Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Michael Yon To Sue General McChrystal?

Michael Yon is not just another war correspondent. Though his financial support comes primarily from the blogosphere, Yon has street cred beyond the blogosphere that most web-only writers can dream of.

No kidding: Yon, said Slate, "combines detailed, intimate storytelling with an authorial sense that the war is neither quagmire nor farce, but a heroic, Manichaean struggle—and, as such, deserves to be reported in the grizzled, noirish style of war reportage from earlier eras." Hosannas from Bruce Willis. Profiles is both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

In the meantime, support for Yon online never flagged.

So, was it a surprise when Yon recently called the output of milbloggers -- ostensibly his colleagues -- "largely a hurricane of hot air"? Oh, yes.

Today's development is far more startling. Yon's next target is decidedly ambitious. From his Facebook page:

I have in my possession compelling evidence of General McChrystal's smear campaign. It's been sent to my attorney. The sad part is that McChrystal is incompetent even with a smear campaign. Official statements by his people -- in writing -- have been defamatory and libelous. A writer must be able to spot libel just as ...a soldier must be able to spot IEDs. It's part of the job. If you can't spot it, you will get hurt. Further evidence of McChrystal's incompetence is the ease with which he jerks a writer from the field and gets a laser on himself/staff for lying. And then his own staff commits defamation and libel. They fight like children. They are giving me their ammo. It's saddening. We cannot win such a complex war with people like that in charge. This is not a winning team.

Needless to say, it's not every day that a decorated reporter accuses the commander of U.S. and NATO forces of libel.

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