~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"...there is hope here and it lives in the thousands of stories about this place that are never told..."

From the latest Michael Yon dispatch, "Ernie is Dead," in which he defends the honor of the Mainstream Media's war coverage (and not without some success):

Today there are over fifty journalists here. We have an excellent new Commanding General, David Petraeus. A big plan is unfolding that will affect the lives of nearly every person reading this, and many more. Soon the weather will change as a long, hot, grinding, and sticky year begins, but most journalists will spend little time here. When the weather turns hot, most will go home.


Under that strange high moon rising to meet its eclipse, I thought of Ernie. Ernie Pyle. His was a name I hardly knew just two years ago, except in some vague way I knew he had been a writer, at war. That changed when people compared my work to his, and sent a couple of Ernie’s books to me. After reading them, I thought the comparison extremely flattering but not deserved. There are some obvious and even stylistic similarities. I say “folks” a lot; so did Ernie. Ernie had a particular heart for the infantry; I spend most of my time with infantry. But while Ernie talked bluntly about the ugly parts of war, I simply lack the skills to make anything ugly look pretty.

Where Pyle and I share closest ties is in our knowledge of the value our work has for troop morale, for strategic gains, and for ensuring the support of Americans back home.

Family Lore has it that I'm distantly related to Ernie (my grandmother was nee Pyle) so my ears pick up whenenver his name is invoked. And however tenuous the family connection to that famous journalist, as a veteran of OIF, I'm exstatic to have a journalist of Mike's caliber covering the front in Iraq.

Do read the rest. Mike delves into the questions of winnability, accuracy, big media resources as opposed to the meager means of "independents" like himself, and points to evidence that MSM and new media are increasingly "shift[ing] from competition to collaboration" which promising to be the new model in war reportage.

A welcome, welcome development. It would make Ernie proud.

March 14 UPDATE: Dean Barnett - Introducing the Michael Yon Project:

Today begins an exciting project at HughHewitt.com... Michael provides dispatches on his own amazing website as often as possible. Unfortunately, because of his circumstances, he’s for obvious reasons not able to do as much writing as he would like or as we would like. But he does have a satellite phone. And that’s where I come in. Every day, or as often as possible, Michael and I plan to speak and then I will write up a report of what Michael is seeing, hearing and doing. We both hope, and both expect, that what will come out of these conversations is coverage of the situation in Iraq that’s different from and superior to anything the mainstream media has provided in the four years of the conflict.

First report should be up later today.

UPDATE: First Barnett/Yon Report - 3/14/2007

When I got Michael back on the phone, he was his usual spirited self. He was also pretty blunt in his assessment regarding some members of the Public Affairs Office. “There are some guys who are winning this war,” he said. “There are others who are losing it.”

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