Yesterday, I received a response from Columbia Journalism Review's Paul McLeary who opined Friday that the milblog community "isn't brave enough to volunteer to serve in the military" like TNR's Scott Beauchamp.
I'm getting slammed with emails about this, but I want to answer
every one, because I think that it's important. Here's the email
that I sent to the Mudville Gazette milblog, who posted part of it
I really walked into this one.Stepped in it? That's for sure.
I actually spend a lot of time on milblogs. I was careless in my
choice of wording when I wrote the piece. What I meant was the
whole community of blogs that have sprung up in the same universe
as milblogs -- Hugh Hewitt, etc., who act tough about the war, but
have never served, and have never left the comforts of their
air-conditioned offices to see what might be going on in Iraq or
I've written a lot about milblogs, actually: Interviewed Matthew
Currier Burden for CJR, as well as a couple soldiers who were
blogging for the New York Times. I've also spoken to, and exchanged
emails with Yon and Bill Roggio and such, and I blogged the whole
time I was in Iraq back in '06, which doesn't make me a milblogger,
but hey, it's something, I guess.
Like I said, I really stepped in it because I didn't take the time
to clearly define what I was talking about.
It's nice that McLeary is taking the time to clean up his mess, but he might also want to take the time to read what many of us milbloggers think about using the "chickenhawk" epithet--as should a few commenters in the last post who responded to my use of the word.
UPDATE: McLeary may also want to note that Michelle Malkin--the main target of his original ire--and Bryan Preston have both "left the comforts of their
air-conditioned offices to see what might be going on in Iraq," as have many conservative/moderate civilian bloggers like Bill INDC and Michael Totten. Michael is there right now.