Thursday, July 21, 2005

Presto-Change-o! From Comment to Blog Entry!

Last night I stopped by Vahal's Dear Baghdad and read what he called his last letter. Already several of our friends had offered their comments. Here are mine.

Vahal,

Blogging can be be difficult for any number of reasons. I know from gritty experience.

I really enjoyed your letters and I'll keep your blog up on my blogroll.

Fayrouz has a good suggestion, though. You just might need to take a break. Last summer when the Iraqi authorities intervened and let Muqtada Al-Sadr walk away free after he caused so many deaths, I simply couldn't stand it. I told my readers that if Muqty walks, I would shut my blog down.

Muqty walked; I shut down Iraqi Bloggers Central -- for around three months. Letting Muqty walk was like someone kicked me in the family jewels. I was disgusted with people who would let a phony like Muqty spit in their faces. I needed a vacation from Iraq REAL BAD -- and I happened to living in New York City! Yeah, I can't imagine how much I would need a vacation FROM Iraq if I were actually living there.

Then, with the election approaching, I started the blog up again and it's been humming along with the help of Mister Ghost. I still have a deep scar -- metaphor alert! -- from the kicking Muqty's release gave me.

But blogging about Iraq is tough because every day there are tragedies due to the terrorists in Iraq -- terrorists, not insurgents, as ITM has blogged about.

Blogging about Iraq is also tough because of the poor job of the major media outlets.

If it weren't for the Iraqi bloggers -- people like YOU, Vahal -- I would have NO IDEA about how diverse are the views of real Iraqis.

I can still remember reading those first blog entries by Zeyad and Omar, Mohammed, and Ali. My eyes popped open COMIC-BOOK STYLE and I felt like I had rubbed Aladdin's lamp and had a few wishes answered.

Zeyad, Omar, Mohammed, and Ali wrote such intelligent and passionate blog entries that my hand froze on my mouse and I wondered, "Holy Cow! Does anyone else know about these guys?"

BTW, the first commenter at ITM was Lisa, New York, who was the first one to say thanks to you for your blog.

Hi Lisa! Nice to see you again. Every now and then I see you on the comments pages. One of the old crew.

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Over the past few years my original irritation with the press has grown into a full-blown case of acute antipathy. Thank God -- as Glenn Reynolds reports -- that Aussie PM Howard knows how to put journalists in their place (they're currently renting cubicles under the HADES housing complex).

CAVEAT: I believe that many journalists -- perhaps even the majority -- are performing their daily reporting tasks with real professionalism. A good place to listen to journalists talking shop is to stop by Letters to Romenesko (hat tip: Derek Rose). But then we have journalists like Dan Rather who attempt to foist phony documents on the American public and turn a presidential election, ending with a tepid apology and a group of his peers later giving him an award for "excellence in journalism"?!

The hardest-working blogger examining the press right now is easily Antimedia. He shows us all what bringing an informed and critical eye to the media's daily output can do to correct the balance.

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