Rushing to Iraq

From the New York Observer:

    Josh Rushing, the former Marine and Control Room star turned Al-Jazeera English reporter, spent nearly his entire adult life around combat gear. But a week ago, he seemed a bit uneasy with the pile of brand-new body armor piled in a corner of his downtown Washington office. He fingered the bright-blue canvas over the heavy protective plates–a major departure from the military’s more subdued palette–and decided the vest was “the wrong color.” Then he hefted the gear onto his forearm with a practiced motion, groaning in surprise with the strain of it. “Geez, Louise–it’s heavy! It’s much heavier than any military one I’ve ever worn.” He laughed. “Then again, I’m Al-Jazeera going inside Iraq. You could put metal around me like a medieval knight and I’m not sure I’d be safe.”

    Mr. Rushing is heading back to Iraq today, roughly four years after his last trip, and nearly three years after his big-screen debut in the documentary Control Room–Jehane Noujaim’s surprise hit that explored Al-Jazeera and the dynamics of the media war during the chaotic early days of the Iraq invasion. His star turn made blue-state audiences swoon and marked him as a matinee idol for the nervous new century: a U.S. Marine, clean-cut, thoughtful, culturally sensitive.

Read the rest here.