Winds of Change.NET: Liberty. Discovery. Humanity. Victory.

Formal Affiliations
  • Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto
  • Euston Democratic Progressive Manifesto
  • Real Democracy for Iran!
  • Support Denamrk
  • Million Voices for Darfur
  • milblogs
Syndication
 Subscribe in a reader

This Is Gonna Piss Off The Blogs...

| 34 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

The LA Times today has a Page 1, Column 1 article on journalist/blogger Michael Yon.

It's an interesting 'personality' article about him; not very deep or analytical - and not much news that those who haven't followed him in the blogs won't know.

Pretty unexceptional, I'd say.

Then again, there's the headline.
Lone Gun in War Reporting

Michael Yon's blog made him a hero among backers of the effort in Iraq. As his profile grew, so did debate on the quality of his work.

Boy, you'd think the story would go deeply into the wide-ranging debate on the specific quality of his work.
Instead, we get the Carl Prine quote that was widely circulated around the blogs:
"As someone who has seen a great deal of combat in my life and who earns his daily bread as a reporter," Prine opined on the Internet, "I can assure you that a lot of what Michael Yon writes is misleading, inaccurate and vapid."
That's it; that's the sum of the debate we're shown in the article.

Look, I know that the author didn't write the headline, and the article is interesting, if incomplete - there are two fascinating points left untouched by the writer: First, if Yon is the "the reporter of choice for many conservatives and supporters of the war," what does it say about the gulf between war supporters and opponents and the ways that they look at news? Next, what does it say about the future of journalism that a free agent like Yon can begin to make a living reporting outside the envelope of the media organizations like the Times?

But the headline - and it's slam on Yon - would be less annoying if the pattern of slams in the Times didn't lean so clearly in one direction. I'll sit back and wait for the reaction from Patterico...

I'm thinking hard about this:
From the start, Yon ignored the barriers that traditionally separated the press from its subjects. He openly rooted for soldiers and helped them collect the wreckage after roadside bombings.
I'll have more to say about this - and it's relation to the Cartoon War - in a bit.

2 TrackBacks

Tracked: February 9, 2006 9:11 PM
Michael Yon - LA Time Column Article from Rocket's Brain Trust
Excerpt: The LA Times runs a background piece on Michael Yon in their "Column One" feature today. At least Yon is getting some well deserved recognition for his firsthand reporting from the streets of Iraq. He provides a much needed perspective that is sorely...
Tracked: February 13, 2006 3:58 AM
Excerpt: Dear Mr. Rainey, Your LA Times article includes a quote by reporter and veteran Carl Prine. But Carl Prine of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a National Guardsman and former Marine, saw platitudes, thin reporting and a lack of context in Yon’...

34 Comments

Overall, I actually thought this was a pretty good article.

Agree that some analysis re: why the gulf with the mainstream media would be illuminating, but would never expect it from LA Pravda. A segue into the Ernie Pyle mold and how far most journalism is from that (while Yon is very much in that mold) would have enhanced the article.

As it was, it was there as a throw-away line instead of a central feature. Which, if you live in the LA bubble, is only natural. I mean, the way it is now is the only way, right? All our friends say so.

But other than those glitches, I was surprised at the quality of this article. It was not a hit piece - and I was surprised by that.

Well, heaven forbid that American reporters might root for American troops or American victory against the kind of people who say "Death to Freedom" when a newspaper publishes an offensive cartoon.

My late grandfather served on the same little island where Pyle was killed (Ieshima). He send my grandmother a crude code to indicate his position in a way that the censors didn't detect: repeatedly mentioning what a friend to the troops Pyle was and how much he was missed. He might have a different take than the LA Times.

"He openly rooted for soldiers and helped them collect the wreckage after roadside bombings."

Despicable!

"From the start, Yon ignored the barriers that traditionally separated the press from its subjects. He openly rooted for soldiers and helped them collect the wreckage after roadside bombings"

This is lame; all of the Reporters War correspondents from WW2 fall in this mold. They must be rolling in their graves at how today’s media find it necessity to be balanced overly for the enemy of everything the west stands for.

Things are turning but I fear a large part of our population has been hopelessly compromised by the LLL mentality movement and their propaganda reeducation.

"From the start, Yon ignored the barriers that traditionally separated the press from its subjects. He openly rooted for soldiers and helped them collect the wreckage after roadside bombings"

Hard to imagine a reporter embeded over there, or at a spot where he can help pick up EID wreckage NOT openly rooting for the forces that are protecting his life at that very moment.

Lib pressers want me to believe that a left wing reporter who hates the US military war and Bush, values his lying claim to objectivity above all else, instead of hoping like hell the US military wins wherever he is with him and therefore saves him from haphazardly losing control of his bowels ?

This rubbish of an idea doesn't pass the laugh test.

I suppose though, with enough anti-American hatred and a low self-esteem death wish, a reporter could be so out there that he even endangers himself and the military with a bad against the team attitude while in theatre.

Gee, it couldn't be that when the polls are taken and retaken the press winds up 90% democrat voters, could it ?

Here's what really tells me the story though:

"David Wallace-Wells wrote in Slate that Yon "combines detailed, intimate storytelling with an authorial sense that the war is neither quagmire nor farce, but a heroic, Manichaean struggle — and, as such, deserves to be reported in the grizzled, noirish style of war reportage from earlier eras."

That's what really pisses off the left MSM. It used to be just like what this fella is now. That burns them, and they'ed probably like his career destroyed over that, since they've slid so far down into the ditch, and his prescence reminds them.
He can do it on the net with a blog, because they can't silence and lock him out there, but they sure can try to discredit him, in order to save their own blathering crap exposed as lies.

I heard how the LA Times recently got rid of the liberal overlord and put in a more realistic top end. No doubt that is why this guy got the piece in the first place, but I'm sure it couldn't make it all the way through the peacenick grinder there without damage.

I also laughed when they compared and contrasted with the leader in the embed, "Sgt. 3/4ers full", and that supposedly rubbed off all this happy on Yon the favored class pet. Boy that really must have influenced the positive writing, or at least excused all the negative left MSM babblings, driving home the point that they really are the objective valid ones.

If the MSM didn't have such a problem with their credibility they wouldn't be constantly slapping embedded evaluations on everyone and everything else, and having their own public self examinations where they find defficiency, then laying out the "insurmountable excuses" for being so.

It's a hoot.

Overall the article gave a big thumbs up to bloggers.
It also indicates the fear they inspire in the slanted MSM kingdom of longtime liars.
More slaying of the bigshot MSM is sure to come.

You know , I didn't read this article. For one considering the past of the LA Times and it's reputation ... I don't really trust them to quote someone correctly.

Whatever they say about Yon and his bias, they have their own bias. And I don't have enough asprin to read it.

It seems I get a headache trying to figure out what the entire story is VS their version of it.

For all the grief you throw at the dreaded media for bias, AL, it's fascinating to see how much your own bias blinds you towards certain things.

Case in point, you quote this:

From the start, Yon ignored the barriers that traditionally separated the press from its subjects. He openly rooted for soldiers and helped them collect the wreckage after roadside bombings.

Of course, anyone who reads the article - hell, anyone who reads Kevin Drum's post about this article - gets the rest of the story:

In a crisis last summer, the fuzzy boundary between Yon and the troops seemed to disappear altogether. The incident began with a miles-long pursuit through Mosul, ending with Lt. Col. Kurilla being shot three times by an attacker who hid inside a shop.

In Yon's account, confirmed by others present, the two soldiers closest at hand froze. Sgt. Maj. Robert Prosser appeared and charged into the shop, toward the enemy. But it appeared to Yon that Prosser too went down.

Yon had already screamed at the unmoving soldiers to attack. Now he called to them for a grenade, which they did not have. So he picked up Prosser's empty M-4 rifle, loaded in a 30-round magazine, and fired three shots into the shop.

Yon learned later that Prosser was choking the attacker into unconsciousness.

One of Yon's shots punctured a barbecue-sized propane canister, which went flying wildly. The confusion actually gave the insurgent a moment to fight back before he was finally subdued.

"When we got back to the [base], I said, 'Have you lost your mind?' " Prosser recalled. "And he said, 'I was only trying to help.' I understood. But from a military perspective, I just cannot have him picking up a weapon."

Now, we can debate endlessly whether what Yon did was right or wrong... although most of the people I know who've actually served would be horrified at the idea of a (current) civilian trying to "help" that way. But it is worth pointing out that the "lone gun" headline takes on a bit of context that's missing from your assesment of the article.

It's also worth pointing out that for guys like "MorningSun" (and I'll wager, plenty of others) your selectively quoted post becomes the article, because they refuse to read it based in no small part on your say-so. One might suggest that if you're gonna criticize the media, you have an obligation to be less biased than your target.

Chris -

You know, I thought about that when I read the story. But I have a hard time imaging why the writer didn't lead with that (the incident with the rifle) instead. Note that Joseph Galloway may have had something to say about it as well...

...I tend to credit people with meaning what they say, and accept the priorities they put on things in their speaking or writing.

A.L.

You know, I thought about that when I read the story. But I have a hard time imaging why the writer didn't lead with that (the incident with the rifle) instead. Note that Joseph Galloway may have had something to say about it as well...

I think I'm just not parsing what you're getting at here... certainly I'm not seeing the relevance of Galloway to this conversation. That being the case, I'll just note that, had the writer lead with the rifle story, that would likely have just given you more "evidince" of how biased the Times is, and move on.

Chris - Joseph (not George) Galloway was the journalist caught in the firefight in the Ia Drang Valley in the late 60's - he co-wrote 'We Were Soldiers Once'; in the middle of the battle, as the Americans were at risk of being over-run, he picked up a rifle and used it...

A.L.

Yon ignored the barriers that traditionally separated the press from its subjects.

These barriers are of varying thickness; for example, the only "barrier" between Dan Rather and John Kerry was two layers of clothing.

Chris - Joseph (not George) Galloway was the journalist caught in the firefight in the Ia Drang Valley in the late 60's - he co-wrote 'We Were Soldiers Once'; in the middle of the battle, as the Americans were at risk of being over-run, he picked up a rifle and used it...

I know who Joseph Galloway is - I wasn't familiar with the particular anecdote, though.

On the other hand, I'd say there's a pretty sizable difference between Galloway adding an extra gun to hold the line against the VC hordes, and Yon going Rambo during an urban combat situation. Your milage may vary.

Chris,

The quote AL gave seems to criticize Yon for "rooting for soldiers." I'm fine with criticizing reporters for picking up a gun when they shouldn't (or for that matter criticizing anyone who pulls the trigger, anywhere, without a clear idea of what he's going to hit).

But "rooting" for the troops? I happen to think all reporters, of all nationalities, should be doing that, considering what the enemy does to reporters (Jill Carroll) and cartoonists.

There's a new post, above, that taks about Galloway some more...but I'm interested in Chris' distinction...Chris, can you expand?

A.L.

AL-

There's a new post, above, that taks about Galloway some more...but I'm interested in Chris' distinction...Chris, can you expand?

Well, based off of the description you put in your later post, there's a whopping big one: Galloway was asked by US troops to lend a hand, all but ordered to do so. And the ground rules for what he was supposed to do (shoot the guys outside the fence, not inside the fence) were far more straightforward than the rules of engagement in Iraq (some of which are dumb, I admit, but some of which are absolutely necessary.)

On the other hand, Yon was not asked to do anything - on the contrary, the Sergent Major in question pretty clearly didn't want him picking up a weapon. My guess is that this is because there's more than a little training and teamwork that goes in to building a fighting unit in Iraq - even if it was the case that two members of the unit froze, Yon doesn't have the training or the experience to replace them.

(Yes, it's the case that Yon was a Green Beret, but unless I'm greatly mistaken, the kind of things a Green Beret is trained for are quite different from what the average army patrol on the ground in Iraq is currently doing. It's like putting a trained doberman in with a bunch of fox hounds - similar animal, totally different outlook.)

Rob-

The quote AL gave seems to criticize Yon for "rooting for soldiers." I'm fine with criticizing reporters for picking up a gun when they shouldn't (or for that matter criticizing anyone who pulls the trigger, anywhere, without a clear idea of what he's going to hit).

But "rooting" for the troops? I happen to think all reporters, of all nationalities, should be doing that, considering what the enemy does to reporters (Jill Carroll) and cartoonists.

Rob, there's a fairly complex argument to be had (and which AL's new post above will hopefully bring out) that the journalist, by acting and reporting objectively, actually does more good for his or her country than if they helped their country's troops out at every opportunity - that, in a democracy, accurate and unbiased information is actually worth more to the folks back home than an extra (and untrained) pair of hands on the ground.

But regardless, the thing I was criticising AL for - the thing that his removal of the rest of the story from the paragraph he quoted erased - was that rooting for the troops can very easily become the kind of dangerous situation where someone's enthusiasm to help out can actually damage the troops' mission. Which is a good reason to argue for journalistic objectivity in and of itself.

Chris, If you read Yon's 'Gates of Fire story itself, you might understand WHY Yon picked up the weapon. Prosser was down and, though he was actually in the fight, would have appeared out of it from anyone form Yon's presepctive. Yon tried to get the other two soldiers into the fight twice, but they froze. Hell, I think I'd like to think I'd even unfreeze when the reporter asked me for a magazine so someone would wade in.

Still, even Yon realized afterward, the result could have been catastrophic. However, being Kurilla had a ringside seat and is still a strong advocate for Yon, I'll take his judgement call on it over any of us lawnchair commanders.

It's what separates JOURNALISTS like Yon from the elitist, philosophical twits at the LAT -- I don't want those twits' OPINIONS... I want to hear the factual story that contains only the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY an event. I'll make up my own mind about all the rest. It's what I love about Yon's work.

And since when is the money you mke an indication of your talent? If he wrote for the LAT he might make more money, but he wouldn't be respected.

I guess I'm still somewhat taken by this "Carl Prine." He's an ex-marine MSM reporter who was embedded, then he goes and joins the Army and is fighting in Iraq.

Uhhhh, why hasn't anybody written about this guy? Why doesn't the media look at one of their own?

Does anyone know about him?

This article has produced a great string of commentaries - thank you AL!

My two cents:

o Yon was wrong to pick up the carbine and engage as he did. In picking up the weapon he loses all legal protections provided by convention and treaty. He becomes a combatant. Worse, he may disqualify himself from any claim to objectivity.

o The two soldiers who froze - what has happened to them? Are they past it, or in need of psych assistance? I'm not bagging on 'em, but they are unreliable and apt to get themselves and others killed needlessly should they freeze again.

o Reporters should report facts. Be objective. The LAT does not have reporters in the field, instead they are swilling coffee and beer in a hotel in Baghdad. A smart MSM CEO would send Yon a contract, signing bonus, and a rather much larger salary than his top reporters: people will read that paper for true facts and come to rely on it; and such a salary will influence the young reporters that being factually correct is far better than bland opinion created over brie and beer in a hotel lobby.

Again, thank you AL for this article.

It's nice to talk about all the various levels of independence reporters in Iraq or any area of war coverage are supposed to exhibit, but in this case what is the gigantic elephnat in the room ?

Isn't it obvious to all ?

The reporter in question was in a position where the soldiers defending his life were by his reasonable viewpoint, failing, and if he didn't want to be pushing up daisies, he felt he HAD to do something.

Shooting into the "shop" or whatever it was, seems to be a decent tactic, in spite of the result. The enemy would of course assume it was not friendly fire in all likelihood, and probably take cover. I suppose it's a whole lot better than standing there waiting for the dealy strike to hit oneself, while chanting, " I am objective,I am objective."

I see the comment about " bull in a china shop ", referring to the reporters former military training.

I'd also like to see one texter here or one dissatisfied cross reporter tell us with a straight face that being a former beret, they wouldn't have picked up the weapon and fired.

I suspect those who do would have frozen instead. Which of course is way short of independent reporting, and more likened to a deer in the headlights.

So, what we really have is a normal reaction, parsed and belittled and trashed for all the wrong reasons, because it was a normal reaction.

It was to be expected, and in all reality, despite the twisted outcome, commendable.

I'm not sure anyone would want to claim that a reporter should willfully lay down their life in an instant all for the falsified ideation that this would somehow make them "neutral".

Of course it was the commanders duty to chew out the reporter, and who wouldn't have done that as well ?
It is a duty, even if they laugh about it and give a pat on the back for years to come, which is probably what is really happening.

Hmmmm. I'm still trying to get my hands around this.

I'm an infantry officer, so forgive me for not knowing everything about reporting. But I've never been a big fan of Yon's and when I started reading the comments this Prine fellow made elsewhere I was struck by how much we are in agreement.

I can say as a commander that Yon does miss things. His details aren't very interesting. If I'm bored by all the jargon and technical stuff, then I know a lot of other people are too.

I am also a little concerned by everyone's flippant remarks about a civilian taking up arms on the battlefield. It seems to me that Yon was not so much concerned about his own life, but that of a soldier.

That's fine, but by picking up a rifle he violated the Geneva Convention and put his sponsoring commander at risk of serious charges.

We won't allow a contractor to do that, why should we let a reporter? If he wants to shoot the enemy, I've got some slots on our FOB. He can reenlist.

I have worked with a lot of reporters over the years. Most of them were good decent men and women. They did not have biases against me or the military and I, frankly, was glad they came out to see what we were doing.

This is not an attitude shared by most of my peers, and I think that's a real shame. It's why we end up with guys like Yon covering us instead of others. We're still trapped in some Vietnam myth about the media, and maybe they are too.

I think we should try to come to terms with the media and talk it out with them. We both have too much to lose if we don't.

Sounds like jealousy. The CSC offered on two occasions to take "bonafide" reporters with him as he made his journeys throughout Iraq. Both of them backed out at the last minute when they saw they would be riding in a humvee. So not only are they jealous, they are cowards.

As far as rooting for the troops,etc. where in the Constitution does it say the press has the right of freedom of the press but must disavow their country because they are journalists. As far as I am concerned, any journalist who says they are not "bias" is a liar or fool! Bias is human nature. It is the attempt to be as fair and open minded and present both sides that makes a journalist ethical to me.

"I can say ..Yon does miss things. ... I'm bored ... lot of other people are too. "

LOL. Oh well, you can read David Korn instead.

"I am also a little concerned by everyone's flippant remarks about a civilian taking up arms"

Yes, remain concerned, because as soldiers freeze others - like former Green Berets- will pick up arms as well.
If you don't like it, make a call and have him charged. Heck, maybe they'ell demote you instead.

"That's fine, but by picking up a rifle he violated the Geneva Convention "

Yes, we've heard that a thousand times concerning even lemon chicken fed to Gitmo captives.
Fine, you want to file a complaint at the UN ?

" and put his sponsoring commander at risk of serious charges."

War is risky. did his commander get charged? Apparently not. Maybe you should pursue that, and see whom wins that battle.

"We won't allow a contractor to do that, why should we let a reporter?"

You DIDN'T let a reporter, he has a free will, and he used it.
Did you issue the reporter in question a sidearm or other shooting device?

" If he wants to shoot the enemy, I've got some slots on our FOB. He can reenlist. "

LOL - I see. Boy aren't we a touchy feely little fella. So, next time a couple of your soldiers freeze up, and someone else takes action, you can put the screws to 'em. Good idea. That's the brave new sensible type of person we all love nowadays.

"reporters... They did not have biases against me or the military ....This is not an attitude shared by most of my peers.... ",

LOL - Why are you so different. I guess you vote demorat.

"and I think that's a real shame."

LOL - yeah, it's terrible when you have a blind idea going forward.

" It's why we end up with guys like Yon covering us instead of others."

Hmm, so - the reporters aren't what you said they are.. or is it just Yon ? you're getting fuzzy thinking - or some real bad hoodoo going there fella.

" We're still trapped in some Vietnam myth about the media, and maybe they are too."

LOL - Umm, half the USA is still trapped in a Vietnam myth. So if half the reporters are- gee if the military is.

"I think we should try to come to terms with the media and talk it out with them."

Oh really. So what are your real complaints with the media. I thought they were all great to you. I guess consistency doesn't matter.

" We both have too much to lose if we don't."

Sounds like you lost your cool on Yon, and that's about it.

Well, the posters failed me again. I thought perhaps this might be a forum to discuss what is at issue with the press and the military.

I can't speak for reporters, and I can't, obviously, speak for the entire military, but I will go out on a limb and continue to say that what this Prine guy says makes sense. At least to me.

I'm not sure "Silicon Doc" has ever had the burden of command. If he did, he might find a "reporter" taking up a weapon and firing it at the enemy a bit vexing.

I also would say that the only version we have of soldiers "freezing" is from Yon himself. Since I have enough trouble with his version of events from a military perspective, perhaps we can agree to disagree about whether this actually happened. It might have simply been his perspective. I'm not sure it's been established if he ever saw combat while on active duty.

Regardless, I can't think of any fellow officer who would want a "reporter" grabbing a rifle and shooting people. Once he does that, I can't really consider him a reporter. He would have to leave my FOB and I don't care what his words have meant to the war effort. At that point he has jeopardized his role as a non-combatant and put my unit at risk of serious charges, including the very real problem of adverse publicity he, I thought, was there to remedy.

As far as I'm concerned, this is beyond debate.

So is any discussion of my politics. Why is it that if I have issues, as an officer, with Yon's reporting and actions on the battlefield that I become a "Democrat?" I don't even vote. Apolitical.

What I was carefully trying to say was that we need good, objective reporters to cover this war. I don't think Yon was really a reporter, and maybe that's why you like him.

As for me, I prefer that we do our tasks professionally. If I want SOF, I'll ask for them, or they'll be sent to me, or whatever. I don't need to dragoon a guy who was in SOF 20 years ago to do my shooting for me.

What he types, he types. I can live with bad press as long as he doesn't give away my troopers' movements or interfere with the prosecution of the war.

It really is that simple.

Soldier Again-

For what it's worth, what you're saying makes a great deal of sense to me, and mirrors conversations I've had with retired military folks. Thanks for speaking up here.

Soldier Again,

Straightforward and useful comments, with a lot to them. A few things to consider:

[1] Yon picking up a gun had no effect on his embed status, either at the time or later. Read the LA Times article, and this isn't what caused him trouble.

The troops of Deuce Four were vexed, but they accepted the situation (two men down, direct hand-to-hand combat ongoing, Yon having reasonable belief that he was the only option and that people would die if he didn't act) as such that they could forgive it - though it was explained to him that if it happened again, they would have to ship him out. Deuce Four's commander personally going to bat for Yon after his embed troubles strikes me as solid corroboration of Yon's account, too.

[2] Note the quotes et. al. from A.L. re: actual situations that certainly put the reporter's role rather beyond your description - a state of affairs that was certainly common in earlier eras as well.

It might make for an illuminating discussion to explore why that has changed. One can note one's personal preference - but one cannot simply assert that your characterization is the only proper way to do things. Agree that a calmer and more rational discussion all around would help us have that debate.

[3] Yon was most definitely a reporter - again, note the historical information AL provides, and tell me what's different.

Carl Prine as a source to quote on Michael Yon!

Will wonders never cease!

I've put up some edited highlights of Carl's take on things:

http://www.planningblog.com/2006/02/boy-named-sue.html

"I also would say that the only version we have of soldiers "freezing" is from Yon himself. Since I have enough trouble with his version of events from a military perspective, perhaps we can agree to disagree about whether this actually happened."

Yes, all that babbling and it really comes down to you don't believe the version of events offered.

Once again, is the commander under charges? NO.
Has Yon been dismissed ? NO.

Do I expect you, who can't stand Yon, you made it so clear, to have any sort of objective viewpoint ?

NO.

Do you?

NO.

Keep whining. We've heard it before, and I'm sure you'll whine about it till the day you die.

There's plenty to your comments, and they fall under one category. You don't like Yon, and you don't believe Yon, and anything after that is all crap, and you've made that abundantly clear again.

More crap ? Should I waste my time reposonding ?

"Regardless, I can't think of any fellow officer who would want a "reporter" grabbing a rifle and shooting people."

Regardless, you apparently haven't paid attention. The commander chewed him out. Did you even read the link, the story, or even my comment which pointed that out.

I guess you're all in a big tizzy like a left wing gasbag.

I asked you- pointed out- that noone issued him a weapon. So, even when the commander in the story chews him out, you whine the above.
" I can't think of any fellow officer who would want a "reporter" grabbing a rifle .."

He didn't shoot people, but you quack it out nonetheless " and shooting people."

So, it appears you can't even stick with the facts in your analysis.

Like I said, give us your sick chest thumping and your arrogant indignation, and I'll keep reading your stupid observations and your lack of coherent thought concerning the incident.

I'd be sure to get transferred out of your unit, and take anyone I could with me. We know what retentive jerks some commanders can be, and what a pain it is to serve under them when common sense and coherent actions are decried in the face of some crapass code or regulation ( deciphered as personal chest thumping ).

I suspect you aren't well liked at all, by your own men. I certainly also suspect that as soon as your back is turned, your hard line foolishness is immediately ignored in favor of what actually works.

It's the zero tolerance braindead analysis. Forget the facts, the situation, forget the whole schmear, and just go with the kneejerk version of abrogated authority, a tyrannistic mindset of tomfoolery.

Reminds me of zero tolerance democrats running the NEA and the school systems.

It's really sickening, and a commander should at least be aware of it, especially in their own conduct.

So much for that. Might as well forget it. Blow, blow blow it out of proportion. Blow blow blow your horn.

More crap. It's like talking to a liberal if you must.

"What I was carefully trying to say was that we need good, objective reporters to cover this war."

Well, if you paid attention, Yon is favored by the conservatives and war supporters. So many other reporters who are crap, are disfavored by the conservatives and the war supporters. Let's just make that the military as whole, since we all know what the percentages are there.

" I don't think Yon was really a reporter, and maybe that's why you like him. "

I never said I like him. Heck, I've never read him. But you've shared how much you hate him, and you've certainly picked him apart even if you haven't read him, probably with Prine's commentary.

Carol offered a nice link to the mindset of Prine. Another arrogant jerk who brags about his pathetic position in life.

Once again, the fact that you are so "offended" by the fire Yon delivered, and the bloggers " have failed you " concerning the press and the war, shows just what a failure you have been.

Your great comments concering that have been two thus far, now that you've changed your perspective, and told us your reason for being here was to have a discussion about the press and its relation to the military.

1. The press and military are still in Nam mindset
2. We need fair press coverage

Oh, perhaps you are shreiking you never said those two things or anything like it. I imagine that is what's going on. It's always that way.

mr infantry officer/commander
"We're still trapped in some Vietnam myth about the media, and maybe they are too."

Uhuh. Sure...
"I have worked with a lot of reporters over the years. Most of them were good decent men and women. They did not have biases against me or the military and I"

"What I was carefully trying to say was that we need good, objective reporters to cover this war."

In the end, really, if they get rid of Yon, you will be satisfied. That will do it for you, but not your "peers".

"This is not an attitude shared by most of my peers, and I think that's a real shame."
" It's why we end up with guys like Yon covering us instead of others."

LOL - It's OBVIOUS to me, but NOT to you ?

"As far as I'm concerned, this is beyond debate.
So is any discussion of my politics."

I see.You're in a political forum, but now you have perfect objectivity, and therefore you are beyond reproach, "correct" no matter what. LOL

THIS ISN'T THE ARMY, AND YOU DON'T COMMAND ANYONE HERE FOOL.

"I don't even vote. Apolitical."

Ahh, the perfect objective reporter on his own opinions. LOL

Man, the pile of crap is so high, you might as well launch a supertanker turd buffalo.

Hey, you know what, with all those perfect credentials, maybe you should be a reporter instead of an infantry jockey.

You liked and got along with the press, there all good people, you're apolitical, don't vote and therefore objective, and you know crap writing ( Yon's) when you see it, know he misses a lot, and have an anal retentive attitude when it comes to knowing your own place as a reporter in the battle arena.

Yeah, man, you're the ticket.

If you're wondering, this post HAS been a discussion about what's wrong with the press.
Incorrect arrogant lying gasbags, who go from one line of crap to the next, and think noone ever notices.

Well, don't hold back your opinion, Doc.

Some men and women of my rank would be a bit offended by your lashing, but I'm not. If that was your intention, you failed. I realize that a blog about the Army is not the Army. Credentials are not important, but what we argue should be.

In that case, you don't do a very good job. You certainly haven't convinced me. I've been in long enough now to know why charges are given, and why they're not.

I know Yon's commander in Mosul, and we have not discussed this incident. But someday we will and he'll tell me why they didn't just kick Yon off the base. I would have, but that's me. It's also policy, which exists not because it's the law, but because we've learned from experience that it's the right thing to do.

I take a longer view of this issue. I don't think it boils down to "what's wrong with the press." That's too easy. It reminds of so many of the generation over me who blamed the press for Vietnam.

It was the intellectually lazy thing to do. It didn't confront our own problems and actually postponed a lot of the important reforms we instituted during the Reagan and Bush years to rebuild our military.

Despite your criticism of me, I'm very proud to have been a part of that mission and our current efforts to fight the Global War on Terrorism.

So here I see a young man, or at least a man who is not all that old, who quits his job as a MSM reporter to rejoin the military. He has a unique perspective on the press and the military and the "information war" that we fight, and everyone attacks him.

I think whether we agree with him or not is irrelevant. I think he might be someone we should tap to better understand the media, and for the media to understand us. Why aren't we using that resource?

I googled the man and got his Tribune email. It returned with an auto response that had his military email and I have contacted him.

As far as blowing something out of proportion, I can't imagine that catching a civilian guest of your command shooting at people, which is an obvious violation of the treaty obligations of the country I serve, is some minor incident.

I read the LAT's version, and Yon's version, and I still would have to make the decision as a commander to expel him. I understand his motivation, but to me it still rises to a serious breach of trust with me, the commander who is responsible not only for his safety but for the integrity and honor of my men.

I could not allow a breach of the Geneva Conventions of War to occur on my watch. I won't tolerate it with myself, my men or those civilians we protect.

I guess I see this as a military officer and not from the perspective of some of the civilians like Yon or the SiliconDoc.

" [2] ...reporter's role rather beyond ... description - a state of affairs that was certainly common in earlier eras...
...It might make for an illuminating discussion to explore why that has changed.... "

That should be a good point of discussion, because it no doubt left reporters with a clearer taste of the real in their palettes. I see the "NEWS AND CITIZENSHIP" link goes into a couple of reporters thrust by the commanders into action in bygone days.

Well, there's a lot reasons that has changed, that come to mind.
1. A volunteer force considered highly trained, and proud of it's status, often letting everyone know not just anyone can do this, along with the "it would degrade the military" if a draft were initiated ( or instant on site draft, much worse ). This is the top reason many military would first site.

2. Instant feed electronic news. With this situation in the battle arena, what a reporter does could slip out quickly, even by a competing news agency. Even at reporter's Bagdad Hotel, has been attacked, a situation could occur.
Then the competition could attmept to "destroy credibility", much like we see the current attacks on Yon.

3. The MSM just isn't into George Bush, the Iraq war, or war in general. Let's face it. It's not a favorite assignment agency wide. Vietnam and quagmire have kicked them down memory hole for 35 years and then some.
It's much nicer to hang stateside and gobble up rumors and cocktail parties where whom is doing whom is all the rave.

4. It's makes for good cover never arming up,even hanging with the enemy on their win, Mike Wallace style, to pretend unbiased reporting, but when your son(Wallace jr.) hears you rant on the republican President, and calls you "senile or losing it", the cat is out of the bag. So, if you ever did pick up arms, you'd be even more of a hypocrit.

5. The MSM, a liberal pot of GWB hating democrats and leftists of various flavor, would probably hate you, and the cocktail party circuit wouldn't ever invite you again.
You'd recieve the initial endless barrage of calls concerning, " Why did you do it", and " What was it like, really ", since you'd already have been a trusted former comrade, and the worst thing for a MSM reporter nowadays is to become the story and go through the pathetic lame attacks you're used to issuing on a non-stop basis. It's not good for self-esteem or reflective moments on professional decorum.

6. To have someone " do the work " of the military nowadays is considered the ultimate insult, as the cackles of poor troop strength numbers fly about. One can imagine how a few incidents with well known reporters could balloon into The Inquisition concerning the ability of the military to maintain sufficient numbers on the battlefield.

7. You would be fired by your MSM paymaster.

Gosh, there's also the whole anti-American bravado by the press ( already cited), that seethes from their skin pores. So with a gigantic written history of hatred of all things MIC, who would DARE ask you, the unbiased reporter to do such a thing.
If ever asked, it would be a cruel joke instituted by the grunts, definitely non-official. And, you'd take great offense.

There, I believe that had enough op-ed flair interspersed to qualify as a "good unbiased piece".

Well, I decided to read some of this Yon fella, to see why the lefties are so upset.

I rather enjoyed it. I see it is a firsthand perspective, and gets into finer details the MSM press always leaves out.

I don't expect the MSM to gather even the basic sets of facts concerning anything in Iraq, and am well aware that the gapingly huge holes of pertinent standard information they leave out entirely plays to their anti-war hate Bush song so well. It's not just that I suppose, they do the same thing with almost every story. Even 60 minutes does it, where they have a bit mroe time to actually report on something.

Anyway, here is the link where:
( hope it comes up right)
"Yon picks up the weapon"http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/gates-of-fire.htm

There it is, the whole story, from the liars perspective for some. Nice pictures as well, close ups from the combat scene itself.

Was the piece good ? You bet it was. Would I read this kind of press day in and day out and only this ? No, I wouldn't, but it is a great supplement to the crap the MSM spews constantly.

It's always good to get a firsthand perspective.

I don't think anyone is impressed with the Bagdad Hotel reporters.

You always hear lately how the good reporter connects stories to actual personalities, that way the public can remain interested, and has a real person to relate to.
(Oh, like when a NYT reporter ® brought to light GE's retired CEO and his golden parachute package and his young trophy wife, and the press and public was finally mesmerized. )
You also hear how everything is about personalities in Washington, and the MSM press always makes it about personalities.
Well, what Yon does is about personalities, about real people, and if you ask me, it is exactly what these criticizers and their MSM kookballs are constantly parading as the ultimate in the way one delivers to the people.
I really appreciated that piece and the few others I read. I gleaned information from them the MSM is not providing. I'm sure they probably have the information they won't share, because it just doesn't fit their agenda.
Furthermore, I don't have to listen to some jerks soiled MSM's perfected all encompassing voice inflection, you know - their damned MSM TV dialect, which is really irritating, while reading one of Yon's pieces.
Now, that would be a good thread - why does the MSM TV have their very own voice inflection dialect ? What the heck is that ? Do they get trained for that crap in some J school, or does the " bubble life" provide it "naturally" after a while? ( I suspect they realize it is so much doo-doo they are spewing, that it is much easier to present it in a voice they don't normally use, thereby "divorcing" themselves from being that piece of dirt when not rolling.)

Yes, I liked Yon, a lot. I like to watch C-Span, though, too. I like the History channel. A&E. To read. Science.
I suppose most people who want that MSM talking point sound bite PC buttered parsed half truth and plenty left out wouldn't enjoy Yon for very long. There seems to be a group of people very averse to details- very averse to anything really interesting, averse to the type of truths that come through in Yon's writing style. Those same people I can do without, frankly. Too many lies, too much fluff, too much misdirection, too much agenda, too much crap, and way to much "sheeplism". Way too little truth.

"from Still Soldiering On on February 13, 2006 08:14 AM
Well, don't hold back your opinion, Doc.

Some men and women of my rank would be a bit offended by your lashing, but I'm not.
"

Don't worry I won't. Don't hold back your bloviating chest thumping either. I see you won't address anything but that you are better than someone else, and now claim you'll find out why Yon wasn't let go. LOL

I'm laughing my arse off at you. The arrogant blowhard, who claims he knows what he would do in another's position, and then claims he'd do better, all by the books. In other words, a big fat liar.

Yes, just the type who couldn't possibly be offended, but he knows his peers would be.

"Some men and women of my rank would be a bit offended..."

But you aren't. LOL

Let me tell you why you aren't offended. Because deep down you know I am correct. That's why it doesn't hurt.

You aren't the only one whose been to war, so don't even pretend it's a tight ship. Here's a better word for it: cluster4^6k . here's a description of the GC code breaking in Iraq: ALL THE TIME

"Despite your criticism of me, I'm very proud ..."

Look, I don't give a dang what you're proud of, and my criticism of you rests wholly on the crap you've typed up in this thread. Indeed, your text was picked apart for the crap it still is. No former, present, or future position you may or may not hold can ever change that.

"I could not allow a breach of the Geneva Conventions of War to occur on my watch."

Dozens already have if indeed you watch anything but your own reflection.
This is more pabble, pure braggadocio, not anywhere near actual conditions on the ground in Iraq. Total crap. Mr. jerk spewing some more homilies to himself. LOL

Wow. Some of us have more than adequate experience to put that shameful lie to rest permanently. I'm sure though, as the other, you'll carry it to your blog grave.

This brings up again, exactly what is wrong with the press. No matter the evidence abundant, they always feel they are 100% unistream, and boy are they more than happy to go around bragging how much they are, even as endless evidence to the contrary is all about. It's not about the truth, it's about offering a perception, a perception they want to elicit in the viewers or readers.

There aren't any facts, just supposition and what ifs, concluded with rock hard futuristic or never happened and never will conclusions. When the chance occurrence does reign down, it suddenly becomes silent.

"It's also policy, which exists not because it's the law, but because we've learned from experience that it's the right thing to do."

Well, rules are always flexible. In fact the whole problem is way too many rules. That certainly is true in almost every facet of the USA experience, including the battlefield.

We doesn't include DEUCE FOUR. Let's be CLEAR ABOUT THAT.
This time your inflexibility LOST, by your own admission. We, however, have merely the empty words of some texter, puffing up like blowfish.

Now, I'd hate to not address your attempts at actualy discussing what you claimed you came here to talk about.

"I take a longer view of this issue. I don't think it boils down to "what's wrong with the press." That's too easy. It reminds of so many of the generation over me who blamed the press for Vietnam."

Well, that is a rather shadey statement. I've heard the congress blamed, the various Presidents, the mission idea itself, and even John Kerry and his ilk, which would be the protesters, the US citizen activists.

"It was the intellectually lazy thing to do."

Still is apparently. Not like you have said anything to counter it.

" It didn't confront our own problems "

Which are?

" and actually postponed a lot of the important reforms we instituted during the Reagan and Bush years to rebuild our military."

Oh, a weak military. Was that the Vietnam problem ? Is that your claim ?

What are our own problems, since they aren't the press, as I suspected you were saying a post or two ago, and outlined that quite effectively ?

I guess that is for the birds to guess. Yes, we'll leave it for more empty speculations. No discussion, just beating around the Bush.

"So here I see a young man, or at least a man who is not all that old, who quits his job as a MSM reporter to rejoin the military. He has a unique perspective on the press and the military and the "information war" that we fight, and everyone attacks him. "

Hmm. This thread is about the attack on Yon, not Prine.

"I think whether we agree with him or not is irrelevant. "

Oh, just like your disagreement with Yon, is irrelevant, right ? LOL
Wow.

"I think he might be someone we should tap to better understand the media, and for the media to understand us. Why aren't we using that resource? "

Well, gee, we are using that resource, in fact this thread uses it right now. We have a lot of internet websites as well. We are using those to good effect. This is a direct way the MSM press could learn plenty if they cared to.

" I can't imagine that catching a civilian guest of your command shooting at people, which is an obvious violation of the treaty obligations of the country I serve, is some minor incident.

I read the LAT's version, and Yon's version, and I still would have to make the decision as a commander to expel him. "

Well, since it never happened to you that is understandable, that you can't imagine it is a minor incident. I'll also take the last sentence there as admission that you do now believe Yon. So, scratch that prior swipe of crap that he may be lying. Glad to clear one of those jerk statements off the map.

"I guess I see this as a military officer ..."

Keep guessing. That's not the reason you purport to see it that way. The reason has already been pointed out.

I'm sure we're all looking forward to Yon's commander's version of things you'll bring us, and outlines of Prine's correspondence or the like. Heck, you should bring them into the forum for a visit.

We can harldy all wait, I'm sure.

To be brief, he told The Truth. Something most of the MSM refuses to do. They focus on nats instead of elephants. Their shameful misinformation and reporting during Vietnam will not be repeated. This GWOT is a morally correct war confronting evil with good.

Leave a comment

Here are some quick tips for adding simple Textile formatting to your comments, though you can also use proper HTML tags:

*This* puts text in bold.

_This_ puts text in italics.

bq. This "bq." at the beginning of a paragraph, flush with the left hand side and with a space after it, is the code to indent one paragraph of text as a block quote.

To add a live URL, "Text to display":http://windsofchange.net/ (no spaces between) will show up as Text to display. Always use this for links - otherwise you will screw up the columns on our main blog page.




Recent Comments
  • TM Lutas: Jobs' formula was simple enough. Passionately care about your users, read more
  • sabinesgreenp.myopenid.com: Just seeing the green community in action makes me confident read more
  • Glen Wishard: Jobs was on the losing end of competition many times, read more
  • Chris M: Thanks for the great post, Joe ... linked it on read more
  • Joe Katzman: Collect them all! Though the French would be upset about read more
  • Glen Wishard: Now all the Saudis need is a division's worth of read more
  • mark buehner: Its one thing to accept the Iranians as an ally read more
  • J Aguilar: Saudis were around here (Spain) a year ago trying the read more
  • Fred: Good point, brutality didn't work terribly well for the Russians read more
  • mark buehner: Certainly plausible but there are plenty of examples of that read more
  • Fred: They have no need to project power but have the read more
  • mark buehner: Good stuff here. The only caveat is that a nuclear read more
  • Ian C.: OK... Here's the problem. Perceived relevance. When it was 'Weapons read more
  • Marcus Vitruvius: Chris, If there were some way to do all these read more
  • Chris M: Marcus Vitruvius, I'm surprised by your comments. You're quite right, read more
The Winds Crew
Town Founder: Left-Hand Man: Other Winds Marshals
  • 'AMac', aka. Marshal Festus (AMac@...)
  • Robin "Straight Shooter" Burk
  • 'Cicero', aka. The Quiet Man (cicero@...)
  • David Blue (david.blue@...)
  • 'Lewy14', aka. Marshal Leroy (lewy14@...)
  • 'Nortius Maximus', aka. Big Tuna (nortius.maximus@...)
Other Regulars Semi-Active: Posting Affiliates Emeritus:
Winds Blogroll
Author Archives
Categories
Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en