August 11, 2006

Podcasting from the Border

Tanks on Israeli Border at Night.JPG
Photo copyright Michael J. Totten

I'm on the Lebanese/Israeli border, on the front line with Hezbollah, and will have material posted here shortly. It took quite a lot of planning, etc., to get here safely and properly. (And yes, I really am in a fairly safe place, believe it or not.)

In the meantime, here's a quick podcast interview with me at Pajamas Media.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at August 11, 2006 01:59 PM

You're crazy! But thank you, what you're doing is important. Stay safe.

Posted by: Lizzie at August 11, 2006 02:30 PM

Already heard both your podcasts this morning (Pacific time)! Great job! You sound somewhat out of touch (what with the fog of war).

Looks like the UN resolution is ready to go. Both sides have also accepted the text of it (or so the headlines claim).

Keep safe and keep podcasting!

Posted by: bad vilbel at August 11, 2006 02:32 PM

What Lizzie said.

Posted by: Asher Abrams - Dreams Into Lightning at August 11, 2006 02:56 PM

Holy Shit Mike! You are going to give me a heart attack! Any way to have a text version of the podcast put on the Blog? Not all of us have ready access to the audio portion. Or maybe it's just me. It is great to SEE you anyway!


Posted by: Lindsey at August 11, 2006 04:33 PM


You wrote previously:

"Tomorrow I’m going to Israel to get as close to this monster as I can without getting myself killed. (To friends and family who worry about me: I promise not to embed with the IDF and ride into Lebanon on a tank.)"

So I had to smile at the tank pictures.

Keep up the great work--you are there at likely the most critical point in this process!

Posted by: Shawn in Tokyo at August 11, 2006 04:52 PM


I left a present for you on my blog. I think with a little shading work, the one from Suliamaniya will work. Or perhaps you are trying to be known as the reporter who posts stories from Israel in August while wearing a turtleneck...

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at August 11, 2006 05:19 PM

A lot of people don't want to take the time to listen to podcasts, which are not efficient because you can't skim them to select what you are interested in. Rely on podcasts, lose a lot of your audience, particularly for newsy content on fast-moving issues.

Posted by: ZF at August 11, 2006 05:59 PM


Podcasts are a lot easier to get out quickly. Michael is a perfectionist about his writing and he's in a situation that requires a quick and dirty report. In a lot of ways this is a smart solution because the reality is that if Michael publishes something less than stellar, trolls will be quoting it in comments forever. Podcasts are less pernicious that way.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at August 11, 2006 07:41 PM

Oh, dear lord.

I've seen Metulla (from Lebanon, of course). It's right there! You can almost touch it when you're in southern Lebanon! And you're there.

And I just saw Shep Smith on the roof of where you are.

You move quickly, buddy. You move quickly.

Posted by: lebanon.profile at August 11, 2006 09:08 PM

So, did the U.N. just give France the green light to boot Israel out of south Lebanon?

Interesting times...

Posted by: monkyboy at August 12, 2006 02:41 AM

Patrick, while I agree that Michael's perfectionism is better for his blog, his podcast - transcript should be a separate category; like he says his book will be.

Personally, I think mere complilation of his posts would make a reasonably salable book; but it's his call.

I want transcripts, too, separate from thr blog.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at August 12, 2006 02:49 AM

Listened to PC#2, I'm quite impressed. I hope you get your teeth into something, you have a calm 'neighbor across the fence' conversational style that will play well - drama queens like Sheppard Smith should look out.

I have kids in school (tuition this month) and some other commitments, but next month I should be able to contribute a little bit.

Best of Luck to ye.

Posted by: jdwill at August 12, 2006 03:26 AM

So, did the U.N. just give France the green light to boot Israel out of south Lebanon? - Monkeyboy

Monkeyboy, could you do me a favor. Could you put your handle on the top of your post so I can put my coffee down before I read it. I just shot hot coffee out my nose laughing.

Posted by: Joe Marino at August 12, 2006 07:27 AM

If people don't want take the time to listen to the podcast, so be it. Their call. Michael should do what he thinks is best in a given situation.

It's not enough that you travel all the way over there, you're required to present your output in "skimmable" form for those who are only willing to "pick and choose" what they want.

Wow. What a 'tude. I'd guess this is the type of person who SHOULDN'T be skimming, but that'd be just a guess.

Posted by: reader_iam at August 12, 2006 07:30 AM

Tom Grey,

I realize that you don't owe me any favors but I would appreciate it if you wouldn't get Michael diverted into the book project. I'm trying to get him to make real money consulting for a few months so he can throw it away on writing the book later. Whenever somebody brings up the book he gets this dreamy expression in his eyes that doesn't go away for weeks. Normally I'm good with that, but the opportunities in Iraqi Kurdistan are really heating up and this war is already fixating his attention.

There is only so much Michael to go around and his lovely wife is already getting shorted enough without me dragging him off to do corporate gigs. I really like his wife, she's gracious, beautiful, and a successful person in her own right. She has always been kind to me, even when I dragged him off to Kurdistan. Maybe after this Michael won't have to stay away as long to get material for his book, but I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't bring it up.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at August 12, 2006 07:58 AM

So, having listened to that, I'm wondering what the point of the exercise is? We can turn on the TV and minute of the day and see people posing heriocally while in no personal danger, mouthing inanities as if their mere presence in the region gave them some sort of insight unavailable to the rest of us.

I thought the idea was to give us something that the mainstream media didn't.

Posted by: J.B.S. at August 13, 2006 12:16 AM


I'm writing. Give me a chance to post first, willya?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at August 13, 2006 01:48 AM


Posted by: 无缝钢管 at December 24, 2007 06:40 PM
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