ABC's Bob Woodruff Returns to Iraq

The Cajun Boy · 07/13/09 09:18PM

In 2006 ABC's Bob Woodruff was seriously injured in a bombing by Iraqi insurgents while covering the war for his network. Today he returned for the first time since the incident.

"Baghdad Diarist" Agrees: Internet War As Dehumanizing As Real War!

Moe · 08/21/08 12:10PM

Remember Scott Thomas Beauchamp, that soldier who wrote candidly about the dehumanizing effects of the war for The New Republic while pursuing a passionate affair with the TNR intern fact-checking his pieces until the conservablogosphere began campaigning to get him shitcanned? Former TNR staffer Spencer "Attackerman" Ackerman tracked him down in Germany for a fascinating profile in next month's Radar. The story contains a lot of chilling details about Beauchamp's experiences at war, like mass graves and running over dogs in Bradley Fighting Vehicles and how a mob of soldiers in a mess hall mock a woman whose face has been gruesomely disfigured by an improvised explosive device, but probably the most nauseating passage describes what it was like for the 24-year-old Army private to be the target of evildoers and insurgents and such while simultaneously being the target of an internet struggle session: "I began to make mistakes. Once I nearly forgot my eye protection before a mission. I was thinking about bloggers as much as I was thinking about my buddies," he tells the magazine. "That scared me." Tell us about it.In the end TNR retracted Beauchamp's columns in a hand-wringy 7,000-word piece called Fog Of War describing in painstaking (and also, gratuitous) detail their efforts to corroborate Beauchamp's claims of which Beauchamp's fact-checker-turned-wife Elspeth Reeve says: "That piece says, 'Pity me. I'm a victim of these two crazy kids.'" (She no longer works for them, duh!) (But Beauchamp is still in the Army!) The big takeaway of the piece is that Beauchamp is an eminently decent, credible young who made a few mistakes — the infamous "mess hall incident" happened in Kuwait, for instance, not Iraq — in the execution of some of this war's most truly courageous journalism, only to get thrown under the bus (Bradley!) that rightfully ran over the careers of young TNR fabricator Stephen Glass and young TNR plagiarist Ruth Shalit. Because: conservatives are evil people with no interest in truth and TNR editor Frank Foer is fundamentally a pussy. To be sure, that is the angle one would expect from Spencer "Attackerman" Ackerman who has not exactly been grinding his axe against the magazine that fired him in private. To be also sure, Beauchamp did a lot of caving under all the fact-checking pressure. (He was assigned backbreaking labor in 120-degree heat and Ackerman tells us he was hospitalized for a viral infection and the Army put a gag order on him but in any case, he disappeared.) But motives aside the piece rings true. Because it most certainly has gotten to the point where internet skirmishes are as pointlessly vicious and traumatizing as real ones. I am not being melodramatic! You read that Times Magazine story about the internet trolls who wouldn't stop making fun of that poor sweet-faced 13-year-old kid who had already killed himself. (Also, if I am not mistaken you are reading Gawker!) Why would it surprise you that over in Iraq this same generation kicks around the corpses of Iraqi children or whatever? That is the cruel radiance of what is, friends, and laying it bare is the only purpose journalists can possibly serve. But there's a dramatic disconnect — has been for awhile, but it's widening — between the guys who run lofty cash-strapped journalism outlets and the actual world they profess to strive to portray. For years those guys have lived in the world of prestige and peer esteem and talking points and ASME applications and panel discussions and correspondents dinners. But once there was a time when they didn't have that whole scene going on all day long on Bloggingheads and Memeorandum. As long as this disconnect deepens amidst this backdrop of tightening news budgets, a nagging insecurity about the future of journalism combined with a hardening certainty among its younger generation of practitioners that success within it requires above all else a commitment to one's personal "brand"…well, guys like Frank Foer are going to take chances on hot young "voices." And those voices will invariably get silenced by mobs of angry haters in protracted, embarrassing sagas ending in tortured lamentations that "those young folks, all they care about is their personal brands!" but in the end only serve to expose how little anyone really gives a shit about the truth at this point. Notes On A Scandal

War protesters snarl Financial District

Jackson West · 03/19/08 04:40PM

Jackson West, reporting live (don't tell my boss!) from downtown San Francisco: War protesters have shut down Market Street between Sansome and Montgomery, with smug Berkeley Hills residents gleefully getting arrested. The cops expect to clear it soon. Police have shut down San Francisco's old-money corridor of power, Montgomery Street, between Sutter and Bush, but except for the private building security having upped the menace-level of their sunglass stares, it's business as usual — the House of Shields is already serving drinks. If the protesters were smart, they'd concentrate their efforts at AT&T headquarters on Folsom and 2nd, where stopped traffic could snarl the 101 and totes disrupt your meeting in Multimedia Gulch. That might actually generate some Twitters.

John Burns Knows the Final Days Are Upon Us, and He'd Like a Sandwich

Jesse · 06/09/06 10:38AM

Don't get us wrong. We know Times Baghdad bureau chief John Burns is a swashbuckling foreign correspondent; we admire his reporting and we're humbled by his willingness to spend so many years in such a horrible and dangerous place. (Our most taxing reportorial excursion is typically to Michael's — which, to be honest, is a long and expensive trip that inevitably leaves us running for our lives.) But we really wish they'd get the guy a new headshot — and perhaps a trim, or at least a comb, beforehand. Because the guy in the current picture? He's been wandering Central Park all night, he knows — really knows — that the end of the world is coming — and could you maybe spare some change?

Media Bubble: Charlie Rose Is a Pig

Jesse · 06/08/06 01:00PM

• Charlie Rose — with a new pig-heart valve — returns to TV Monday. [NYDN]
• Congress boosts TV indecency fines, ensuring the Parents Television Council can continue its reign of puritanical terror over the nation's broadcasters. [WSJ]
• CBS's Kim Dozier returns to United States, still in critical condition but "in great spirits and was talking animatedly." []
• Fashion editor Angela Jones and reporter Kelly Will are among the five Star staffers we reported yesterday were being laid off. [NYP]

Media Bubble: 'Times' to Send Its Sons to War

Jesse · 06/07/06 03:18PM

Times Baghdad bureau likes 'em young; Times Mag editor Gerry Marzorati likes 'em late-30-something and in business. [NYO]
• And James Wolcott likes 'em monocled and on a compiliation DVD set. [New Criterion]
• Seth Mnookin says Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown is a plagiarist, if not necessarily by the legal definition. Brown says Mnookin is a pain in his ass, if not necessarily by the legal definition. [NYT]
• Huffington Post launches a media blog, "Eat the Press." Clever, eh? [HuffPost]
• Laddie McLadlad Greg Gutfeld also launches a blog, "The Daily Gut." Clever, eh? [Jossip]

Media Bubble: 'Times' Pays Off Wen Ho Lee

Jesse · 06/02/06 05:00PM

• Five news orgs — including NYT — pay Wen Ho Lee $750,000 to settle his case. Which seems not a not entirely unreasonable amount after mistakenly being labled a nuclear spy. [NYT]
• CBS News Iraq reporter Kim Dozier now off respirator, breathing on her own. []
• Charlie Gibson thinks New York's Joe Hagan "is something of a snake" and will never talk to him again. Mind you, this is over a fluffy Q&A. [Chicago Defender]
• Best attack on Judy Miller ever: She could have prevented 9/11. [TAP]
Time loses Baghdad reporters; New York to lose dapper WSJer Matthew Rose. [NYP]
Time's Jim Kelly to take sabbatical, visit Statue of Liberty before starting new corporate gig. [MW]
GMA EP Ben Sherwood quits. Presumably he just couldn't bear not having Charlie Gibson's full attention. [Media Mob/NYO]

Media Bubble: Whatever Will We Do Without Valerie Plame's Book?

Jesse · 06/01/06 03:58PM

• Valerie Plame's $2.5M book deal with Crown falls through. Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenas Judy Miller and Matt Cooper in attempt to find out why. [NYT]
• CBS reporter injured in Iraq is in critical but stable condition, sedated and breathing with a ventilator, and able to recognize her boyfriend. [AP via NYSun]
• Seventy WPers take early retirement. It's almost like working at Time Inc.! [WP]
The Atlantic is opposed to flip-flops, tank tops. [Media Mob/NYO]
• Court says fuckin' CBS shouldn't have fuckin' fired Arthur Chi'en from fuckin' Channel 2. Fuck. [NYDN]

Media Bubble: Iraq War Is Deadliest for Journalists

Jesse · 05/30/06 12:08PM

• CBS cameraman and soundman killed in Iraq, reporter injured, making Iraq the deadliest modern war for journalists, worse the World War II. [NYT]
• Hearst is still tweaking Shop Etc. [Mediaweek]
• And could use to be tweaking Quick & Simple, which ain't selling well. [WWD]
• Charlie Rose is not dead. [NYM]
The Times of London to introduce U.S. edition with a run of 10,000 printed on New York Post presses. Even more Murdoch news, yay! [NYT]

National Unity, Shmational Unity

Jesse · 03/21/06 10:52AM

Then the president traveled to Capitol Hill, where he kicked several Democratic legislators in the shins. Just because he could.

Media Bubble: Everyone Wants to Be a Torture Victim!

Jesse · 03/14/06 12:45PM

• That Times front-pager on Saturday about the Iraqi prisoner who was photographed robed, hooded, wired up, and quasi-crucified at Abu Ghraib? Yeah, well, they maybe didn't get the right guy. [Salon]
• One bit of good news on Cooper Square? Voice art critic is said to be a Pulitzer finalist. [Arts Journal]
Times announces it will stop publishing daily stock listings; a five senior-citizen amateur investors give a shit. [NYT]
• Al-Jazeera can't get U.S. distribution for its new English-language channel. Imagine that. [NYS]

SecDef Starts More Wars

Jesse · 03/09/06 10:05AM

We know you don't like the media, Donnie. And we know the media aren't perfect. But here's the thing: You go to war with the media you have, not the media you might want or wish to have at a later time.

Media Bubble: 'State of War,' What Is It Good For?

Jesse · 01/04/06 03:46PM

• James Risen's State of War — the impending publication of which forced the Times to finally publish the domestic-spying story — also makes Judy Miller's WMD excuses fall apart. [NYO]
• Still, the domestic-spying articles were better than the book is, says Jack Shafer. [Slate]
• Lunatic talking head Bill O'Reilly promises to "get into the lives" of Bill Keller and Frank Rich if (perhaps imagined) Times attacks on him continue. We really hope he does, because Keller would be so much sexier if he were a little less earnest. [Media Matters]
• Yesterday was CBS's first day as its own company. Well, except for all those all days as its own company. [WP]
• New Oxygen show features middle-aged women partying with college guys. We're pretty sure we saw that same show on Cinemax once. [NYT]
• Not-quite-victorious — but still really good — GMA staffers get cheesy commemorative trinkets. [NYO]
• Jon Friedman is clearly smoking crack, as proved by (among other things) his prediction that MSNBC will beat CNN and Fox News in 2006. [MW]
• Latest Q-ratings study shows Katie Couric isn't as popular as she used to be. Clearly not in the polling sample: Les Moonves. [WWD]