Friday, December 15, 2006

IraqSlogger: Something New or Just More of the Same?

Like David Duchovny's Agent Fox of "The X-Files," I want to believe.

I want to believe that the new all-Iraq news site "IraqSlogger" will be, as they claim, "non-political." In my book, "non-political" would mean that, unlike the mainstream media, the new website would feature reports that simply tell what's going on, without an anti-Bush, anti-conservative, anti-Republican, anti-military, anti-American, anti-Western agenda. IraqSlogger's definition of non-political may be narrower than mine.

IraqSlogger's CEO is Eason Jordan, who resigned his position last year as CNN's chief news executive after getting caught accusing US troops of deliberately targeting journalists. Earlier, Jordan had admitted to suppressing news from CNN's Baghdad bureau in order to keep Saddam Hussein from closing it. This does not give me a high degree of confidence that the new website will be a paragon of honest, unbiased journalism.

The history of IraqSlogger co-founder Robert Young Pelton (apparently, the "RYP" who has been commenting about IraqSlogger at various blogs) isn't confidence-inspiring, either. In 2002 he told Salon that al Qaeda is a "bogeyman," and that the 9/11 terrorists were really a "Mickey Mouse operation."

And he also made this incredible statement:
And basically since the Vietnam War, the military realizes that the press is the enemy, because the press is actually faster and more intelligent than the military is. They can assess a military situation long before the military figures it out.
Pelton has found the reason why so many journalists go on to successful careers as generals. Not.

All this is leading me to believe that IraqSlogger will be more of the same old slop, served up in a shiny new bowl, and that the handful of unusually even-handed stories reported there now are window dressing intended to forestall criticism until the site gets up and running on all cylinders.

I hope I'm wrong, but it's beginning to look less like Agent Fox and more like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown.