In Kuwait City Matt Labash has an interesting conversation with US Marines public affairs officer Major Chris Hughes.
Though he admires their nerve, in this conflict, Hughes is not a big endorser of unilateral reporters. "No one has any business running for that border as an independent operator, that is foolish. No story is worth dying for. And these guys running pell mell through the battlefield, have no situational awareness. That's what's getting them killed. The people running around the battlefield present an incredible dilemma to the operational commander. Suddenly he has to think twice before engaging a target, because, 'My God--is that a news crew?'"
After blurting out this harsh judgment, Hughes almost seems contrite: "That's a helluva statement for me to make--saying they have no business there. In their mind, they have every right to be there, that's where the story is. But the thing that concerns me is that they're putting the young Marine's life at risk. The kid's now got to think, 'Is that a news crew I saw earlier, or is that my enemy?'"
The 500 or so embedded reporters are already providing excellent and extensive coverage of the war. The free roaming non-embedded reporters are making unnecessary problems for the soldiers. The argument makes sense.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 March 25 11:22 PM Military War, Rumours Of War|