You’d think that for a place that had so many reporters, there’d be better stories coming out.
I’ve been trolling around for reports from the Pentagon’s pre-invasion boot camp for journos. By far the best is from UPI’s Pam Hess. (Yes, Virginia, there’s still a UPI, even with some of the old hands at the switch — though the institution is of course vastly diminished).
7:30 a.m.: My “platoon,” the Third, musters outside the dormitory. As usual, two of our number are missing. It is never the same two people although it is frequently a certain Network News Star. This fact — along with our inability to line up, walk straight, or follow even the most basic directions — has earned us a nickname among the Marine trainers that will stick through the rest of the week: Booger Platoon.
It is strangely fitting. We are so bad we don’t even know we’re bad and we are blithely unconcerned when we find out. We wander around like demented kittens, defenseless and uncontrollable. We wear our Boogerness as a badge of honor. We are most definitely not Marines…..
Let the record show these are not friggin’ psychopaths. These are committed, underpaid, brave and physically fit young people who endure privation and follow any order issued to them under terrible conditions by their superiors, no matter how hare-brained, as long as it is lawful. It is not a job I would want myself, nor am I capable of it.
But out here under a cold moon next to a warm fire being addressed as “ma’am,” I can’t help but be impressed
The NYDaily News’s Dick Sisk (an old UPI hand himself) got a little too close to a phosphorus grenade but lived to write about it. Even Grandma eventually turned in a serviceable story, though its first piece was as dry as week-old pita bread.