I've had Michael Yon's website on my blogroll since probably sometime in 2005. He was one of the first independent journalists to embed with US and international troops and bust through the stupid media narratives. I've found his posts from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other spots around the world to be quite interesting and informative, for the most part. I unfortunately have to add that last bit because he occasionally seems to have to drift off into controversy and pissing contests that at times put his credibility to the test. It seems we are back at one of those points now.
I've pretty much stayed out of this stuff in the past and I'm not going to get in the middle of this one either. You can read Michael Yon's side at the link above. You can read the other side from CJ Grisham at his place. And you can read what I think is a very reasonable perspective from Carl Prine over at his place. I'm sure you can also read about a million opinions stretching back who knows long on one side or the other. Like I said, this isn't the first brouhaha Yon's been in.
I bring this up only because I still think there is a lot of value in Yon's dispatches from Afghanistan when he stays in his lane. When he risks life and limb to bring us pictures and stories from real missions he's bringing us a perspective that is sadly lacking from big media organizations today. I strongly recommend reading those posts. I can't say the same about the feuds and controversies.
It is often difficult to "know" what the truth is in these sorts of things. What I can say is that Yon appears to be something of a quick-tempered and quick to judge kind of guy. That's one opinion I've formed over the years. Another is that he is a little too quick to dismiss the wisdom of people who far outrank him and have access to far more information. I was just like that when I was a kid, but nothing rids you of that mindset faster than moving up the chain and finding out the hard way that you didn't really know everything after all. I don't mean to call Yon a kid here, I just think he is sometimes a little quick to dismiss the perspective of people who are a lot more experienced and connected than he is.
The upshot is that when Yon is focused on reporting at the small unit level I think he does some really good stuff. That's why the link is there on the sidebar. The personal drama stuff? I think that's just unfortunate.