March 26, 2003

Give that man a star…

It seems Jack Shafer agrees with me about the concept of embedding. He says:

The coverage, so far, has depicted U.S. soldiers as brave, enthusiastic, and conscientious warriors who, as they bomb and shoot their way to Baghdad, uphold the highest professional standards of the art of war. These dispatches are believable, even though the video cameras and reporters’ notebooks glean only slivers from the front line.

But, he warns:

The true test of the embed program will come when–and if–those video notes reveal something the Pentagon would rather you not see: an advancing Marine unit greased by an artillery shell; a bloody friendly-fire incident; or, knock on wood, a Geneva Convention violation by U.S. troops. All these examples are possible, and some are likely. The propaganda tide could shift and cause the Pentagon to rue the day they heard the word “embed.”

UPDATE (12:00 p.m.): It’s not all fun and games for “unilateral” journalists, as this article in Editor & Publisher demonstrates. “Embedded” journalists, however, appear to be having “great fun.”

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  1. Rebecca 

    It’s hard to know what to say about a profession that sees it’s highest and best calling as getting video of “an advancing Marine unit greased by an artillery shell a bloody friendly fire incident or …a Geneva Convention violation by U.S. troops” except maybe “Mommas don’t let your babies grow up to be journalists—-unless they can’t get into Mercenary School.” As for all this bitching about the “embedded” being co-opted by the military, it makes me think of the old saying “be careful what you wish for—you might get it.” Jeez.

  2. acline 

    That would make a snappy tune 🙂

    Embedded was not co-opted. It’s the Military’s term for it. And it is an interesting program considering how the last couple of wars (or whatever we call them) were handled. I almost seems like a master plan 🙂

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