The war in Iraq was only a week old when CNN treated its audience to a brief but remarkable event: for a couple of minutes, amidst pictures of missiles and artillery shells exploding against the night sky over Baghdad, the cable network broadcast nothing but the sound of silence. The breathless monotone of Wolf Blitzer was not heard explaining the obvious; no part-time anchor in a studio back home rattled on at length, telling a retired general what he was expected to say. As Marshall McLuhan would have pointed out, the picture was the message. Unfortunately, no CNN producers seemed to notice. After those few moments of freedom, the didactic drone of talking heads was there again, iterating and reiterating the obvious. Such repetition may be inevitable—a news network, after all, is limited to the news and nothing but the news all day long. Other networks, with a variety of other shows on their schedules, manage to cover the war in more limited time slots with reporters no less determined to get the story straight.
Military Not Complaining about Coverage
by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Seamon, USMCR (Ret.)