I was contacted a week ago by BBC Radio 5 via e-mail and asked for an interview. I have received several requests before from others and did not respond as I did not want the attention to my blog that getting approved for an interview would bring. However, things were a little slow at that time and I had already found out that my higher command knew about this blog, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I contacted my public affairs officer and they inspected my blog and figured it would be ok. Being on the intelligence side in an infantry unit, I pretty much avoid the press anyway, as a lot of the things I know, I cannot talk about. By the time the PAO did approve the interview, the program had already aired on the BBC, but they decided to go ahead with the interview anyway, for a possible follow up to the show.
The interview was unfortunately what I have come to expect from the BBC and the MSM in general. Mostly negative, leading questions about the situation here, why people here feel their dignity is being violated by house searches, etc. Ross, my interviewer, also asked why so many bloggers think the press has it wrong. I told him that it was because they only covered a tiny percentage of the whole story. They never talk about the reconstruction projects underway, the smiles, the many people who thank us for giving them their country back and beg us not to leave too soon, the warm greetings and the kids that run out to our Guntrucks waving whenever we drive by. I told him that I am well aware the fact that in modern journalism, "if it bleeds it leads." Part of the problem is that although I am in one of the hotter areas of Baghdad, we see very few journalists around here. Most of the time, they stay in the comfort and relative safety in their hotels in and around the green zone broadcasting from their balconies surrounded by private security. They only come here for large operations and leave shortly thereafter.
Yes, there is awful carnage here. Sometimes it is heavy, but most of the time it is pretty light. The carnage here is only a small piece of the story in certain areas of the country. I also explained to him the 3 P's, and the reality of the fact that most of us on the "front lines" - as if there were such a thing, have yet to fire a shot. I was slightly irritated by the line of questioning and its underlying presuppositions, but I made sure that I focused on the first 2 of the 3 P's, and ended the interview pleasantly. Although he is north of here in Mosul, Michael Yon is a journalist that I consider one of the good guys. That is probably why he is a freelancer and not beholden to anyone. I like that. Check him out. Hat tip: Michelle Malkin.