“A correspondent for The Blaze visiting Iraq posted a photo of himself firing a sniper rifle at Islamic State extremists,” miamiherald.com reports. “He tweeted that he fired six shots at the enemy. Now he’s facing incoming. But they aren’t bullets. Fellow journalists are slamming the correspondent, Jason Buttrill, for picking up a gun. They say journalists are not supposed to be combatants.”
And for good reason: so the enemy doesn’t get to thinking it’s open season on jobbing journos. A bit of background on Buttrill . . .
Buttrill describes himself on his Twitter account as a former intelligence analyst for the Pentagon who is now a geopolitical analyst and chief researcher for The Blaze, the news network started by conservative talk radio personality Glenn Beck. A story on the news portal lauds Buttrill for “documenting the fight to take back Iraq street by street.”
Over at the aforementioned Twitter account, the now-recalled Blaze correspondent is taking nothing but heat from his colleagues, including the estimable C.J. Chivers, who added his perspective with typical taciturnity: “how about knocking off the bullshit.” Jason Stern, Senior Research Associate for the Committee to Protect Journalists, also fired-off a retaliatory Tweet: “Like with doctors, humanitarian workers and other civilians, the journalist’s best defense is their noncombatant status.”
No one, however, has taken the time to ask if Mr. Buttrill was actually shooting at ISIS fighters or, indeed, if he hit any of them. I’m not saying he did or didn’t. And I’m not saying it matters much. But these are journalists dinging Buttrill. You’d hope they’d be a little less self-righteous and a lot more curious.
Anyway, Buttrill has issued the following apology:
So, a military Mulligan for a ballistic Buttrill?