Our old friends in the MSM, when they deign to comment on blogging and bloggers, usually assert that we will always need them because they, the anointed MSM, are the only ones who can do the heavy lifting of actual reporting and researching. Bloggers will forever be sniping critics, unworthy of their attention.
But suppose bloggers started to actually report?
That's what happened in the case of Bill Roggio, who raised $30k on his blog to cover expenses and then up and went to Iraq, embedded with the Marine Corps, and commenced to reporting. The MSM's response?
It was the journalistic equivalent of a drive-by shooting. The targets of Washington Post reporters Jonathan Finer and Doug Struck were two of journalism's favorites: Web loggers and the U.S. military.
"Bloggers, Money, Now Weapons in Information War," read the headline over their story, which appeared last Monday. "U.S. Recruits Advocates to the Front, Pays Iraqi TV Stations for Coverage," the subhed said.
"Retired soldier Bill Roggio was a computer technician living in New Jersey less than two months ago when a Marine officer half a world away made him an offer he couldn't refuse," the story began.
The insinuation of the headline and the lead is that Mr. Roggio was recruited and paid by the Marines to write favorable things about military operations in Iraq.
Drive-by shootings are notoriously inaccurate, and the story by Mr. Finer and Mr. Struck, which ran last Monday, contained so many errors it should be an embarrassment to the Washington Post. ...
Messrs. Finer and Struck weren't reporting news when they slimed Bill Roggio. They were launching a preemptive strike against a new, but increasingly muscular, competitor.
The whole story is fascinating to me. This guy, whose blog I've come across a couple of times, just decided to go to Iraq and do his own reporting! He could. He did. And the MSM feels threatened and attacks. You gotta love all three.
You can read Mr. Roggio's response to the WaPo for yourself here.
This is cool. A map to gross scale of the proposed drilling field in ANWR -- 2,000 acres +/-. I didn't know this: the area of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is roughly equal to that of South Carolina. Gee, no way could the caribou spare a couple of thousand acres out of that, could they?!
So I haven't posted anything in days. Sue me. I've been enjoying some time with my dear little sister Brandy whom I haven't seen in 2-1/2 years and her husband Mike the Liberal Jewish Brother in Law who is great with the kinder and absolutely delightful as long as we stay away from anything political. Haven't been on line, watched a minute of news, listened to talk radio, or seen a newspaper in a week.
Finally got on line a minute ago and checked Drudge to see what I've missed. Nothing. Nothing much at InstaPundit, either. Nothing happened, and nothing (new) is going on.
When I think about it, it occurs to me that nothing is something I should be thankful for. Our nation is at war with an implacable enemy who would like nothing better than to hit us at Christmas, and that enemy did not, probably because it could not. For that, my thanks to the boys at DIA, NSA, CIA, 3rd ID, MEF, and their remarkable leadership.
"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures who con tribute
This pdf document, from assistant attourney general William Moshella to House and Senate Intelligence committees, is heavy slogging, but worth a read. Since it's pdf and I don't own my own program, I can't cut & paste it for you (at least not easily) so read it for yourself or take it from me that the President is on very firm ground here. Here is the concluding paragraph. Sorry its formatting is ugly:
As explained above. the President determined that it was necessary following September 1 1
to create an early warning detection system. FISA could not have provided the speed and agility
required for the early warning detection system. In addition, any legislative change, other than the
AUMF, that the President might have sought specifically to create such an early warning system
would have been public and would have tipped off our enemies concerning our intelligence
limitations and capabilities. Nevertheless, I want to stress that the United States makes full use of
FISA to address the terrorist threat, and FISA has proven to be a very important tool, especially in
longer-term investigations. In addition, the United States is constantly assessing all available legal
options, taking full advantage of any developments in the law.
If you are a father, then that is your first job, your top priority. There can be no such thing as two top priorities. If you have to make a huge sacrifice to help one of your kids, then you do it. That's your job.
The son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy was found dead early Thursday morning.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said 18-year-old James Dungy was found unconscious in his apartment near the University of South Florida...
"Based on evidence at the scene, indications are that this death appears to be a suicide," the sheriff's office said late Thursday afternoon. "There is no other information to contradict that at this time. However, the autopsy has not been completed."
According to deputies, Dungy appeared to be in trouble a couple months ago. They said he overdosed on drugs and was admitted for psychiatric care under the Baker Act October 22.
Tony Dungy, who has four other children, is currently the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. He has left the Colts indefinitely and returned to Tampa, asking the team to press on without him. Assistant head coach Jim Caldwell has taken over the team.... (emphasis added)
It gives me no pleasure to say it, but Coach Dungy should have left the Colts "indefinitely" some months, if not years ago to take care of his son. Some careers are so all-consuming that they really are not appropriate for fathers to have. Coaching an NFL team is one of them. I know most career minded guys would disagree with me, but IMHO that just means they have their priorities wrong. An 18 year old kid who has overdosed on drugs and Baker acted should be with his family.
No one will ask Coach D this question, but you can bet he's asking it of himself -- Should he have left coaching a long time ago to take care of his son? The answer will be obvious to him, and will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.