January 21, 2008
The New York Times has a long-overdue article up today profiling my good friend Michael Yon, one of the two longest-serving independent journalists in Iraq. Yon first traveled to Iraq shortly after the Blackwater contractors were killed and defiled in Fallujah, and has been in and out of the country (more in than out) for the better part of the last three years. Only J.D. Johannes, a documentary filmmaker and another good friend, has been conducting independent journalism in-country nearly as long.
Read the whole thing. Then, if you still have any stamina remaining, click here and read what it is that makes these people different from 95% of ordinary journalists who go to Iraq and try to cover the war there.
[UPDATE] J.D. mentions in an email that the article reads like "the NYT writer phoned it in." I largely agree. The article wasn't negative at all; however, to me it just seems like you could substitute any topic, and any individual, that you wanted to, and the story would read the same way, no tweaking necessary -- like it was a prefab piece.
That, though, is probably more of an indictment of J-Schools these days than of the individual writer. Regardless, I'm glad that this article got off the ground -- and that it was linked from the Drudge Report. That's a good thing all around.
[UPDATE 2] My good friend Scott Johnson at Power Line agrees.