Journalism(ism)

October 4, 2008

Something kind of important was brought to my attention about my Fake Iraq book, recently.  That thing is that, even though we’re all looking at a 500-page book, here, I’m still leaving a lot out.

 

The point of the book isn’t just that I’m an outsider getting in close proximity to the weird, insular world of the military; I’m also an outsider getting in close proximity to the weird, insular world of journalism.  Neither world is one I know that much about, but both are fascinating, and what is really a gobsmacking experience is seeing the two operate in tandem.  A distant but relevant example of the huge car-wreck that is a mediated military is the fact that the Somalian pirates who seized the ship in the Indian Ocean have media representatives.  Pirates have PR people, now.  Everybody’s on-message, including me and you, whether we like it or not.

 

This is what I went into the weird world of the NTC to pursue: two kinds of masculinized will to power locked in a struggle that’s half demolition derby, half mutual masturbation.  What I don’t think is clear in is the “journalism as Faustian pursuit” angle of the story, though.  Mostly because I have a lot more writing to do, but also because I maybe was assuming it was there when it was not, which is something I do a lot: I assume people are going to make the same big lateral leaps in thought that I do.  Bad move.

 

In related news, I just discovered tonight at the used bookstore I work at that there’s such a thing as a Complete Idiot’s Guide to Journalism.  Which says a lot.

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One Response to “Journalism(ism)”


  1. Do you have any vignettes about the Journalists you’ve encountered? I think I remember that some of the European ones copped an attitude when they realized you weren’t one of them.


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