Embedding Down with the Troops

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The Pentagon says it is ready to "embed" journalists along side front line troops during any action in Iraq. Some 100 foreign reporters will also be assigned to U.S. units.

This suggests the Bush administration is confident any conflict will be brief. Either that, or the White House has grown really tired of bad press and plans to thin the herd a bit.

NEXT: Bolivian Marching Orders

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  1. For the most part the press is one big gaggle that chase the stories first posted on the Drudge Report. They learn soon enough that if they ask hard questions they get to do so once. Thereafter they are ignored or ridiculed.

    Military reporting will be even more controlled, for some good reasons and some not so good. For instance, satellite modems allow almost instant communication but can give away positions before a fight is finished. It’s probably good to control that. Pictures of burning flesh, though, and battlefield confusion will get nixed because it doesn’t advance the military’s goal of being perceived as professionally competent, surgical strikers.

    I guess we’ll see how it goes. We’ll be there a long time and I’m sure there will be enough foreign reporters to give us a better picture.

  2. List of journalists I’d like to see embedded on the front line during heavy combat with Iraqi soliders: Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Larry King, Charlie Rose, Katie Couric, Phil Donahue.

    List of journalists I’d like to see “embed” with me: Ashleigh Banfield.

  3. haven’t we ALL gotten a little weary of the press?

    Hey…that’s it! Every so often, the government must have a war to thin the herd. It’s a conspiracy to control the press! What a chilling effect this will have on the First Amendment.

  4. This suggests the Bush administration is confident any conflict will be brief. Either that, or the White House has grown really tired of bad press and plans to thin the herd a bit.

    Sounds like a “win/win” scenario to me. 🙂

  5. whatever happened to that newsbabe Sinidad O’Brien?

  6. “Embed” the press? This must come from the same people that think people “interface” instead of interact. Either that, or the government has a secret process for shrinking down journalists, and actually embedding them in the soldiers. I knew that’s what Bush was talking about when he said the press was getting under his skin.

  7. In Bush the elder’s, Gulf War I, the press played lap dog, eagerly disseminating everything in the military’s daily press release, especially all the neato smart weapon video. They lapped it up and spit it without so much as a raised eyebrow, willing dupes in such propaganda stories such as the Patriot missiles effectiveness against scuds.
    hmmm PATRIOT, patriot… That word is starting to acquire an ugly side.

  8. Doonsbury had an amusing bit: Soldier speaking to commanding officer B.D.: “Permission to embed Ashleigh Banfied, Sir!”

  9. Well, the Iraqis have useful idiots as human shields. We might as well have ours…

  10. I like this idea. The last gulf war we had no idea at all what was going on – all I remember was carefully selected film of smart bombs going into buildings (never saw a single dud or miss, did we?) and the AAA over Baghdad. That was it, as far as I recall.

    Sounds like we’re going to be treated a little more like grownups this time around. (I’m assuming of course the reporters are actually going to be allowed into the thick of it – not left behind in tents or something).

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