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Commentary: How the media changed
UPI ^ | 4/8/3 | Martin Walker

Posted on 04/08/2003 3:24:11 PM PDT by What Is Ain't

BASRA, Iraq, April 8 (UPI) -- Something fundamental has happened to the British and U.S. media during this war. Those who have spent time on the front lines with the coalition troops, whether embedded with individual units or traveling independently through liberated Iraq, have learned to love the military.

Time after time, they saved our necks. They put our soft-skinned vehicles behind their armor when the shells came in. They told us when to duck and when it was safe to move. They shared their food and water with us, and were embarrassingly grateful when we let them use our satellite phones to call home. We were embarrassed that it was all we could for them.

We saw how hard they tried to avoid civilian casualties, and the risks they took by their self-restraint. We began to understand their quiet pride in their skills, and the plain decency of the men and women who follow the profession of arms.

When we got lost, U.S. Marines went out of their way to put us right, and British officers sketched "safe" areas on a map. They are kind to one another, and considerate to civilians like us.

"Thank God for the British army," said a grinning UPI photographer Chris Corder (an American) as we tucked in behind the comforting bulk of a Warrior armored infantry vehicle of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards one night outside Basra, and were offered a cup of tea.

Above all, they are no longer "the military." They have become individuals that we have got to know, like little Robert, who to his regret is too short to stand guard outside Buckingham Palace, and has to remain behind doing stores duty.

There is Paul from Northern Ireland who is genuinely upset at the poverty of the Iraqi people he sees and fills his pockets with biscuits and candy to give to the children. There is Sarge, who grumbles that this war is all about oil and is far from sure he likes it. There is Chris, a volunteer from Zimbabwe, whose dream is to play his bagpipes for the Queen, and who hesitantly asks if we can find out if Manchester Union won its match.

With the British troops and the U.S. 3rd Division, with the 101st Airborne and the Marines, with the gunners and the medics and the Air Force and aboard ships, there are hundreds of journalists learning the same lessons, getting to know the same kinds of troops, and realizing that we in the media had better rethink the way we do our work.

One of the consequences of the way the British and Americans have dropped conscription and now use professional armies is that the media and the broader population have become disconnected from their troops.

The military have become a private club, and one that has learned to distrust most of the media, who know little of the people who fight in their country's name. The legacy of wars in dubious causes like Vietnam or some of the British colonial wars has widened the gulf of mutual ignorance and mistrust.

This still happens. At one of the daily briefings at Coalition Command headquarters in Qatar (about 300 miles behind the lines), a large and skeptical media corps became restive at what they saw as military stonewalling or weasel words about responsibility for civilian casualties in the Baghdad bombing.

Journalists on the front lines took a very different view of the need for operational security. We did not even complain when we were ordered to turn off our satellite phones because the Iraqi guns seemed to be able to zero on their transmissions, or when we were asked not to report something.

"Screw the nut on it, mate," a British SAS Special Forces trooper told me when I came across him questioning one of his Iraqi agents inside Basra. "No photos, and not a word until Basra falls -- all right?"

Of course it was alright. Forget journalistic objectivity. There were armed men across the road trying to kill me, and my protection depended on these British troops, many of whom I knew by their first names. There was no question which side I was on.

In the same way, those of us in the field knew that those gloomy armchair pundit accounts from London and Washington of setbacks and "pauses" were missing the point.

We learned to understand the painstaking way the British were gathering intelligence in Basra and steadily separating the Saddam loyalists from the bulk of the population -- so the place finally fell like a house of cards.

Air Marshal Brian Burridge, the British commander, suggests that the hundreds of journalists who have learned a new understanding of the military could change the way the media covers war. It is about time.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: ccrm; embeddedreport; embeds; iraqifreedom; military; newnormal; reporting; respect
It's interesting how a dose of reality affects these J-school elitists.
1 posted on 04/08/2003 3:24:11 PM PDT by What Is Ain't
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To: What Is Ain't
Great read. I'll give you several bumps on this one.

Hope he still has his job after his editor reads the story.

Trust he doesn't care if he does.

God bless him.
2 posted on 04/08/2003 3:30:00 PM PDT by Blueflag
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To: What Is Ain't
BTTT
3 posted on 04/08/2003 3:30:25 PM PDT by Blueflag
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To: What Is Ain't
A must bump.
4 posted on 04/08/2003 3:30:46 PM PDT by Bahbah (Pray for our Troops)
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To: What Is Ain't
This guy seems to get it...very nice story.
5 posted on 04/08/2003 3:32:05 PM PDT by Rubber_Duckie_27
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To: Blueflag
one more time ...

Great read.
6 posted on 04/08/2003 3:32:15 PM PDT by Blueflag
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To: What Is Ain't
Great, great post.

This is going to drive the socialists here in the USA absolutely nuts. All they have is propaganda, and now they are going to lose that, too.

Watch for the howls, from the usual suspects.
7 posted on 04/08/2003 3:35:55 PM PDT by MonroeDNA ("Jessica Lynch! We are United States soldiersand we're here to protect you and take you home.")
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To: What Is Ain't
One of the consequences of the way the British and Americans have dropped conscription and now use professional armies is that the media and the broader population have become disconnected from their troops.

I would disagree with this statement. I think the entire post-vietnam experience has been about America learning to love our military again, and learning to use it rightly, for good. Clinton couldn't destroy that bond however hard he tried. And now the democrats and the media are going to have to learn that the world doesn't dance to their tune any more. Because they're soft on crime, soft on defense, and soft on socialism. They are racist, they are classist, they are elitist, and they are pigs.

It doesn't take a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows, to steal one of their old lines.
8 posted on 04/08/2003 3:37:26 PM PDT by johnb838 (Understand the root causes of American anger)
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To: What Is Ain't
Of course it was alright. Forget journalistic objectivity.

Peter Jennings would have reported it....the swine.

All hail the embedded reporter idea.

9 posted on 04/08/2003 3:38:52 PM PDT by eddie willers
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To: What Is Ain't
BTW, wasn't it Rummy's idea to do the imbeds?

Rummy is absolutely BRILLIANT!
10 posted on 04/08/2003 3:39:02 PM PDT by MonroeDNA ("Jessica Lynch! We are United States soldiersand we're here to protect you and take you home.")
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To: *CCRM; First_Salute; bert; calypgin; Landru; ForGod'sSake; Peacerose
This is a great read. I especially like this.
There was no question which side I was on.
Oh, if only the rest of mediadom didn't work so hard at making moral equivalence arguments and instead faced up to the fact that one side in this conflict is working for freedom of the press.
11 posted on 04/08/2003 3:40:29 PM PDT by Mr. Mulliner ("I could be a really good Christian if other people didn't mess me up all the time.")
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To: MonroeDNA
Sean Hannity cited another origin today for the embeds, but I forget ...

BTTT
12 posted on 04/08/2003 3:41:00 PM PDT by Blueflag
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To: MonroeDNA; Blueflag
I think that Victoria Clarke gets the credit for the idea.
13 posted on 04/08/2003 3:41:38 PM PDT by alnick
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To: MonroeDNA
Sending this back to the top ...
14 posted on 04/08/2003 3:45:06 PM PDT by Pegita
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To: MonroeDNA
It was Tori Clark's idea....
15 posted on 04/08/2003 3:45:50 PM PDT by libbylu
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To: MonroeDNA
Rummy is absolutely BRILLIANT!

I agree. He drives the Libs absolutely nuts! The embed concept has done more to jolt reporters back to reality than anything I've seen in the last 35 years.

Martin Walker is a pretty hard case, too. He's a Leftist and I think he started with Britain's Guardian newspaper which is left of the Daily Worker. I just checked his biography and got the feeling he might have been "growing" a little over the past few years. The title of his last book was: "Bill Clinton: the President They Deserve." I hope he meant the people who voted for Klintoon.

16 posted on 04/08/2003 3:47:07 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: What Is Ain't
I wonder if this is said about Israeli troops fighting terrorism.
17 posted on 04/08/2003 3:50:56 PM PDT by yonif
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To: What Is Ain't
"There was no question which side I was on."

A shocking admission coming from a Western journalist!

18 posted on 04/08/2003 3:51:30 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Subvert the dominant cliche!)
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To: What Is Ain't
There is Sarge, who grumbles that this war is all about oil and is far from sure he likes it.

Hmm.

19 posted on 04/08/2003 3:54:28 PM PDT by LisaFab (Free Miguel Estrada!)
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To: LisaFab
Saving Private Ryan Syndrone
20 posted on 04/08/2003 3:58:33 PM PDT by CT
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To: What Is Ain't
There was no question which side I was on.

The days of Ernie Pyle have returned.

21 posted on 04/08/2003 3:59:04 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: libbylu
Tori Clark is my official new hero!!!

22 posted on 04/08/2003 4:15:40 PM PDT by MonroeDNA ("Jessica Lynch! We are United States soldiersand we're here to protect you and take you home.")
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To: All
The best thing about the embed program is that it will be impossible to scream 'conspiracy' when you have 700+ people saying and seeing the same thing.

The other is the fact that the soldier, to some who never thought it would happen, has become their hero.
23 posted on 04/08/2003 4:20:21 PM PDT by najida (Ignorance is temporary, but stupidity is forever.)
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To: Bernard Marx
The subtle, but important thing to note, is that socialists depend on spin, and disinformation.

They hate the sunshine of truth. Control freaks always do.

Like China, and Cuba, and NK, and democrats in general, and global warming, and second hand smoke.

Can't stand the raw truth, and hate it when people come to their own conclusions. They know better than us, dont'cha see?

Reagan knew this, and it was his core philosophy that if you let people know the truth, they would always prefer individual freedom, rather than some group thinking for them. He was right.

24 posted on 04/08/2003 4:23:13 PM PDT by MonroeDNA ("Jessica Lynch! We are United States soldiersand we're here to protect you and take you home.")
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To: MonroeDNA
I heard today that Torie Clark reportedly had a lot to do with it. Whoever, it WAS a brilliant move!
25 posted on 04/08/2003 4:26:52 PM PDT by Cordova Belle
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To: Cordova Belle
NOTE TO SELF: Read entire thread before making unnecessary posts.
26 posted on 04/08/2003 4:27:49 PM PDT by Cordova Belle
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To: What Is Ain't
Victoria Clarke thought up the idea. But Rummy and Bush approved it. Even in the worst administrations, people have good ideas, but they never get implemented.

"Of course it was alright. Forget journalistic objectivity. There were armed men across the road trying to kill me, and my protection depended on these British troops, many of whom I knew by their first names. There was no question which side I was on."

27 posted on 04/08/2003 4:48:07 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Blueflag
Did you get the impression that the writer for UPI was free and astray rather than embedded? It seems like he is traveling ir at least visiting units, but if lost, must not be embedded?
28 posted on 04/08/2003 4:48:17 PM PDT by bert (Don't Panic !)
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To: What Is Ain't
bump
29 posted on 04/08/2003 4:52:51 PM PDT by Lady Eileen
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To: What Is Ain't
bump
30 posted on 04/08/2003 5:03:09 PM PDT by harry palmer
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To: What Is Ain't
Good reasons for mandatory Military Service or foreign service of some kind.
31 posted on 04/08/2003 5:05:21 PM PDT by TheLion
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To: CT
Saving Private Ryan Syndrone

Didn't see it. Couldn't bear the sight of spoiled brat commies dressing up in heroes' uniforms. And I don't care if Tom Hanks is a pro-vet nice guy.

Sorry, didn't mean to grumble at you. My stomach is still queasy from seeing that Bill & Hillary! high-school pic to raise money for FR.

32 posted on 04/08/2003 5:09:39 PM PDT by LisaFab (Free Miguel Estrada!)
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To: TheLion
Good reasons for mandatory Military Service or foreign service of some kind.

Negative Ghostrider. Make it mandatory and it is no longer professional. The reason our military is so great is because it is volunteer. I would rather have a misunderstood military of today's caliber than a military that everyone understood due to conscription, but that everyone hated (due to conscription).

33 posted on 04/08/2003 5:16:32 PM PDT by thedugal (The leftists will eat crow til they sh!t feathers!)
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To: zot; The Shrew; Fracas; ohioWfan; Wphile; goodnesswins; rintense; Miss Marple; kayak; lawgirl; ...
zot, The Shrew, this is very interesting in light of our discussion on the same subject the other day.

Fracas, thought you might find this interesting if you hadn't seen it.
34 posted on 04/08/2003 5:17:10 PM PDT by GretchenEE (We export freedom)
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To: GretchenEE
One satisfying read, for sure!
35 posted on 04/08/2003 5:37:17 PM PDT by Republic
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To: bert
I got the impression he was/is embedded.

The 'wrong turn' might have been about the latrine or the mess hall

;-)
36 posted on 04/08/2003 5:54:06 PM PDT by Blueflag
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To: What Is Ain't
I'll bump this as soon as I get over the shock of a leftist having written it.

GREAT ARTICLE
37 posted on 04/08/2003 6:05:24 PM PDT by kitkat
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To: What Is Ain't
I'll bump this as soon as I get over the shock of a leftist having written it.

GREAT ARTICLE
38 posted on 04/08/2003 6:05:25 PM PDT by kitkat
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To: What Is Ain't
NOw that you've read this article, read this one!

Revenge against the bias

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_768569.html?menu=news.wariniraq
39 posted on 04/08/2003 6:11:14 PM PDT by Blueflag
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To: thedugal
Your point is well taken....stay with volunteer Military. How can we expose people enough to know what they have here. Maybe foreign service of somekind. Is there some other way to do this?
40 posted on 04/08/2003 6:13:03 PM PDT by TheLion
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To: What Is Ain't
Awesome article. Thanks.
41 posted on 04/08/2003 6:17:45 PM PDT by Jaded (Close the BORDERS and the CHECKBOOK!! (schpelin iz opshenul))
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To: What Is Ain't
This guy has a future as far as I'm concerned. He's absolutely right, the embedded media will come away from all of this with a whole new understanding of our military. Hopefully, that will come in handy at some future date. The liberal media is going down the drain quickly, and there will rise a new media that is objective and doesn't automatically hate America.
42 posted on 04/08/2003 6:19:50 PM PDT by McGavin999
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To: TheLion
mandatory sterilization of liberals? just a thought :)
43 posted on 04/08/2003 8:42:50 PM PDT by thedugal (The leftists will eat crow til they sh!t feathers!)
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To: Mr. Mulliner; scholar; joanie-f; Mudboy Slim; sultan88; FBD; conservativemusician; Happygal; ...
This guy -- a "jouranlist" no less -- is actually speaking honestly & from the heart.
An excellent piece & a sight for some very sore eyes.

...simply excellent.

44 posted on 04/09/2003 5:54:43 AM PDT by Landru
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To: Landru
"very sore eyes."

You didn't say anything about that...did that dude Blacken yer eyes?!

LOL...MUD

45 posted on 04/09/2003 6:01:52 AM PDT by Mudboy Slim (Let's Jist Add William Jefferson Clinton to Dubyuh's Axis of Evil and Git It Over With!!)
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To: Cyber-Band; Ligeia; Coop; hchutch; sauropod; kristinn; tgslTakoma; Pippin; jla
"MAC-AULIFFE!!"
(To be sung to Hank Williams, Jr.'s version of his daddy's song, "KAW-LIGA!!")

McAuliffe is a two-bit minion grovellin' fer RAT's Whores!!
He sold his Soul to Ol' Slick Willie...sold Chi-Coms OUR Guns of War!!
MAC-AULIFFE!! OOOOOOOOOHHH!! Grinnin' there as if Right doesn't know...
FReepers demand answers...you gotta go!!

T-Mac always wore his pin-striped suits and pissed good folks off a lot...
That Traitor stole from Union folks and smoked way too much pot!!
MAC-AULIFFE!!! OOOOOOOHHH!!! Too corrupt to ever do what's Right...
Because yer heart is stained from constant lyin'!!

(CHORUS)
IN-DICT McAuliffe...Equal Justice demands this!!
CON-VICT McAuliffe...'Tis in Prison he shall live!!
Is it any wonder that Slick's face is red...
McAuliffe, yer Party's good as dead!!

McAuliffe is a lowly minion...Sheeple just don't care.
His fate is fixed to the Clinton Traitors but the Voters ain't aware!!
MAC-AULIFFE!!! OOOOOOOOOOHHH!! In yer trial evidence'll grow...
Right'll make sure, then, the Sheeple know.

Then one day that Winnick shyster bought the Indian maid
And took her, oh, so far away, but young McAuliffe stayed
MAC-AULIFFE!! OOOOOOOOOHHH!! Punk stole from Winnick's Global Crossing...
And wishes he was still McLowlife's Scheme.

(CHORUS)
IN-DICT MAC-AULIFFE!! Equal Justice demands this!!
CON-VICT MAC-AULIFFE!! In a prison cell he shall live!!
Is it any wonder that Left's face is red...
MAC-AULIFFE...RAT Party's good as dead!!!

Mudboy Slim

Me and the Missuz were married nine years ago today [7/31/02] at the St. John's Church on Church Hill in Richmond, VA...the same church wherein Patrick Henry gave his famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech. Any role that this thread can play in the Inevitable Indictment of DNC Chairman Terrence "The Punk" McAuliffe is dedicated to my partner-fer-life.

Anybody else out there got Terry McAuliffe's Home Address on their Rolodex?!

Let's Roll...MUD


1 posted on 07/31/2002 2:03 AM EDT by Mudboy Slim
46 posted on 04/09/2003 6:04:46 AM PDT by Mudboy Slim (Let's Jist Add William Jefferson Clinton to Dubyuh's Axis of Evil and Git It Over With!!)
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To: Mudboy Slim
"You didn't say anything about that...did that dude Blacken yer eyes?!"

Yea, & what about the article?

...shoddy, shameless, shilling. :o)

47 posted on 04/09/2003 6:08:11 AM PDT by Landru
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To: Mudboy Slim
Good article! Thanks for the bump, and a very Happy Anniversary to you and your better half.

I must say I'm not particularly impressed with her taste in men. :-p

48 posted on 04/09/2003 6:44:20 AM PDT by Coop (God bless our troops!)
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To: What Is Ain't
Another Must-Read BTTT.
49 posted on 04/09/2003 4:32:56 PM PDT by Cordova Belle ("I love it when a plan comes together!!")
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To: GretchenEE
zot, The Shrew, this is very interesting in light of our discussion on the same subject the other day.

Yes. It does have implications for the future of journalism.

From personal observation, this reporter decided: "There was no question which side I was on."

And from personal observation, I and others have decided: "There is no question which side Peter Jennings is on."
50 posted on 04/17/2003 7:34:43 PM PDT by zot
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