn a corner any day now. That is a lie. It's worse, not better. Even DOD elect Gates said today we are going to be there for a long time. Did we sign up for that along with the "flowers & candy" propoganda?

Our army isn't fighting an army in Iraq. They are shoooting at incraesingly hostile citizens who know darn well who started this mess and would prefer that we leave so they might be able to begin the reconstruction of their country with help from the worldwide community.

And bsides, how can any of the "embedded" reporters get any real information. They can't go amongst the people on a daily basis, only the indies are getting the real scoop and most of them say it's much worse than it was three years ago.

If it's such a party then why not have Bush fly right into the Baghdad airport. Announce his arrival and take him for a tour of the so called "quiet provinces". Let the press follow him around on his little escapade. Then you'll get the real news.

How much you want to bet that won't happen under the "Mission Acccomplished" banner of policies by GW Bush.

Foolish Americans......

CB:<br /... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

CB:


Let's see, the Iraqi's are dying in the streets with everyone too fearful to even go pick up a body or help someone who has been shot. But the news media is simply "sensationalizing" the "blood & guts"?

People are found with holes drilled in thier heads and left in plain sight but the news media is simple "sensationalizing" the "blood & guts"?

It's a matter of whether what's being reported paints the entire picture or is _emphasizing_ one aspect of the picture. The boots on the ground are complaining that it does NOT paint the entire picture and is emphasizing one aspect.

Of course, you know better because you saw someone standing on a balcony with their back to the street and they told you so.

Our army isn't fighting an army in Iraq. They are shoooting at incraesingly hostile citizens who know darn well who started this mess and would prefer that we leave so they might be able to begin the reconstruction of their country with help from the worldwide community.

Yes, the 'worldwide community' is just begging to be allowed into Iraq to help rebuild... but we're keeping them out. Uh huh.

Utterly Moronic posters...

Who on earth would... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Who on earth would like television and print commenting on how you are losing?

That's old news. If the media wanted to show America losing the war in Iraq they only needed to show people voting last month. The troops are doing a fine job; it's the electorate that decided to cut and run. They just couldn't stomach all propaganda they were being bombarded with by the MSM.

Just last month, jp2 was sa... (Below threshold)
Assosiated Press:

Just last month, jp2 was saying we were winning in Iraq. Now he says the opposite.




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