Rushing to Judgment

For those of you who recall Control Room, last year's excellent documentary about Al Jazeera's coverage of the war in Iraq by Egyptian-born, Harvard-educated filmmaker Jehane Noujaim, the surprise protagonist proved to be a U.S. military press officer named Josh Rushing.

In the course of dealing with all sorts of war time media, the young and earnest Rushing learns a great deal about perspective and bias, admitting that he is learning to "hate war," and coming to understand that the flag-waving Fox News Channel and the slogan-spouting Al Jazeera are mirror images of each other -- playing to the constituents on the home front.

"It benefits Al Jazeera to play to Arab nationalism because that's their audience, just like Fox plays to American patriotism for the exact same reason," Rushing says in "Control Room." Clearly, he was't destined for a big career at the Pentagon.

So maybe it should come as no suprise that USA Today is reporting that
Rushing has taken a job as a reporter for Al Jazeera's English-language channel that will be launched next year.

In the article, Rushing says "What the Marines trained me to do was to represent the best of what American stands for to a foreign audience. That's exactly what I'm going to do."

No doubt Rushing will become a target-rich environment for all sorts of conservative pundits who are sure to portray him as a Benedict Arnold. In reading the piece, of course, you see that Rushing is nothing if not a patriot and a proud American.

And someone who was smart enough to figure out an awful lot about the media during his stint in Iraq.
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