Tim Rutten For The Win


The right-wing radio personality Laura Ingraham went on the “Today” show and charged the Baghdad press corps with simply “reporting from hotel balconies about the latest IEDs going off.”

If Dozier ever recovers the full use of her legs, maybe she and Laura could go for a walk and talk the whole thing over.

In the New York Post, Ralph Peters excoriated Iraq correspondents for staying “safe in their enclaves protected by hired guns, complaining that it’s too dangerous out on the streets. They’re only in Baghdad for the byline …”

One suspects he meant “dateline,” but perhaps he can explain that to Douglas’ widow, when he pays a condolence call.

Best of all, though, were the comments by President Bush’s new chief domestic policy advisor, Karl Zinsmeister. As a magazine editor, he made a trip to Iraq and wrote in the National Review that “many of the journalists observable in this war theater are bursting with knee-jerk suspicions and antagonisms for the warriors all around them. A significant number are whiny and appallingly soft … and show their discomfort clearly as they hide together in the press tents, fantasizing about expensive restaurants at home and plush hotels in Kuwait City, fondling keyboards and satellite phones with pale fingers, clinging to their world of offices and tattle and chatter where they feel less ineffective, less testosterone deficient …”

If Zinsmeister’s busy schedule permits, maybe he could call on Brolan’s 17-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter and explain how real men behave. On the other hand, maybe he should stay in the White House and mislead the president. He doesn’t seem to mind.


Whatever the ideologues may argue, Americans — whether in or out of uniform — are neither a fearful nor a fragile people. They are not indifferent to facts, even unpleasant ones about themselves. They do not want their journalists to behave like ancient bards, contriving cheap mythology from the sanitized feats of warrior heroes. They do not want a press that cuts and pastes to serve a party line.