:: Sunday, March 30, 2003 ::
CNN had an antiwar night last night
CNN had an antiwar night last night. Well, not precisely antiwar, but for about 3 hours of primetime, the message from analysts, including ex-US military, and reporters, mostly not embedded but some embedded as well, was that this war is a big mistake. We're pretty much back to normal today, still, of what's available on broadcast and cable here, CNN is the best choice.
And for the Bill Hemmers who wouldn't know hard news if it hit him in the face -- or unless his producer spoke in his ear -- there are the Ben Wedemans. He interviewed Al-Qaeda guys who were at Tora Bora in Afghanistan in late 2001. In February 2002 he was in Pakistan reporting Daniel Pearl's abduction and murder. A month later he was in the West Bank during the terrible siege by the Israeli army. Back in fall 2000 he was shot while covering a story in Gaza. And a year after the West Bank siege, he's in northern Iraq with other CNN Middle East bureau chiefs: Jane Arraf who was in Baghdad before she was expelled and Brent Sadler from Beirut.
Aaron Brown was talking to him during a report the other night. Aaron mentioned being embedded in northern Iraq and then corrected himself, confirming with Ben that Ben wasn't embedded, and then adding "and knowing you, you probably prefer it that way", meaning not being embedded. Ben didn't respond -- it was the end of the spot -- and who knows, but my sense is that Aaron probably made a true statement.
I trust Ben Wedeman's reports, and I look forward to thte stories he tells. I hope he's got a book in him from his years of living in the Middle East and observing the world. The book of his reporting observations is written in the CNN archives, but the book of his own observations isn't part of that.