BuckSargent’s e-mail to me (reproduced with his permission):
I heard the interview on CNN with Mike Yon and yourself and that irritating Aussie. (All I can think of when I hear him is Robert Downey Jr.’s “Wayne Gale” portrayal in Natural Born Killers).
Let me just say Cooper’s argument that troops only “hide out on their bases” and don’t see the “full picture” like those brave embeds do is total nonsense. They embeds are the ones never leaving the bases, and they are left to interview the support soldiers that never leave the wire either.
The infantry platoons spend more time out in the streets than any normal Iraqi would, and we spend up to 12 hours a day patrolling throughout the city and actually seeking out trouble wherever it may be. And we keep this pace up for a year straight. What Iraqi or reporter can make that claim? So to say we don’t know what’s going on is preposterous.
Journalists like Michael Ware are gloryhounds (you can hear it in his voice) that come to Iraq to make a name for themselves as “war correspondents”, and the only way they can do that is if all they do is cover nothing but blood and guts and gore. It’s not exactly great copy to file a report that says, “I spent eight hours on patrol and absolutely nothing remarkable happened and I was bored stiff.” That would be the truth on the majority of patrols, but it’s not exciting and no one wants to read that so it’s not going to get filed.
Ware seems to believe that being objective means not taking sides. But you can still tell the whole truth and root for your country to win. I don’t see that as cheerleading, it’s common sense. As it currently stands, the MSM is not telling the whole truth and actually siding with the enemy on occasion. They’ll jump at the chance to report completely unsubstantiated claims by Iraqis of killings or theft or abuse that simply isn’t credible when you know even the first thing about the American “militry” (as Ware calls it). They give the ruthless killers the benefit of the doubt every time, just to spread more nonsense about us.
Most soldiers don’t follow the news back home, and it’s a good thing,
because it would make them sick to know how they’re being portrayed in the media. But I must be a bit of a masochist, because I can’t seem to get enough. And it certainly takes a toll when you read time and time again in the NYT about things you know to be untrue or misrepresented.
The media wants us to lose, and they’re doing their damndest to see it happen. But I have faith that the American people are too smart to fall for that trick twice.
If Anderson Cooper wants the real, real deal, he’ll find BuckSagent, and put him on with Michael Yon and Michael Ware, and let it run for an hour.
UPDATE: Great additional background from Instapundit, May, 2004. “An Army of Davids” is at work dismantling MSM’s power and exposing its bias.
UPDATE 5: ABC hears from the public.