Huge amounts of blog-energy go into attacks on mainstream media war coverage that might be better spent ignoring the irritant and offering alternative sources, in view of how critical any and all media coverage is to shaping public opinion which in turn determines the outcome of this war. These skirmishes between mainstream and alternative media produce only friendly fire casualties, and neither side can claim a monopoly on accuracy and objectivity. While the reliability and/or agendas of many mainstream media sources are questionable, the blogworld is also often too eager to anoint anyone who’s not mainstream as a guru-of-something. If this were the art-world, it would be like anointing anyone with some skill at putting brush to canvas as the “new Rembrandt.”
But the dirty secret known to only a few is that many of these “new Rembrandts” are clever forgeries. Some bloggers who advertise themselves as war correspondents with numerous “embeds” in the war, with the implication that they’ve spent more time on the ground than their mainstream war correspondent counterparts, mostly have spent very little time here, especially in comparison to those mainstream war correspondents.
This week, journalists are all around this area—ABC, Fox, New York Times, Associated Press, The Telegraph, Stars & Stripes (DoD publication) and others, all flagships—but where are the bloggers? Prohibitive costs, very high risks, and an increasingly shrinking market for the work probably contribute to the poor showing. Will the blog-world still maintain the attack on coverage from the mainstream media? Instead of looking for mistakes in some coverage, the common cause might be better served by well-informed bloggers searching all sources for the reports that get it right and driving readers to those.
Read the whole thing, and, as always, enjoy the evocative photos that Yon has interspersed in the post. Oh, and you can find out where LTC Erik Kurilla has gone to.
I don't see any long term alternative to the MSM, who have the money and resources that bloggers seldom do. Yon is an exception, both in motivation and talent. I suspect that in the long run the best of the amateurs will be taken up by the media. Michael Yon and Bill Roggio are making that transition and perhaps Michael Totten will follow at some point. This is cause for celebration. We are all in this together, and at some point we have to make our peace with the MSM. Perhaps that is starting to happen.