On Politicians “Debating,” Reporters “Covering” Afghanistan

The mainstream media seems to have finally caught up with the radio discussion that led to this piece on how politicians are just throwing messages at each other when “debating” Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.

What intrigued me from this column just out is this from someone who’s been there, done that (red highlights mine):

“Outside the restaurant, Ron Leblanc, a 35-year-old sergeant with the British Columbia Regiment, sat on a bench in the late summer sun. He came down, per Clark’s on-air request, to witness the debate.

Short and stocky, in green camouflage fatigues and black beret, Leblanc stiffened when questioned about Afghanistan. He completed a seven-month tour last year and is proud of his service. “We built hospitals, roads, wells, medical facilities and helped Afghan police with security,” he said, with an unsmiling stare. “It was a positive experience.”

According to Leblanc, media sensationalism misrepresents Canada’s military effort. He chastised media “imbeds” only interested in firefights and bloody casualties. “Over there, one reporter told me that nobody wants to hear about another road we’re building,” he remembered, shaking his head. “But for me, that’s the whole reason we’re there.”

Zat right?  Was that the reporter’s objective opinion, or was that driven by what the reporter’s bosses wanted here back at home?

It would be interesting to hear more on that bit in red…

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