Thursday, February 20, 2003


The real reason dear Tom asked Jeneane to ask me to come out and play was something to do with this brainfart, cross-posted from my day blog (as in - happy to be here, but based on that last post, below, best I don't give up the day blog...).


We can't trust CNN this time.

From Friday's Guardian newspaper:

"In 1991 American voters rallied behind President George Bush Sr for the seemingly bloodless confrontation with Saddam Hussein...Neatly hidden from a small army of journalists was the reality of war - a reality that can make these very same voters recoil in disapproval...

"...About 150 American journalists, photographers and film crews were scattered among attacking units. Their reports were supposed to be fed to a rear headquarters and then shared by hundreds of journalists from around the world...Not a single eyewitness account, photograph or strip of video of combat between 400,000 soldiers in the desert was produced by this battalion of professional observers.

"Cheney, brimming with contempt and hostility for the press, saw journalists as critics of the military who must be contained. "Frankly, I looked on it as a problem to be managed," he said after the war. "The information function was extraordinarily important. I did not have a lot of confidence that I could leave that to the press."

This suggests an urgent need to recruit and train an army of Iraqi bloggers, either here in the 'Free West' (*cough*), with strong connections to feet & eyes still resident in their homeland, or preferably right there in the thick of the horror.

We should arm them with satellite WiFi blogging tools and digital cameras to record and publish the unvarnished, un-CNNed truth.

Perhaps some of Ken Nichols' "Human Shields" could be recruited to assist - to get the full, horrific graphic news out past Cheney's attempts to 'manage' the information flow. They've already got the stones to put themselves in harm's way. Asking them to document, in real time, what they witness is a logical next step.

And if we're searching for yet another way to justify the Google/Blogger deal (Bloogle? Bloggle? Glogger?), this could be it. Ponder the combination of Google News + Blogger in a situation like this.

If any communications channel holds the potential to carry the full and complete truth, it's the blogosphere, in all its uncensored glory.

Assuming, of course, that the content at source can be identified and streamed in without interference from either end of the "nexus of terror" that starts in DC and ends in Baghdad.

Think about it: this could become an infinitely more powerful source of real frontline reporting than CNN could ever be. (That's 'reporting', not necessarily 'journalism', btw - I'm not getting into that debate here).

Perhaps verifiably Iraqi blogger Salam Pax could be persuaded to weigh in on this one...

And perhaps Doc could be persuaded to donate the balance of his Chris Pirillo laptop fund to purchase a robust digital camera and deliver it to Salam, or one of his countrymen willing to venture into the combat zone, in the interests of securing at least one unfiltered feed live from the coming obscenity...

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