NPR Check blogger Mytwords has some advice (6/14/09) "in these times of austerity and job 'shedding' at NPR": "Instead of spending all the money it must take to embed a reporter like Tom Bowman with the U.S. military in Afghanistan, why not cut him out of the picture and just hand a microphone to one of the officers or commanders there?":
Heck, if that's too expensive, why not just get on the Internets and pull some hard-hitting journalism from the military website of whatever unit Tom would have been embedded with? It sure would be a lot cheaper, even though it would mean we wouldn't get the kind of critical insight that Bowman coughed up for us this morning:
What they're going to be doing is something similar to what they did in Anbar province in Iraq. They're going to move out into the countryside and really live among the people–and that's the whole point here, is the counterinsurgency technique is to live among the people, provide security and eventually help rebuild this part of Afghanistan.
Momentarily dropping his sarcasm for some straightforward outrage, Mytwords asks, "Could you have a more sanitized, propaganda-laden description of the often repressive, brutal and violent strategy of counterinsurgency?"