That depends upon who you talk to:
- Former CNN correspondent Peter Arnett is back in Baghdad — the scene of his glory days from the last Gulf War — and he predicts that the United States will be at war with Iraq in short order. ”I don’t think Saddam will fess up to much, and there will be a confrontation that’ll lead to war sooner than later,” Arnett says. ”I don’t see how it can end any other way.”
….If war begins, Arnett predicts more varied — and better — TV coverage, but he says he doubts that reporters will cover troops in combat.
That said, since the Gulf War, Fox News Channel and MSNBC have been born, and with them a crop of reporters has covered wars in Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan. They’re ready to show their stuff, with or without help from the Pentagon. [from USA Today]
Yes, but if they aren’t covering “troops in combat” then their work will still be peripheral.
Ted Koppel doesn’t think trrop combat coverage is appropriate anyway:
- Speaking of impending war coverage, Nightline’s Ted Koppel said it’s clear why the military doesn’t want live coverage from Iraq. ”If I’m running a war and I’ve got representatives of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Al-Jazeera and the BBC, and they’re out there with my troops and they’ve got the technical capacity to feed back what is happening live, so that the folks who are sitting in Baghdad have only to turn on their set to CNN and they can see what’s happening on the front lines from the American vantage point — I’m saying it would be criminal to permit that,” Koppel said recently to a panel on war reporting.
Bob Simon thinks it’s a moot pont: that the action will move too quickly for traditional troop movement coverage anyway:
- ”It’s not going to be large divisions and brigades moving laboriously across the sands of Iraq. It will all be happening before we know where or when it’s happening, and the reporters will all be mesmerized at the briefings, and that will be it. It will be total information management, and the real reporting will be done in Washington, not on the ground.”
They all agree on one thing, though: there will be war.