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VermontDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-19-03 04:13 AM
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Bush’s News War
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Bush’s News War

Fed up with the gloom-and-doom coverage of the conflict, the White House is taking aim at the press

Oct. 27 issue — It started out as a little crowd control in Baghdad. But as U.S. troops entered the streets to restore order earlier this month, the protest turned ugly. Someone threw a homemade grenade at the Americans, wounding 13 servicemen. According to the Oct. 8 Daily Threat Assessment—the Coalition’s internal casualty report, which was shown to NEWSWEEK—eight soldiers were wounded seriously enough to be evacuated to military hospitals. Yet at a press conference the next day, there was no mention of the attack. Pushed by reporters, U.S. officials would only say the incident was under investigation. It was as if the ambush, and the casualties, had never happened.

IN BAGHDAD, OFFICIAL control over the news is getting tighter. Journalists used to walk freely into the city’s hospitals and the morgue to keep count of the day’s dead and wounded. Now the hospitals have been declared off-limits and morgue officials turn away reporters who aren’t accompanied by a Coalition escort. Iraqi police refer reporters’ questions to American forces; the Americans refer them back to the Iraqis.

Reporters and government officials have always squabbled over access; but the news coverage of the messy, ongoing conflict in Iraq has worsened the already tense relationship between the press and the administration. American officials accuse reporters of indulging in a morbid obsession with death and destruction, and ignoring how Iraq has improved since Saddam Hussein was toppled. Reporters grumble that the secretive White House and Pentagon hold back just how grim and chaotic the situation really is.
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http://www.msnbc.com/news/982193.asp
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