View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Monday, March 24, 2003
I think by now everyone agrees that embedding the reporters has been a terrific success. It gives credibility to the reports, credibility to the military, and promotes sympathy for the troops among the reporters with them. There are some problems of perspective - every firefight ends up being the decisive battle of the war, and the reporters still focus on the little that's going bad as opposed to the large strategic picture which is terrific. But on the whole, I think it really helps to have reporters with the troops talking about operations going off like clockwork, praising the morale, professionalism, and coolness of the troops under fire.

Not all the reporters are that ignorant. Greg Kelly,working for Fox News, and embedded with the 3ID, evidently served in the Marines. He and the anchor traded a few jokes about the culture clash there, but Kelly admitted that when it was time to call in an airstrike, he found himself almost reaching for the phone to do it himself.

My favorite "embedded moment" thus far came Saturday night. Fox was running a split-screen. On the left, the Iraqi disInformation minister was droning on about the brave defenders at Umm Qasr, and on the right, we saw the brave Marines opposing those cowards. If the timing had been just a bit better - 5 minutes or so - we would have simultaneously heard an off-screen explosion signalling the end of the Iraqi resistance in that town. As it was, it was pretty close to perfect.

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