Military mind games: Mark Lawson

Mark Lawson in today’s Guardian. He makes some valid points with regard to the propaganda war – a staggering amount of propaganda is coming from the allied side, I believe little of it. Here he talks about embedded journalists.

Yet when asked to explain what is actually happening in these violently pretty pictures, politicians contemptously refuse to give “a running commentary”, while press secretaries hide behind the sandbags of “classified” information. This trick of appearing open while being closed is also seen in the military tactic of attaching reporters to army units. It looks fantastically democratic but even the most skilled journalists risk becoming, in the jargon, “clientised”: coming to share the fear, excitement and eventually triumphalism of the troops beside them. And if heaps of charred bodies should occur on either side, these “embedded” journalists will be kept well away from them.