We saw a little of the same kind of dismissive and contemptous attitude in the recent press conference when Helen Thomas asked in her adolescently conspiratorial tone, "Mr. President, why did you really invade Iraq?"
In the news coverage of that press conference that focused on Thomas' face as the President responded and politely but firmly denied the implicit assumption of her passive aggressive question, you saw all the snide and sarcastic superiority that is so typical of today's journalism "professionals". You see, they already have the answer to their own questions, so they don't really need your confirmation or denial--except in cases where they want to display their own smug, self-satisfied and small-minded intellects.
So, what are some things that can be done?
Chester makes a bold, innovative suggestion to the President after listening to an interview of Michael Yon by Hugh Hewitt:
Now tie it all together. You can see it, yes? What the President needs is his own Sergeant Major - a directed telescope on the battlefield reporting directly to him. Not his staff, not the White House Spokesman or the Press Pool. The chain goes straight to The Man himself.This, Chester says, will help the President counter the news reported by the MSM.
This is not hard to envision. Grab any of a number of Sergeants Major out there who are now retired. They have made careers of making gut calls in all manner of odd situations. Grab a guy who used to be in Delta Force, or the 1st Marine Division SgtMaj. You could grab an officer if you preferred (ahem: my email address is in the sidebar), but if it was me, I'd have a senior enlisted man, the type who's harder than woodpecker lips. Whoever he is, he must be able to communicate very very very well. Then give him an armored four door humvee, a translator, and a couple of shooters to be a mini-brute squad. That's all he'll want if he's the kind I have in mind. He can always hop on a bird if needs to. Get him some nice equipment too -- a camera, a sat phone, etc.
Then set him loose. Tell him to go to whatever is interesting and report whatever he thinks necessary. Give him no format whatsoever. No timeframes whatsoever. Or, if you know of a particular operation that needs checking up on, send him there.
Meanwhile, The Astute Blogger wonders if Arthur Chrenkoff came back with his regular posts of "Good News From Iraq" whether Bush's poll numbers would rise as the American public realizes that there is something happening in Iraq besides IEDs and death?
Certainly, Bush's low poll numbers are connected to the hostile and negative reports by the MSM from Iraq. There seems to be a lot of people who perceive this press bias (not just disgruntled bloggers like myself) if the reaction of the crowd to a question asked by a serviceman's wife to the President yesterday is any indication.
The President suggested that people look to alternate sources of information like blogs (good for him). But the truth is that far too many Americans still depend on the MSM for their news, and are the worse off for it.
So, how about it Mr. President? Why not appoint your own roving Sergeant-Major/Gray Lensman in Iraq, who reports directly to you and who can give you information that even your generals might lack or in some cases be reluctant to tell you? Some of the bonuses would be that he or she (1) would know and understand the military and military issues and culture; (2) would have complete freedom to relate the good as well as the bad; (3)would be able to give the honest perspective and context that is largely absent from MSM reporting; as well as a view from the ground that may be absent or abbreviated from command reports.
Chester (and I) are assuming that having an honest perspective and objective report of the ground situation in Iraq will have the result of making the American public better understand both the context and the purpose of our military actions there by giving the President the ammunition needed to counter the pervasive MSM templates.
And that seems a worthy objective.