Yes TV 'Journalists,' We Are at War
If you watched TV over the past 48 hours or so, you'd think the war in Iraq suddently erupted again. Flipping from local news to cable news, TV anchors are giving in-depth coverage to the roadside bomb that hit ABC anchor Bob Woodruff and his cameraman Doug Vogt. Larry King dedicated Monday's show to the men and the ongoing danger in Iraq; on Sunday night, San Francisco's ABC affiliate spent eight minutes on the topic. Local newscasts never spend more than a few minutes on any one story. The accident was tragic, but we're at war. The Iraqis have to worry about bombs every single day, yet Iraqi deaths are never reported.
And what about wounded and dead American soldiers? A woman who called the Larry King show asked why civilian reporters are given more attention than soldiers. "The US government has made a decision that we are not allowed to see the coffins, that we're not allowed to see the burials, that we're generally, generally not allowed to go to any of the areas where there are wounded, US military hospitals...perhaps more in Landstuhl, perhaps more in the US, but it's very, very difficult to get close to that kind of real tragedy that the American servicemen and women are going through as well," said CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
A Google News search for the wounded newsmen brings up 2,281 stories; a search for Douglas Baker, a former Army reservist who served in Iraq, brings up only 16 stories. Baker shot himself last week.