Vol. 1, Issue 26, November 11, 2003
Military Wants to Embed Reporters Again - Back Home
The US Military has announced a surprising revival of the "embedded reporter" program used during the Iraq invasion.
"We think it is time to once again give our media the opportunity to get a first-hand look at what life is like for our troops," said Army Chief of Staff General Shoemaker at a Pentagon press conference this morning. "They've been working extra-hard over there in Iraq, and they deserve a little R&R."
The program would place all media personnel currently stationed in Iraq in military bases in the continental United States.
"Reporters will eat with the troops, sleep with them, go through everything they go through," said Shoemaker. "Whether it's a drill, a training session, or even KP duty, those reporters will get to be right there, sharing it all with the American public."
"They are kidding, right?" said Gerald Westman, of the Associated Press. "I don't suppose this has anything to do with the current media coverage of events in Iraq. Does it?"
Shoemaker acknowledged that the media stationed in Iraq may have become "fatigued" and that, as a result, they might not be exercising the same "objectivity they had when they came in here."
"Just yesterday, they made a front-page story out of a simple systems failure aboard a Black Hawk helicopter," said Shoemaker. "What's news about that?" When pressed, Shoemaker did acknowledge that the systems failure "may have been related" to the surface-to-air missile that blew up the cockpit.
"Our point is, it's time for the media to give our armed forces the fair and objective coverage they deserve," Shoemaker added.
"Exactly," said Westman.