'Rear Echelon Reporters' Exaggerating Baghdad Dangers
Michael Fumento, who has been embedded three times in Anbar Province, and has, "...been mortared and sniped at, and [has] dodged machine-gun fire..." has had it with Green Zone reporters from the mainstream media telling tall tales to dramatize their experiences.
From Fumento's website:
From Fumento's website:
Would you trust a Hurricane Katrina report datelined “direct from Detroit”? Or coverage of the World Trade Center attack from Chicago? Why then should we believe a Time Magazine investigation of the Haditha killings that was reported not from Haditha but from Baghdad? Or a Los Angeles Times article on a purported Fallujah-like attack on Ramadi reported by four journalists in Baghdad and one in Washington? Yet we do, essentially because we have no choice. A war in a country the size of California is essentially covered from a single city. Plug the name of Iraqi cities other than Baghdad into Google News and you’ll find that time and again the reporters are in Iraq’s capital, nowhere near the scene. Capt. David Gramling, public affairs officer for the unit I’m currently embedded with, puts it nicely: “I think it would be pretty hard to report on Baghdad from out here.” Welcome to the not-so-brave new world of Iraq war correspondence.Fumento also debunks the accounts of some journalists who have described a hair-raising corkscrew approach to Baghdad International Airport.
Most rear-echelon reporters seem to have studied the same handbook, perhaps The Dummies’ Guide to Faux Bravado. It usually begins with the horrific entry into Baghdad International Airport. Time’s Baghdad bureau chief, Aparisim Ghosh, in an August 2006 cover story, devotes five long paragraphs to the alleged horror of landing there.Via The Jawa Report.
It’s “the world’s scariest landing,” he insists, as if he were an expert on all the landings of all the planes at all the world’s airports and military airfields. It’s “a steep, corkscrewing plunge,” a “spiraling dive, straightening up just yards from the runway. If you’re looking out the window, it can feel as if the plane is in a free fall from which it can’t possibly pull out.” Writes Ghosh, “During one especially difficult landing in 2004, a retired American cop wouldn't stop screaming ‘Oh, God! Oh, God!’ I finally had to slap him on the face – on instructions from the flight attendant.”
The Associated Press gave us a whole article on the subject, titled “A hair-raising flight into Baghdad,” referring to “a stomach-churning series of tight, spiraling turns that pin passengers deep in their seats.”
I’ve flown into that airport three times now; each time was in a military C-130 Hercules cargo plane, and each landing was as smooth as the proverbial baby’s behind. But Ghosh is describing a descent in a civilian Fokker F-28 jet, on which admittedly I have never flown. (It’s $900 one-way for the short hop from Amman to Baghdad, and therefore the transportation of well-heeled media people.) So I asked a reporter friend who frequently covers combat in the Mideast and Africa, and has also frequently flown into Baghdad on those Fokkers. “The plane just banks heavily,” he said. “It’s not a big deal.” He requested anonymity, lest he incur the wrath of other journalists for spoiling their war stories.