Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another Reason to Support Embedding

I had never heard of the term 'embedded reporter' until the runup to the Iraq invasion in 2003. The idea at the time, welcomed by the Pentagon with open arms, was that embedding reporters with military units would help bridge the (widening) civil-military chasm that was exposed every time a writer covering the military shot wide of the mark.

From today's Boston Globe, via the Washington Post:

Interviews with military personnel yesterday suggest that attitudes have gradually changed.

“I don’t think it is going to make that big a difference. . . . the consensus is that it isn’t a big deal,’’ said one company commander who just returned from leading a brigade in Afghanistan.

I know that typos can happen, but if there's a Company Commander (O-3) ANYWHERE who just got done leading a brigade (O-6, a full bird Colonel), something must have gone very, very wrong. The sentence as it reads just doesn't make sense.

Again, I know it's easier to throw stones than to build the house, but this kind of reminds me of the time that female sideline reporter was chastised for talking about how Jerry Rice was leading the league in "interceptions." It's a simple verbal gaffe just like any that we make on a daily basis, but no football fan is ever going to think about Jerry Rice's prowess in interceptions any more than they would Ronnie Lott's ability to throw spirals while under pressure in the pocket.

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