July 31, 2005

MICHAEL FUMENTO reports on press negativity about Iraq, and tells me something I didn’t know:

One of the reporters who was gnawing on Yost’s right leg and working her way up to the pelvis, Knight-Ridder Baghdad Bureau Chief Hannah Allam, challenged him to go to Baghdad, adding facetiously “it might be too far for Mr. Yost to travel (and I don’t blame him, given the treacherous airport road to reach our fortress-like hotel).”

So she’s admitting she stays in a heavily protected hotel, which means she’s also in the safety of the Green Zone. She doesn’t say that all civilians taking the airport road travel in a vehicle that’s so heavily armored it would take a nuclear improvised explosive to stop it.

As it happens, I did go to Iraq. I was embedded with the Marines at Camp Fallujah in hostile Anbar province, nearly lost my life, and returned with a colostomy bag as a souvenir. But before that I walked and drove through the streets of Fallujah, which for some odd reason fell off the media map right after the major blood-letting ended. I reported back on progress in reconstruction of buildings and providing electricity and water to parts of the area that NEVER had it. And I can’t begin to count the e-mails I got from soldiers and Marines thanking me for telling it like it is.

Yost was right; media coverage on the war is terribly slanted – such that it may threaten our ability to win. This was much more clearly shown in the reaction to his piece than in the column itself.

Read the whole thing. (Via Faces from the Front, who manages to get outside the Green Zone).

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