Changes in the Press

 Posted by on 21 March 2003 at 9:01 am  Uncategorized
Mar 212003

Jed Babbin and I have had similar thoughts about the consequences of embedding the press. He writes:

For those of us who wore the uniform in the Vietnam era, the most amazing thing is not the capability of our soldiers, or their equipment, or the level of success so far. It’s not the calm, tough aura around the field grade and senior commanders. That stuff is all the norm. The amazement comes from the attitude of the press embedded with the troops.

During Vietnam, we shunned the press. They were the enemy, almost as much as the North Vietnamese were. They couldn’t be trusted, and deserved the mushroom treatment. The “five o’clock follies” body count briefings were meant to keep them at a distance. But the Newly Embedded Pressies (or “NEPs” if I am permitted to invent an acronym) are learning much in a prolonged lesson denied their predecessors. They are getting to know — and love — the guys on the line. Being there, seeing these young folks, their intelligence, training and enormous capability will implant a respect for the American soldier no other experience can. Big Dog Don Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers have built a bridge to the press that will pay off in fairness and understanding for decades to come.

This change is a Very Good Thing.

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