Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Today in Iraq, II

I'm sorry I missed Larry King Live! last night, as apparently, it was a serious show.

The Huffington Post links to Christine Amanpour's comments regarding Jill Carroll and the situation in Iraq, calling the country's condition a "black hole", but you should read the whole transcript. It packs quite a punch. I especially liked this exchange between a Bushie caller and Amanpour's response:

KING: We're back with our panel. Powell, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hello, my question is for the panel this evening. The first thing I want to say is I want to commend President Bush and all of the United States military on all of the hard work and success that we've had with the war against terrorism in Iraq.And my question is, why are the civilian reporters given more media attention than the American soldiers who are the everyday heroes that are wounded on a daily basis?

KING: You mean the media person who's wounded more attention than the soldier who's wounded? Is that what you mean?

CALLER: That's correct. It seems to me that the civilian media reporters are given more attention than the average, everyday American soldier.

KING: I'll have everybody answer it.

Bob Schieffer, what do you think?

SCHIEFFER: Well, I think, first of all, Bob Woodruff is someone that most Americans know. And when someone is known, they're going to get more publicity. But I think the caller makes a very good point, and this should be a reminder to all of us that every day there are military families who are going through just what Bob Woodruff's wife and his family are going through right now. This is not something that just happens once or twice. This is something that's happening every single day of our lives. And it just underscores the terrible things that are happening in this war. And so by focusing attention on one person, perhaps the caller would be reassured to know that it is causing other people to think about what is happening to these military families.

KING: Christiane?

AMANPOUR: Well, I think it's an incredibly good question. The caller is absolutely right. And, as Bob Schieffer has just said, of course we focus on very well known people and members of our own community. But the reason that the deaths and injuries of the American soldiers don't get as much publicity is because we are by and large banned from seeing it. The United States 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 not allowed to go to any of the areas where there are wounded, U.S. military hospitals. Perhaps you can see a little bit more in Landstuhl in Germany. Perhaps when we go to the hospitals in the United States. 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.

KING: Why, Lara, can't you see them?

LOGAN: Well, I just want to say that Christiane is absolutely right, and on top of that there's a real irony in that caller's question. Because it's the military themselves that pressure us not to keep reporting the deaths of soldiers, not to focus on the deaths of soldiers and Iraqis ever single day in this conflict. They tell us you don't tell the good news, you don't show the schools that are opening, you don't do this, you don't do that, why are you always focusing on the death? And you try and say to them, it's because as a reporter I just feel like every time somebody else dies, I have a responsibility to make sure that death wasn't in vain. That somehow, in some way, it's acknowledged.

KING: So the lady from Ohio should take it up with the Pentagon.

LOGAN: Absolutely.


Hey Bushie caller: nice try. You got smoked. How did you not see that one coming? Did the Republican Party propaganda jabberwockies have you call up with THAT question? Maybe they're not as bright as we've all been led to believe.

Tell your CiC and his posse to let the media do their jobs. You want to see and hear about the American military's every death and injury? Than don't bitch when the news out of Iraq is bad.

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