There's a usage of 'brave' these days that never fails to puzzle me. You'll find an instance of it in this letter to the Guardian from Alan Gibbons, describing John Pilger's The War You Don't See as 'brave, polemical and honest'. Now, I haven't watched the programme and therefore won't comment on it; and I don't know John Pilger personally and also don't know much about him apart from his opinions, so I can't say whether or not he's brave in other ways.
However, what there is of bravery in taking the journalistic positions Pilger does, I do not see. They just fit right in, as comfortably as a foot in a well-worn slipper, with a whole wide swathe of Western opinion - on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on Israel/Palestine and more. Those who voice variants of this opinion take no risk of any kind; they aren't jailed or harried or persecuted for doing so; they are applauded or acclaimed by their countless co-thinkers for their... well, courage. 'Bravery' of this stripe is to be had any time and anywhere. So far as I can see, the principal function of the usage is self-congratulatory on the part of the person dishing out praise. ('If Pilger is brave for saying such things, so must we be for supporting his view.') It is, perhaps, a companion to that laughable claim you sometimes come across that anti-war opinion was 'silenced'.