Monday, October 22, 2007

WAR SELLS, BUT WHO'S BUYING? Michael Yon offers to let newspapers print his favorable Iraq dispatches for free. He pitches this as a patriotic attempt to provide his otherwise benighted fellow citizens with "work that many commenters say needs to reach a wider audience."

But isn't there already a market for Yon's work? There are the reliably conservative New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Boston Herald, Manchester Union-Leader, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, et alia; dozens of other papers that supported Bush in 2004; and many other less conservative-identified papers that still publish columns by George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Cal Thomas, and other rightwingers. For many of them, money is not an issue. Hell, Murdoch or Scaife could put Yon in front of millions of readers with a snap of their fingers. And it's not like they don't know him -- in fact some of these papers have covered him, and a few have already published him.

I am sympathetic to any author trying to reach a wider audience, so whether Yon is sincere about his public service, or just trying to draw attention or donations, doesn't matter to me. But to suggest that the press en masse is so insensitive to his work that he has to offer it for free -- and enlist the aid of his blogbrothers to make it so -- frankly defies belief.

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