I'm trying. I've been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it."Dude, Where's My Civil War?" (Ralph Peters, New York Post, March 5, 2006)
Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan.
Many journalists are, indeed, brave and conscientious; yet some in Baghdad - working for "prestigious" publications - aren't out on the city streets the way they pretend to be.
They're safe in their enclaves, protected by hired guns, complaining that it's too dangerous out on the streets. They're only in Baghdad for the byline, and they might as well let their Iraqi employees phone it in to the States. Whenever you see a column filed from Baghdad by a semi-celeb journalist with a "contribution" by a local Iraqi, it means this: The Iraqi went out and got the story, while the journalist stayed in his or her room.
And the Iraqi stringers have cracked the code: The Americans don't pay for good news. So they exaggerate the bad.
And some of them have agendas of their own.
Hat tip: Chapomatic.