Journalists of many sorts fly through here for short times, and there are a handful of semi-permanent reporters from a few majors such as CNN and Time. Some of these are good and serious folks, but I think they are hobbled by working for agencies and are not free to roam and follow their instincts. Being completely independent allows freedom to roam the battle field from North to South, from Iran to Syria, and to describe without filters what I see.
This from Michael Yon, whose free-lancing in Iraq at least one newsman considered “ballsy” when I told him about him. The same newsman gave a wholly credible hair-raising account of dangers there, including being kidnapped by a Baghdad gang for selling to an imam who will get money for him from his people or have him executed on TV. They are all ballsy, for that matter: this is not calling in a tollway accident or press conference revelation, for which we thank reporters. It’s putting yourself on the line every day.
Meanwhile, “Michael Yon : Online Magazine” has good stuff. The latest, dated Friday, is an Ernie Pyle-like account of non-citizen GI’s, “Welcome Aboard,” out of Mosul, with this:
I was privileged to witness the award ceremony for 12 new American citizens in Deuce Four [24th something] recently. I hope America makes them feel welcome. If the folks at home could see what these people are doing in Iraq, they would make these special troops feel as honored guests. But now, better yet, they are honored citizens, giving life to the concept of active citizenship.
One of them, Victor Quinonez, has earned a “great combat reputation.”
"Mike,” he told Yon, “when the shit goes down and the bullets are flying, you stick with me and I'll get you out. Never fear when the Q is here! You've seen me in action. You know I'll get you out. I'm a Mexican, not a Mexican't!"
“Not a Mexican’t.” That’s good.
A White Sox item: New third-basemen Geoff Blum, just acquired from Padres, is a switch-hitter but attended U. Cal-Berkeley and hits only to left field. It’s all they let him do at college. Sorry.