Vacancy at the Baghdad bureau
"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
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 9:46 AM
Subject: Chairborne Rangers
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.