Echoing my thoughts, the New York Times Maureen Dowd writes about the latest casualties in the Iraq media troops, CBS cameraman Paul Douglas, 48, and soundman James Brolan, 42, who were were killed, and correspondent Kimberly Dozier, 39, who was seriously injured:
The administration and some right-wing commentators have blamed the press for not reporting positive news in Iraq. The radio host Laura Ingraham has suggested that the press is "invested in America's defeat" and has mocked TV journalists for "reporting from hotel balconies about the latest I.E.D.'s going off."
Conservative chatterers have parroted President Bush's complaint that "people resuming their normal lives will never be as dramatic as the footage of an I.E.D. explosion."
But now two network personalities — Ms. Dozier and Bob Woodruff — have been severely injured by roadside bombs while embedded with the military, trying to do the sort of stories the administration wants.
"One thing I don't want to hear anymore," Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, told The Times's Bill Carter, "is people like Laura Ingraham spewing about us not leaving our balconies in the Green Zone to cover what's really happening in Iraq."
Even with constricted coverage, the tally of journalists killed in Iraq is now 71, more than the number killed in Vietnam or World War II. (This war is now six months short of the United States involvement in World War II, but at least then we knew we were winning by this point.)
Shaken by the CBS losses, networks were reassessing how to cover a story with such excruciating risks. Journalists in Iraq are hamstrung in Iraq just as the troops are, struggling, with ever greater frustration and higher costs, to do the job they were sent in to do.
As the CBS war correspondent Lara Logan told CNN recently, American officials often reject her requests for optimistic stories, saying: "Oh, sorry, we can't take you to that school project, because if you put that on TV, they're going to be attacked, the teachers are going to be killed, the children might be the victims of attack. Oh, sorry, we can't show this reconstruction project because then that's going to expose it to sabotage."
Operation Iraqui Freedom is really going great, hunh?
BTW: Here's the latest grim tally from Reuters.
Oh and don't forget the latest ''good news'' from Iraq.