Friday, December 10, 2004

Reporter makes himself famous

The editor and publisher of my hometown newspaper, the Chattanooga Times/Free-Press, has come out in support of the embedded reporter who gamed the Rumsfeld/military town hall meeting (via Drudge):
"I think he was doing what he felt he was embedded to do: tell the stories of the soldiers of this unit," said Tom Griscom, editor and publisher of the paper. But he criticized the embed's story about the incident, which did not mention the reporter's connection to the soldier who asked the question.

"He is there to write stories, not make news himself," Griscom said of Pitts. The editor added that the recipient of the e-mail, whom he would not identify, should not have passed it along.
This response sounds about right to me. I don't think the question is necessarily a bad one, as I recall the Times/Free-Press doing previous stories on the vehicle armor issue. However, I have a big problem with the lengths to which the reporter went to make a name for himself by essentially ambushing Rumsfeld with a question that may not have been asked otherwise. By injecting himself into the issue, this reporter raises questions in my mind about the legitimacy of the problem. We will probably see quite a bit of followup in the next few days that will answer whether or not vehicle armor is indeed a pressing issue for our troops.