....LMB: "Embed-o-rama"....

April 22, 2003

During Iraq War 2, the U.S. military allowed American (and foreign? I don't know) reporters to "embed" themselves with individual military units and cover the invasion from there. On one hand, it was hailed as a great leap forward in press freedom. On the other, it was condemned as an attempt to control and bias reporters in favor of the military action. Personally, I think it was clearly aimed at biasing the coverage, but it also led to some good reporting as well. But here's a host of links with other people's stories and thoughts about the embedding process, some of whome were embedded themselves.

Gyllenhaal: Up-close coverage of war in Iraq served readers and the rank and file- "The result was layers of coverage that never existed before, from live battlefield reports to the dispatches and photos about local troops that made their way to even the smallest papers and radio stations."

Embedded reporter comes away from front lines torn- "Look up Stockholm syndrome in the dictionary, though, and you'll get a pretty good idea about what I was going through in those first hours away from combat. I had lived so closely for so long under such extreme circumstances with the Second Battalion, 11th Marines, fighting their way through Iraq, that I began to think and feel like a Marine. Therein lies the quandary for the hundreds of 'embedded' reporters and photographers who covered Gulf War II and the editors who paid them to go. Did we sell our souls as journalists for access to the death and destruction at the front lines?"

Iraq Embed Program Hailed As a Success- "The sand, the food, the physical exhaustion — NBC's Chip Reid is glad to put those behind him. But as a journalist, being embedded with a military unit during the war in Iraq exceeded his expectations. 'We had total freedom to cover virtually everything we wanted to cover,' he said."

Interview with Michele Norris- "I'm not going to say it's been the best war journalism ever because I think there was some fantastic journalism that came out of the Vietnam war and World War II... There've been a lot of unsung 'embeds' who have been doing some incredible work."

The embedded in Iraq: stenography for the Pentagon- "We've benefited from some excellent and courageous reporting, particularly from reporters in the field and in Baghdad. In some sense, we lived with them through the sandstorms and firefights, and were reminded of the hell that is war. But many of the embedded reporters also came to consider the troops their friends and protectors. They relied on them, in some cases, as their only information source. Too many reporters came to see themselves as latter-day Larrys of Arabia, wearing military-issue camouflage and combat boots."

The media's conflict: Experts say access to troops helped more than hurt- "With the fog - and dust - of war beginning to lift in Iraq, the media's performance on the battlefield will be scrutinized almost as closely as the military's. The eight media analysts surveyed for this story differed somewhat in their assessments, but a broad consensus emerged on three major issues..."

Media vs. truth: If public listens truth can't lose- not exactly embedding, but on the same general theme of government and media. Story from a college kid who interned at the Office of Public Diplomacy, a de facto propaganda agency. I find the author pretty naive (even more than she seems to admit to herself), but she worked at the office and I didn't, so take that how you will.

Posted by Jake at 12:43 PM | TrackBack (0)

The only good in-bedded reporting I saw was from the Aussies who went with US troops. That's who wrote most of the descriptions of shooting civilians. For some reason they never got Stockholmed.

All the others might as well have been describing the play-by-play of a video game.

Posted by: Z at April 22, 2003 09:28 PM

not a comment but a request.do you have any pics of 2nd Bn 11th marines while you were with them. and can you send some. reason why because that's my Battalion and I was not with them, during the time I was and still are in Fast company ( Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team )

Posted by: Sgt Gonzalez David O at June 27, 2003 06:53 AM

not a comment but a request.do you have any pics of 2nd Bn 11th marines while you were with them. and can you send some. reason why because that's my Battalion and I was not with them, during the time I was and still are in Fast company ( Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team )

Posted by: Sgt Gonzalez David O at June 27, 2003 06:54 AM

not a comment but a request.do you have any pics of 2nd Bn 11th marines while you were with them. and can you send some. reason why because that's my Battalion and I was not with them, during the time I was and still are in Fast company ( Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team )

Posted by: Sgt Gonzalez David O at June 27, 2003 06:54 AM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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