Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bobby Caina Calvin, Media Idiot of the Week

Bobby Caina Calvin of Knight-Ridder/McClatchy is a short-sighted, self-absorbed moron.

Calvin's post at his blog is spreading around the web like wild fire, but if you haven't seen or heard it yet, here's the quick and short of it. Calvin wrote on his blog (reproduced here) about difficulties he had getting into the green zone in Baghdad because two forms or ID were required at the checkpoint and not just the one that he had, identifying him as media with Knight-Ridder. The American soldiers at the check point did not know what Knight-Ridder was. No big surprise there; I'd wager that a majority of Americans do not know what Knight-Ridder is. It was a classic "don't you know who I am?" piece from someone that really had no justification for expecting people to know who he was or who he was with.

Calvin was short-sighted because he wanted to breeze in and out of the green zone as if it were a Parisian cafe. Fortunately for Calvin and other media members of his ilk, the green zone is safe because it is not a place that can be entered and exited breezily. Scrutiny of identification is what has kept out the type of people who would love nothing more than to kill someone like Calvin because he doesn't worship in the exact same religion. Calvin doesn't have to like the scrutiny, but if he appreciates the existence of a 'green zone', then he damn well better accept it.

Calvin was self-absorbed because he had absolutely no justifiable reason to expect a soldier at a check point would know or even care what Knight-Ridder, a company that publishes(ed) no newspapers in its own name, is. And even if they did, they would still be absolutely justified in expecting a second form of ID as stolen or faked identification is hardly a rare thing in this world. In his post, Calvin essentially throws a hissy fit about the failure to be recognized by a young man who is basically on the front line in his position as a check point guard to an area that enemies would love to breach. Given that, Calvin's post epitomized selfishness.

Typically, I'd have skipped this story because opinion on it is already a dime a dozen. But Calvin's selfish irresponsibility should be recorded, and now that his original post seems to have disappeared, I'm more than happy to join in with the others who makes sure it stays recorded.

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