It appears a fascinating opportunity exists for our community of citizen journalists to request an embed in Iraq, facilitating real-time reporting on the war in Iraq from the unique blogger perspective.
RedState broke this with an article that stated the following: RedState has been invited by the Pentagon to go to Iraq. The end of that article includes an "Attention Update" to "Lefty morons". With that said, you can imagine the relief I felt warming over me at the prospect of RedState countering the typical media bias.
My concerns are two-fold
This is further validation of the broadening reach of the blogosphere. If this opportunity truly comes to fruition, we should feel proud; we should be unwaveringly dedicated to the objective and ethical treatment of the information we gain access to. If we sway from that mentality in the slightest, I submit we are no better that our bickering politicians who are dedicated only to portraying the "other side" as stupid, know-nothing school yard bullies. Didn't we bloggers get to where we are by bringing something more valuable to the table? You get one chance to make a first impression. It was botched in our [a blogger's] first participation in the White House press room. I find it deeply disconcerting that we are now on our way to botching the blogger's first steps as war-front embedded citizen media.
Then there is the misleading statement - RedState has been invited by the Pentagon to go to Iraq. If RedState hoped to deliver a sucker punch to the left blogosphere, it did...temporarily. With help from Confederate Yankee, it was fairly quickly discovered that RedState was not singled out and "invited" by the Pentagon. They, in actuality, spent months attempting to gain approval to do this, being vetted much in the manner any media outlet would be. By the time discussion and debate began at The Gun Toting Liberal on RedState's "invitation" and the fact that no liberals were headed to Iraq, RedState began backpedalling slightly and more clearly stating how the Iraq embed opportunity really came to be. The impression meant to be made was clear---that RedState was "invited" without an equal opportunity for a liberal blogger to be "invited". Since that was not the case, the statement was, at the very least, a narcissistic embellishment by RedState; at worst it was an outright lie regarding the actions of the Pentagon. A serious and unfortunate error in judgment as far as I am concerned. Likely more important for RedState to realize is that they now begin this extraordinary occasion inspiring little confidence as to their ability to deliver what separates us from the mainstream media---honor, integrity and objectivity.
I would love to applaud RedState for their tenacity in discovering this process and pursuing it, and on some levels I do. But that is so far overshadowed now by the manner in which they have chosen to handle it and the misleading statements presented to the blogosphere.
BLOG DISCUSSION ON THIS:
Michael Linn Jones, a co-author at the Gun Toting Liberal has written an article on this subject that might very well be one of the most exquisitely written articles I have read in some time. Please visit - Half Truths Hurt, Too
Thank you to Daily Kos for picking up the discussion! - RedState Fibbing?: When an Invite isn't Exactly an Invite
The Two Malcontents - Liberal Blogger Steps Up To Accept Challenge By Volunteering For Iraq Embed Duty
Middle Earth Journal - Blogger Embedding In Iraq
RedState, Pentagon, embedded journalist, citizen media, Gun Toting Liberal, bloggers, right blogosphere, left blogosphere, journalistic integrity, reporters, Iraq, war reporting