Fox News's Greg Palkot gets a little carried away narrating this video of his helicopter ride in Afghanistan. Spencer Ackerman compares Palkot to Anchorman character Brick Tamland (Brick's greatest here), adding, "I just can’t get over the narration. Or the fact that the dude recites, with a straight face, 'Commanders say when the Taliban hears these choppers come, they don’t like it at all!'"
Wired's Noah Shachtman and Nathan Hodge mock, "We weren't sure at first if this was a Team America-inspired parody, but no, it’s just Fox News. [...] Too bad all the commandos appear to be doing in the clip is nabbing Afghans for the crime of wearing the wrong-colored turbans." But the Wired team pauses to make a substantive point about the video.
While it’s fun to rip on Fox for this kind of reporting, there’s a more serious question here. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s strategy in Afghanistan is being sold as “population centric”: It’s supposed to shift emphasis away from pointless raids and refocus on protecting population centers and promoting development.
[...] In theory, this shift could complement higher-profile conventional efforts to protect population centers to draw away support for the Taliban. But if done inappropriately, or clumsily, that effort has as much potential to backfire as large-scale conventional sweeps.