Wednesday, October 25, 2006

'Dummies’ Guide to Faux Bravado'

[posted by Callimachus]

Do read Covering Iraq: The Modern Way of War Correspondence by Michael Fumento, a reporter who has been there as a three-time embed in Al-Anbar.

Would you trust a Hurricane Katrina report datelined “direct from Detroit”? Or coverage of the World Trade Center attack from Chicago? Why then should we believe a Time Magazine investigation of the Haditha killings that was reported not from Haditha but from Baghdad? Or a Los Angeles Times article on a purported Fallujah-like attack on Ramadi reported by four journalists in Baghdad and one in Washington? Yet we do, essentially because we have no choice.

Many myths get exploded. "The Highway of Death"? Only reporters call it “The Highway of Death.” "To everyone else it’s Route Irish, named after the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame." That notorious "steep corkscrew spiral plunge" landing into Baghdad International Airport?

“A C-130 deposits us onto the tarmac of Baghdad International Airport after a hair-raising corkscrew landing intended to elude incoming small arms and rocket fire,” a Greek freelance photojournalist boasted on his blog.

It’s not just experience that tells me that’s baloney. Look at a photo of a C-130; it’s a flying bathtub.

Chuck Yeager couldn’t throw it into a corkscrew and then pull out. I did ask a crewman on this last trip about deep-diving C-130s and he said that on a single flight (out of hundreds) the pilot had to plunge suddenly to avoid getting to close to another plane, but other than that “Landing in this plane is like landing in an airliner.”

Read the rest. There are American journalist heroes in Iraq. They're not the ones you see talking about it on your TV.