Wednesday, January 28, 2015

JOs pushing back to Fallows

An interesting back and forth with James Fallows that started with his article in The Atlantic that Bryan McGrath and I replied to at the end of 2014.

In a follow-on bit, Fallows has brought on two JO voices to mostly reinforce the echoes in his world view sound chamber ... but then this happened.

LT Matt Hipple over at USNIBlog has put the seasoned journalist on report.
I have said this before, if we want to build a better civil-military understanding, I beg you start paying attention to the debate happening in the public writings of those servicemembers you want to understand. Though there is a place for appreciating the pure critics and exit-route mic-droppers; their views should not be the main drumbeat of our dialogue. To be fair, many of us who write regularly are a self-selected group – there still remains a vast space in which to encourage JOs to write. Those in the public space who avail themselves for those writings are doing a service, but the cherry picking and lack of guidance in the production of shocking JO posts does no service to your legitimacy among those you wish to discuss, and misinforms – or only partially informs – the public you are attempting to explain us to.

You want controversy, you want to see the battle of ideas, you want characters, you want stories… they’re all out there. The shooting stars may grab attention, but the constellations in the night sky are how we should navigate.
Hipple even offers links, including a USNI blog post by LT Roger Misso & LTJG Chris O'Keefe worth your time.

The thing that Fallows misses is that there is a rich and vibrant conversation out there - but it isn't going to come to him. He has to make the effort to expand his intellectual horizons and read outside his comfort range.

Fallows isn't alone in this problem, and it is this blinkered view that many in the traditional parts of the media ecosystems suffer from that prevents them from seeing a more detailed view of issues they are trying to address.

It is all there.

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