Editorial page associate editor Mark Yost at the Knight-Ridder newspaper the
Yost couldn’t have imagined he was bathing in blood and throwing himself into the shark pen. His media colleagues were merciless. “With your column, you have spat on the copy of the brave men and women who are doing their best in terrible conditions,” reporter Chuck Laszewski at the same newspaper charged in an open letter. “You have insulted them and demeaned them,” he wrote. “I am embarrassed to call you my colleague.”
Knight-Ridder D.C. Bureau Chief Clark Hoyt devoted a column to a Yost roast, taking time out only to slam
OF COURSE the war coverage is slanted: The adage "If it bleeds it leads" doesn’t halt at the Iraqi border. That's why when two small shells land in a barren section of city the size of Boston CNN.com blares: "Blasts rock Baghdad near coalition headquarters" whereas the completion of an electrification program or water main gets not a column inch.
It was the very obviousness of Yost’s observation that led to vicious attacks attempting to either show there is no bias or that alternatively there is a bias but it’s justified.
One reporter claimed on the Poynter Institute’s Romenesko open blog for journalists that Yost "must not be watching the network nightly newscasts," yet that's exactly what Yost was criticizing. David Hannners, another Pioneer Press reporter, insisted the media have no obligation to present positive stories because war itself is a negative thing. Come again?
At Romenesko’s site, a charge Hoyt leveled at Yost was repeated time and again. “It's astonishing that Mark Yost, from the distance and safety of
Behold a clear double standard for
One of the reporters who was gnawing on Yost’s right leg and working her way up to the pelvis, Knight-Ridder Baghdad Bureau Chief Hannah Allam, challenged him to go to
So she’s admitting she stays in a heavily protected hotel, which means she’s also in the safety of the Green Zone. She doesn’t say that all civilians taking the airport road travel in a vehicle that’s so heavily armored it would take a nuclear improvised explosive to stop it.
As it happens, I did go to Iraq. I was embedded with the Marines at
Yost was right; media coverage on the war is terribly slanted – such that it may threaten our ability to win. This was much more clearly shown in the reaction to his piece than in the column itself. In any case, it's astonishing that his attackers, from the distance and safety of