ANDREW SULLIVAN NEEDS A NEW AWARD….Hugh Hewitt, in the process of grilling Time’s Michael Ware about his reporting from Iraq, says he doesn’t buy Ware’s argument that reporting from behind enemy lines is a good thing. Then he lets loose with this:
MW: ….Let’s look at it this way. I mean, you’re sitting back in a comfortable radio studio, far from the realities of this war.
HH: Actually, Michael, let me interrupt you.
MW: If anyone has a right…
HH: Michael, one second.
MW: If anyone has a right to complain, that’s what…
HH: I’m sitting in the Empire State Building. Michael, I’m sitting in the Empire State Building, which has been in the past, and could be again, a target. Because in downtown Manhattan, it’s not comfortable, although it’s a lot safer than where you are, people always are three miles away from where the jihadis last spoke in America. So that’s…civilians have a stake in this. Although you are on the front line, this was the front line four and a half years ago.
This just might be the most fatuous thing I’ve ever heard. But it does make me wonder: do you think he really means it? Do you think Hugh literally, genuinely thinks of himself as being on the front lines every time he visits New York City?
As for Hugh’s broader question, look at it this way: if the Western media had pulled out of Moscow during the Cold War we would have spent several decades thinking that the GUM department store was a treasure trove of consumer goodies instead of the cheerless and barren place it really was. In other words, of course it’s a good idea to have someone providing us with a pro-Western view of what our enemies are doing ? especially when enemy propaganda is already available 24/7 just by watching al-Jazeera or surfing the web or reading non-American newspapers. You’d think a guy who broadcasts on the radio, extols the virtues of the blogosphere, and supposedly understands the global nature of the war on terrorism could figure that out.