Al Jazeera’s Listening Post on dangers of journalistic embedding with military

Reporters have been embedding with the US military (and other armies) for years, especially since 9/11. The results are usually pretty dismal, politically tone-deaf, pro-government and lacking criticism. Which is exactly how the military wants it.

Al Jazeera’s The Listening Post asked me to comment on this tradition (I appear around 22:34) and my previous appearances are here:

one comment
  • examinator

    From an activist stand point you were absolutely correct i.e. you have an agenda.

    In an ideal world (i.e. where the media's real aim is to inform the people as opposed to 'making a story' for the purpose of gaining viewers to sell advertising or taking political [ bias] sides ).

    The REAL INFORMATION here is in several parts and is missing. What the military will do to bias the facts reported is a minor one. in that case it is more likely what won't they do.

    If I were a journalist I would be asking all things considered what did this dog and pony show cost the tax paying public?…my guess is in the $100,000's of thousands. factoring in the staging the journo's flights etc, the military paid minders ,planning et a.
    Then ask what IS the MILITARY OBJECTIVE of this sabre rattling contrived media fabrication.
    How is this MILITARY objective being evaluated and what is its specific accountability
    Then I would ask isn't this show really a political exercise rather than a military one.
    I would ask the question of the public is this what they pay their military tax $ for a spun, unrealistically superficial show, arguably for electoral advantage or recruitment?
    I'd ask is this the blending of the military and the political arms of government (ignoring the separation of powers?) i.e. the military becomes a political tool/player…? Especially when we've seen both the political arm and the military arm disregard the Judicial one. Gitmo and Wikileaks leaked 'avoidance of accountability' et al.
    Finally what this video shows narcissism of the media in that to them the story was about how THEY are being manipulated. Then with the outrageous statement that the media are best at making judgements …not if their point is to get picture opportunities and angles ( as stated) it isn't.
    To the media it is the entertainment value not the facts and their underlying issues.