January 31, 2007

THE PERIL OF A NEWSPAPER BLOG “…is that a reporter might say what he actually thinks before an editor catches up with him and makes him stop.”

UPDATE: More here from Blackfive and here from Marc Danziger. Danziger observes:

Look, Arkin’s a pretty good writer, and a veteran. But if you look at his opus in Google, you find him on the anti-military side of almost every issue that’s come along since the 1980′s.

And to appoint him lead blogger on military affairs for arguable the leading newspaper in the country certainly looks a lot like appointing ‘Focus On The Family’s’ James Dobson as the lead rap music critic.

I’m not saying that the major media are liberal, or biased against the military or anything. But this sure makes a good case for it.

Read the whole thing(s).

MORE: A related observation from The Mudville Gazette. And reader Ted Doty writes:

The problem is maybe less what Arkin wrote, than what his commenters wrote. After reading some of them, I feel like I should take a shower:

” I applaud the use of the word “mercenary” to describe the soldiers comprising our standing army. The rarity of its use in this context compelled me to comment.

“U.S. soldiers are by no means “volunteers,” any more than I am a volunteer plumber. When a person accepts compensation in the form of respect, glory, and not least of all monetary benefits (not to mention a host of other privileges for serving one’s country after service is completed) a transaction is made in which both sides receive some benefit. Fisherman in Alaska take on relatively larger risks in exchage [sic] for relatively larger reward. Why is the U.S. military of the 21st century so different in this regard?”

Jeez … is is 2004 all over again? Not that I question their patriotism or anything …

No. Though it’s no fairer to blame Arkin for his commenters, I stress, than any other blogger. But that doesn’t make the comments better. Most of them, however, take a decidedly different tone, more hostile to Arkin than to the troops.