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Thursday, June 15, 2006 

Vacancy at the Baghdad bureau

Apparently, the Baghdad bureau chief for USA Today had this to say about the people talking about the media bias in Iraq:

"Finally, to all the Chairborne Rangers advancing the vast "negative media" conspiracy from the safety and comfort of their parents' basements: If you think you can do better, I've got a spare bed in the Baghdad bureau."

Below is Jeff Schneider's reply to him.

----- Original Message -----

From: Jeff Schneider
To: csoriano@usatoday.com
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 9:46 AM
Subject: Chairborne Rangers
Mr. Soriano,

The folks who have screamed the loudest about the biased and negative media coverage of the Iraq War are by and large people like myself, servicemembers who have spent their time in the dustbowl of Iraq and know firsthand what an exceptionally poor job the media has done covering our actions. How poor do those who have been to Iraq perceive the coverage? Well, speaking for myself, there have been many times I have wondered if the reporters in Iraq were on the payroll of the insurgency.

The saying "if it bleeds, it leads" is certainly true regarding the coverage of this war. While every death is treated as if it is further proof that we are losing the war, there is nary a mention in the press of all the progress that has been made on the ground, or of all the successes that our soldiers have had working with the Iraqi people to rebuild their nation after the devastation suffered under the regime of Saddam Hussein.

I don't speak as someone who was confined to the relative safety of a basecamp during my deployment. I commanded a company running convoys throughout Iraq, and while on the roads we saw the worst of the insurgency - IEDs, mortars, and a couple of large ambushes. Despite the numerous engagements with hostile forces that I was involved in, I still have no doubt that the media coverage has been excessively negative, and I know that my opinion is shared by the overwhelming majority of folks who have worn the uniform in Iraq.

Considering that it is those who have been there in uniform spreading the word of the negative media coverage, I also take great exception to you talking about the 'Chairborne Rangers advancing the vast "negative media" conspiracy from the safety and comfort of their parents' basements'. Chairborne Rangers is a term used by those in the military, and since you are not there laying your ass on the line fighting it out every day, I don't think you have any business using that term. I know, I know, you're at risk, you're in Iraq, so you are laying your ass on the line, but really, what do you do? You go to a briefing everyday in the Green Zone. You ignore all the good news and report on the negative. You spread the message for the terrorists better than they can. You want to use military terms and be one of the cool kids? Put on 100 pounds of gear and go chase terrorists through the streets and down alleyways. Be the first one through the door chasing a terrorist into a house.

Or, report fairly on what is going on in Iraq, and if challenged about your bias, don't attack those who know a lot better than you do.


Jeff Schneider

Now that is what I call opening a major can of whoop-ass.

Please guys cut these mainstream media reporters some slack. Don't you realize how much danger they are in not only in Baghdad, but more importantly at home with their peers? It would mean the end of their invites to all those "cool" parties in Washington, New York, and Hollywood. They would never be invited to be on a panel, let alone a "Featured" interview on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, or CNN, if they EVER had a positive report that might be construed as making President Bush, or any of his “Appointed Minions” look good, or God forbid any of his decisions as being correct. It is much more important to have the right party in the White House, chairing committees in the Senate and House of Representatives, then establishing a democratic, pro-western Govt. in Iraq.

President Bush stays in the country for five hours, doesn't leave the Green zone, and doesn't even trust the new Iraqi government enough to tell the prime minister ahead of time that he is coming. Yeah, Iraq is doing just great.

Seriously, the reason reporters can't leave the Green Zone is because they will be shot dead. That's why soldiers can go around- they have lots of guns. Any country that requires you to go around in an armed vehicle isn't doing all that well, and the media is rightly reporting this fact. Heads out of the sand guys!

Reporters shot dead?
Sounds like the opening of a bon mot.


"President Bush stays in the country for five hours, doesn't leave the Green zone," ... "Seriously, the reason reporters can't leave the Green Zone is because they will be shot dead."

Because, as we all know, reporters are as important as (actually more important than) the President, and would be as much of a target.

At least in their own delusional worlds, one which that poster apparently shares...

Moonbatbane: No value judgments here. I'm glad we can agree that whether you are the leader of the free world or a lowly newspaper reporter, a white guy can't walk down the street in the country we liberated without getting shot.

"a white guy can't walk down the street in the country we liberated without getting shot"

I'll not deny the dangers in Iraq, but I read this as being rife with hyperbole. One thing that has been made abundantly clear, though, both by action and their own words, is that a specific tactic of the terrorists and insurgent groups is to target journalists in order to keep them confined to safe areas and restricted to reports and pictures from Iraqi stringers. It is no coincidence that numerous such "reporters" have been either arrested or implicated with the very same anti-government groups they provide western journalists "news" about.

The one consistent trend in reporting in Iraq is that stories filed by reporters embedded with Coalition Forces in the field are regularly more positive, progressive and optimistic than those that are filed by reporters relying on their stringers. While it may be that a reporter seeking an embed is predisposed to report more favorably on the troops, one cannot also ignore the obvious answer that the western media is being intentionally manipulated, especially given numerous captured documents say this is an intentional tactic. Why the media continues to play along simply confounds me.

submandave: The fact that you decide to swallow the canard that the western media is being played by stringers and writes anti-military stories says more about your personal bias than anything else.

The US army has a gung-ho atttitude that comes equipped with a heavy dose of optimisim, as well they should, since this attitude best enables them to compete their mission. It does not best enable them to ascertain the grim realities of a situation. Reporters that rely on being embedded are more susceptible to feeling disloyal if they report on bad news than the pros at the NY Times, WaPO, etc.

The stringers only get paid if the reporter uses his submittals. It didn't take those stringers long to learn that the Baghdad reporters were not interested in anything positive happening in Iraq, but would lap up the most salacious anti-American items they could get. Hey in a capitalist system, the customer is always right. So, lets take pictures of bombings. How many tens of thousends of Americans were killed in America last year. If every one of them was the daily lead in the major media, the American people would be demanding marshall law, to put down the unrimnting violence

forcenine: You must not watch Fox News, where they do take immense pleasure in covering every shooting, kidnapping, or terrorist-related activity in America, and that's why conservative are practically begging for a big government to take care of the bad guys via the death penalty, harsh prison sentences, and a severe curtailment of civil liberties in the name of protecting "the American family." Fear suits the right-wing agenda, which is why they play it up as much as they can domestically. It's just that now that Bush has embarked on the "Grand Social Engineering Project in the Desert" they are discovering the sensationalism they perfected is coming back to bite them in the ass.

MichealTotten seems to do a better job and he is not even apid by any MSM at the moment.

Freelance and a bit of *PayPal*. TG

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