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April 28, 2003

Interesting postmortem on Press coverage of the war in Iraq

Howard Kurtz has an interesting first cut at an overview of how the press handled the war in Iraq.   There were no real revelations in the piece, merely a cataloging of views, quotes, and statistics, but it is a starting point.   Personally, I think the biggest story of the war was the success of the Pentagon's "embed" program, which, in effect, was a return to the press relations strategy used by US forces during WWII.

Another interesting development will be to see how the attitudes toward the military of the formerly embedded reporters themselves changed as result of their experiences.   Most Ivy League intellectual types (which would accurately describe the vast majority of journalists) personally know few (if any) members of the armed forces.   In my own experience, I didn't meet anyone who had actually served in the military until I got to grad school, where I met a number of Rhodes Scholars who were West Point or Air Force Academy grads.   (This is not strictly true, since there was the scary mountain-man Viet Nam vet who once picked me up hitchhiking back to Portland, Oregon in the summer after my freshman year at college, but that's another story.)   I was pleasantly surprised by the character and ethics of the young officers I met at Oxford.   I'm not sure what was expecting, but it certainly wasn't the thoughtful, intelligent, ethically minded young men and women I actually found.   I suspect that many of the former embeds will have had a similar epiphany on the road to Baghdad.  (With apologies to Paul.)

April 28, 2003 at 12:02 PM | Permalink


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