3:20 PM, Mar 11, 2011 | by Tony Leys
Here was my first thought after grunting my way into 26 pounds worth of body armor and Kevlar helmet: Doesn’t the Register have any younger reporters to send to Afghanistan?
Here was my second thought: If 2,800 Iowa National Guard soldiers can do this for a year, I can do it for three weeks.
Americans are sending tens of thousands of soldiers to the other side of the world to fight on our behalf. The least we can do is pay attention. You can support the war, oppose it, or vacillate about it – but you shouldn’t just tune it out while you watch the latest Charlie Sheen update.
A recent report suggested many Americans and the media that serve them are losing interest in Afghanistan. Just 4 percent of U.S. news coverage last year was related to the war, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
The Pew survey showed that many of the Afghanistan-related stories that did run were about two scandals: the dismissal of the war’s top general for talking smack about the president; and the disgorgement of classified military memos via WikiLeaks. Stories about the actual war were scarce.
It’s easy to rationalize why. Covering a war is risky and expensive. And after more than nine years, the news out of Afghanistan can start to sound the same.Fortunately, my bosses decided this story was too important to ignore...