Burning Question: Does the Pentagon deserve an Oscar for Best Embedding Program?

Official says success of "The Hurt Locker" at the Oscars validates program to embed journalists in military units.

At the Academy Awards Sunday night, The Hurt Locker cleaned up, taking home six awards in what was viewed as a triumph for a small independent film. This came despite some controversy over whether the film, which depicts the activities of an Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team in Iraq, was as realistic as it was cracked up to be.

Nevertheless, at least one Defense Department official says the film's success is a vindication of the Pentagon's embedding program for journalists. Joe Strupp of Media Matters, a site dedicated to highlighting what it characterizes as "conservative misinformation" in the media, reports that Bryan Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for media relations, says the movie's positive reception shows that the embedding effort helps reporters get an accurate picture of military operations and the people who conduct them. Reporter Mark Boal, who won the Oscar for best original screenplay for The Hurt Locker, embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq in 2004. His reporting on the soliders in the explosive unit first appeared in Playboy.

Pentagon Spokesman: Hurt Locker Oscar a Testament to Journalist Embeds
(Media Matters)

Burning Question is a recurring feature that looks at key issues and compelling stories being explored at other publications and social media sites covering the federal government.